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04-14: vivo has completed the first 5G mobile phone pre-commercial field trial in Shanghai; Beijing Kunlun Wanwei plans to invest USD50M in the driverless car company Pony.ai; etc.

Touch Display

The U.S. Patent Office has granted Samsung a patent for a ‘variable stiffness flexible display’. It may be used as a flexible display, a semi-rigid display, and a rigid display. The variable stiffness flexible display may be quickly customized by the user to be flexibly formed into a particular shape, and then hold that shape. (CN Beta, MS Poweruser, Patently Mobile)

Memory

Tsinghua Unigroup has launched the enterprise-class P8260 hard disk, which uses YMTC’s 32-layer stack 3D NAND flash memory, DERA’s SSD driver and Unigroup Guoxin’s DRAM cache. The P8260 hard drive supports the NVMe 1.2.1 standard, supports PCIe 3.0 x4, and supports up to 16 NAND channels. (My Drivers, EXP Review)

Connectivity

vivo has completed the first 5G mobile phone pre-commercial field trial in Shanghai, with a 5G network vivo phone. Vivo said that it will release its first 5G commercial phone in China in mid-2018. Qin Fei, director of R&D of vivo 5G, has revealed that vivo has been conducting 5G field tests with 3 big operators in China. The peak rate of 5G network in normal test can reach 800+Mbps, and the test speed is higher in vivo 5G laboratory environment 1.5+Gbps. (CN Beta, Sohu)

Worldwide, 79 mobile operators have announced plans to launch 5G services. As a result, more than 50 countries are set to benefit from 5G services before the end of 2020. Vastly improving network capacity, throughput and responsiveness, 5G will enable mobile operators to tailor connectivity to the application and change daily life for the better in many different ways. (GSMA report)

GSMA Intelligence anticipates 5G adoption will grow rapidly in the 2020s. By 2025, there could be almost 1.4B connections worldwide, up from about 200M 5G connections in 2021. That would mean 5G would account for more than 15% of all mobile connections worldwide in 2025. (GSMA report)

Phone

The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), an agency of the Indian government, issued the command to customs on 4 Apr 2019 to seize products imported on 10 permits that were withdrawn from use. Hardware worth approximately INR5,000 crore (USD723M) is being held by customs, including products from Apple, Samsung, HP, Motorola, and vivo, among others. (Apple Insider, Economic Times, TW Business)

Huawei consumer business group CEO Richard Yu has revealed that it is still more challenging to be number 1 in the world in 2019. Yet he is confident that the company cwill be number 1 by 2020, even though the company does not enter United States, South Korea and Brazil. In addition, the company aims to get USD150B in sales revenue in 2023. The company has invested over USD5B in R&D and it is hopeful that its investment will take it to the top spot in 2020. (GizChina, My Drivers, CN Beta)

Technalysis Research suggests that gamers are willing to give cloud gaming a try if it means they can play their games across multiple devices. The analyst and president Bob O’Donnell said that the influence and impact of digital gaming continues to grow at an impressive rate around the world, with U.S. gamers spending nearly 65 hours a week, and USD2,580 per year on gaming across an average of 4.4 devices. Chinese gamers reported about 47 gaming hours a week, expenses of USD1,453 per year on games, in-game purchases and gaming hardware, and an average of 4.1 devices on which they game. (VentureBeat, CN Beta, Techanalysis report)

According to SensorTower, mobile consumers spent an estimated USD19.5B globally on the App Store and Google Play during 1Q19. This represents a 16.9% year-over-year increase from the year-ago quarter. First-time app installs grew a combined 11.6% YoY to 28.1B, with Google Play accounting for nearly 74% of those. (SensorTower, report, CN Beta)

In Apr 2018, HSBC Global Research published our first Future Consumer report looking at specific investment themes. This 2019 follow-up focuses on large demographic shifts that will influence consumer discretionary sectors in a significant way over the long term. The three biggest shifts are women, Asian consumers, and young consumers. (HSBC report)

Global smartphone shipment in 2018 reaches 1.55B units, a slight 1.3% up on year, in which China shipment drops 3.0% to 423M units. CICC sustains their 2019 / 2020 smartphone shipment forecast at 1.499B / 1.519B units (a -3.6% / 1.4% on year), in which China changes -11.0% / 2.2% on year. (CICC report)

Virtual / Augmented Reality

Acer has announced its own high-end VR headset powered by Windows Mixed Reality, ConceptD OJO. It features a 4,320×2,160 display, detachable and swappable head strap design, easy inter-pupil distance adjustment. Acer has also packed software-assisted interpupillary distance (IPD) adjustment technology. (CN Beta, MS Poweruser, Road to VR)

Automotive

Beijing Kunlun Wanwei, which has also backed Musical.ly, live-streaming company Inke, dating app Grindr, and microlender Qudian, has revealed in a filing with the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) that it plans to invest USD50M in the driverless car company Pony.ai for a 3% stake. (VentureBeat, TechCrunch, CSRC, Sohu, OfWeek, Wallstreet CN)

According to the plans of the major car vendors for assisted driving and automatic driving, after 2020, there will be a large number of mid-range and high-end cars loaded with L4 level automatic driving solutions. To successfully realize the goals of these car vendors in the direction of automatic driving, perfect commercial high-precision map products are indispensable. In order to accelerate the development of the high-precision map industry, car vendors are doing their best. (Guangzheng report)

V2X (Vehicle to Everything) is the soul of the Internet of Vehicles. The wireless communication technology V2X is a new generation of information communication technology that connects the car to everything. V represents the car, and X represents any object that interacts with the car. Current X mainly consists of vehicles, people, traffic roadside infrastructure and networks. The V2V specific interactive information modes include: vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V), vehicle-to-road (V2I), vehicle-to-person (V2P), and vehicle-to-network (V2N) interactions. (Guosen report)

Payment

Ant Financial has announced that it will release a new generation of payment based on facial recognition in Beijing on April 17, 2019, which will be upgraded in terms of technology and business incentives, and will also bring new service upgrades to new retail. (CN Beta, Sina, My Drivers)

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