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05-14: HMD Global has entered into a direct worldwide license arrangement with Qualcomm; AUO has unveiled its 6” FHD+ 2304×1080 LTPS LCD screen with optical in-cell fingerprint; etc.

Chipsets

HMD Global has entered into a direct worldwide license arrangement with Qualcomm to cover branded single-mode and multimode devices manufactured and marketed by HMD Global under the Nokia brand. Under the terms of the agreements, Qualcomm has granted HMD Global royalty-bearing patent licenses to develop, manufacture and sell branded 3G, 4G and 5G single-mode and multimode complete devices. (Phone Arena, PR Newswire, CN Beta)

Touch Display

Lenovo has announced what it is calling the world’s first foldable Windows PC. It has a a 13.3” 4:3 2K OLED display that can fold up to about the size of a hardcover book. Lenovo has been developing this for over 3 years and has plans to launch a finished device in 2020 as part of its premium ThinkPad X1 brand. (Engadget, Laptop Mag, The Verge, Mashable)

A bailout of up to JPY80B (USD729.3M) destined for Japan Display Inc (JDI) has been put on hold, after the Chinese-Taiwanese investment group declared they want to reexamine the potential the deal could provide in returns to the funds. The group is made up of the Chinese investment firm Harvest Group and Taiwanese display firm TPK Holding, among others. Once complete, the group would become the biggest shareholders in JDI, holding 49.8% of the company. (Apple Insider, Reuters, CN Beta)

Louis Vuitton (LV) has unveiled the world’s first fashion handbag with flexible AMOLED display from Royale Technology. Royale provides LV with an ultra-thin, lightweight and rich color fully flexible display, new flexible sensors and related solutions, allowing designers to freely design flexible displays into bags and flexible touch-enabled interactive display. (The Verge, My Drivers, IT Home, Engadget)

Biometrics

TF Securities analyst Min-Chi Kuo has indicated that the under display fingerprint is the most defensive electronics industry in the context of trade wars because: (1) 2019 and 2020 have high growth visibility, (2) there are clear specifications upgrade path in the next 1-2 years, (3) the phones with under display fingerprint are not affected by tariffs (though Chinese Android brands are all made in China, they are hardly sold to the US. Samsung phones sold to the US are almost all produced in Vietnam and South Korea). Benefiting from the strong demand for optical under display fingerprint, it is estimated that the shipment of these phones in 2019 will increase by 900–1000% compared with 2018 reaching 280M units. (CN Beta, TF Securities)

AU Optronics (AUO) has unveiled its 6” FHD+ 2304×1080 LTPS LCD screen with optical in-cell fingerprint. Equipped with AHVA technology, full HD+ (1080 x 2160) resolution and 403 PPI pixel density, the panel has a full screen sensing area with the same 403PPI sensor density and 30ms swift sensor response time for the smoothest and most accurate sensing performance possible on a smartphone. (CN Beta, My Drivers, PR Newswire)

Connectivity

ZTE vice general manager of Strategy and Marketing, Lv Qianhao reveals that in 2019 on average every user consumes 6GB network data on monthly basis, and in 5G he expects the number could increase to about 200GB. (CN Beta, My Drivers)

Phone

The Redmi Note 7 series ——Redmi Note 7 and Note 7 Pro have crossed the 2M mark just 2 months after their launch in India. (GizChina, Twitter)

HTC is announcing Exodus 1s, which will act as one of the distributed points that validate and relay transactions on the Bitcoin blockchain, and while it is not capable of mining any cryptocurrency, the firm says it has “partners to announce that will offer hash rates to do so”. The Bitcoin ledger is currently over 200GB. HTC says it will be possible to store a smaller “pruned version” on the phone itself. (Liliputing, GizChina, Engadget, Android Headlines, Engadget CN, CN Beta)

Amazon SVP of devices and services, Dave Limp, has indicated that if the company could come up with a “differentiated idea for a phone, then sure”. (CN Beta, Business Insider, Telegraph)

Xiaomi is now adding Mi Express Kiosks to its retail strategy in India. Mi Express Kiosks are vending machines, which would allow users to purchase Xiaomi smartphones and mobile accessories, without any human interaction. (My Drivers, CN Beta, Live Mint, Business Today)

Coolpad Legacy is launched at Metro by T-Mobile – 6.36” 2160×1080 FHD+ IPS, Qualcomm Snapdragon 450, rear dual 16MP-5MP + front 13MP, 3+32GB, Android 9.0, 4000mAh Quick Charge 3.0, USD130. (Android Central, Phone Arena, Android Authority, MetroPCS)

Huawei Y9 Prime 2019 is announced – 6.59” 2340×1080 FHD+ TFT LTPS, HiSilicon Kirin 750F, rear tri 16MP-8MP-2MP + front 8MP, 4+64/128GB, Android 9.0, 4000mAh, from EUR279. (Gizmo China, Huawei, Twitter)

Augmented / Virtual Reality

Lenovo has announced a new VR/AR platform called ThinkReality, comprising both software and hardware. Geared towards the enterprise as AR and VR are gaining steam in corporate settings. The first device is the ThinkReality A6, a heads-up, hands-free device that weighs just 380g. It has a 40º diagonal field of view with 1080p resolution per eye. It is powered by an Android-based compute box with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 Mobile XR Platform. (Digital Trends, Liliputing, ZDNet, Lenovo, Engadget CN, CN Beta)

According to Digi-Capital, AR (mobile AR, smartglasses) is forecast to top 2.5B installed base and USD70B~75B revenue by 2023 (note: installed base is different to active users). VR (mobile, standalone, console, PC) could hit over 30M installed base and USD10B~15B revenue in the same timeframe. (VentureBeat, Digi-Capital, blog)

Payment

Apple’s VP of Apple Pay Jennifer Bailey has announced a new NFC feature for iPhone: special tags that trigger Apple Pay purchases when tapped, without the need to download a special app first. The company is partnering with Bird scooters, Bonobos clothing store, and PayByPhone parking meters for the initial rollout. (CN Beta, Mac Rumors, 9to5Mac)

India’s largest mobile wallet app Paytm in partnership with Citi has launched its Paytm First Credit Card that will be India’s first card with 1% universal cashback along with no restrictions on earning categories. (TechCrunch, Business Line, NDTV, India TV News)

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