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05-23: LGD has started pilot production of its 8.5th generation OLED production line in Guangzhou; EE’s 5G network will launch in the UK 30 May 2019; etc.

Chipsets

Judge Lucy Koh of the Federal District Court in San Jose, Calif., has found that Qualcomm’s patent-licensing practices violated antitrust law. The Federal Trade Commission sued Qualcomm in 2017, arguing that the company used its monopoly position as the supplier of two kinds of wireless chips to compel handset makers to pay “onerous” fees for the use of its patents. (NY Times, FTC, My Drivers)

Touch Display

LG Display (LGD) has started pilot production of its 8.5th generation OLED production line in Guangzhou. It is looking to stabilize mass-production system by Jul 2019 at the latest and expand its OLED TV market. Once its OLED line is on operation, monthly output of large OLED panels by LGD will increase from 2.9M units in 2018 to 4M units. LGD expects that this year will be the first year when percentage of its OLED sales out of its entire TV panel business will exceed 30%. Its goal is to produce at least 10M units in 2021. (CN Beta, ET News, Pulse News)

Camera

The U.S. is considering cutting off the flow of vital American technology to 5 Chinese companies including Megvii, Hikvision, Dahua widening a dragnet beyond Huawei to include world leaders in video surveillance. (Bloomberg, VOA Chinese, Sohu)

Memory

Meizu has introduced a similar program that allows users to increase the storage capacity on their smartphone. Currently, Meizu has shared a list of 12 smartphone models that are part of this program. The pricing for the memory expansion program starts at CNY199 (USD29). (Gizmo China, IT Home, Sina)

Connectivity

EE’s 5G network will launch in the UK 30 May 2019. EE’s service will be available in 6 cities at launch — London, Edinburgh, Cardiff, Belfast, Birmingham, and Manchester — and the operator says it plans to add ten more cities in 2020. (CN Beta, The Verge, EE, CNET)

Phone

Huawei’s Android license has reportedly been revoked, the company is accelerating its operating system development efforts, but the platform is allegedly nowhere near completion. (Android Authority, The Information, Android Headlines, CN Beta, Bowen Express)

Japanese telco SoftBank Corp’s low-cost mobile brand Ymobile has indicated that it would delay the launch of Huawei P30 Lite smartphone, following the imposition of trade restrictions on the Chinese manufacturer by Washington. (GizChina, Reuters, NTDTV)

Aptoide executive director Paulo Trezentos has confirmed that the digital hub sees the recent developments as “an interesting market opportunity to create a partnership with Huawei”. Huawei is allegedly in talks with Aptoide to potentially replace the Google Play Store, reportedly asked developers to publish apps on AppGallery. (GizChina, TomSHW, Phone Arena, DV)

The Irish data protection commission has opened an investigation into Google over suspected infringements of European Union privacy rules. The statutory inquiry will probe whether Google’s online Ad Exchange violated general data protection regulations (GDPR) covering the sharing of personal data of internet users. (CN Beta, CNBC, The Journal, The Guardian)

Sony CEO Kenichiro Yoshida indicates the company sees the smartphone business as indispensable to its brand portfolio, denying report that the company would exit the smartphone business. (Android Headlines, Reuters, Gizmo China, My Drivers)

KaiOS Technologies, maker of KaiOS, the leading mobile operating system for smart feature phones, announced today USD50M in a Series B funding round led by Cathay Innovation, with continued participation from Kai’s existing shareholders Google and TCL Holdings. To date, more than 100M devices running on KaiOS have been shipped, enabling digital transformation in over 100 countries. (CN Beta, KaiOS, VentureBeat, Sohu)

Apple’s John Wilander has outlined a new system, Privacy Preserving Ad Click Attribution, that would help marketers track the success of ads without tracking individual users. The feature will be on by default in Safari in a release later in 2019, and is available in a preview release now. (TechCrunch, Webkit, Engadget, Media Post, Sina, Donews, CN Beta)

BLU G9 is announced – 6.3” 1520×720 HD+ IPS, MediaTek Helio P22, rear dual 13MP-2MP + front 13MP, 4GB+64GB, Android 9.0, 4000mAh 10W fast charging, rear fingerprint scanner, USD180. (Gizmo China, Phone Arena, PR Newswire)

OPPO K3 is announced in China – 6.5” 2340×1080 FHD+ AMOLED, Qualcomm Snapdragon 710, rear dual 16MP-2MP + front 16MP mechanical pop-up, 6+64 / 8+128 / 8+256GB, Android 9.0, under display fingerprint scanner, 3765mAh 20W VOOC 3.0 fast charging, CNY1,599 / CNY1,899 / CNY2,299. (Gizmo China, GizChina)

ZTE Blade A5 2019 is launched in Russia – 5.45” 1440×720 HD+ TFT, UNISOC SC9863A, rear 13MP + front 8MP, 2+16GB, Android 9.0, no fingerprint scanner, 2600mAh, RUB6,490 (USD100). (GSM Arena, Gizmo China, GizChina)

Augmented / Virtual Reality

A VR platform created by Emblematic Group and VR Pioneer Nonny de la Peña, dubbed Reach, is built on top of WebVR and in partnership with Mozilla. The end goal: to make web-based VR easier to create and consume. (Engadget, Mozilla)

Focals by North launched at the start of 2019, but quickly saw a price cut from USD999 to USD599. Since then, the plain-looking smart glasses that overlay a screen over uer’s right eye has seen a number of new features. The latest includes Google Fit and Google Slides integration. (Engadget, North, 9to5Google)

Home

According to IHS Markit, game console market in 2018 reached USD47B, an increase of about 20%. Among them, the game console market content and service areas have increased from USD27B in 2017 to nearly USD32B in 2018. Of all the hardware, content, and service spend, only the cost of packaged content has decreased. (GizChina, IT Home)

Bose has announced its new Home Speaker 300, a 2-pound smart speaker that measures a little over 6” tall and delivers “powerful bass and true 360-degree sound.” The aluminum-clad Home Speaker 300 is priced at USD259.95.  Once the latest Bose Music app update installed, user can choose Google Assistant as preferred voice assistant instead of Amazon Alexa. (CN Beta, Bose, The Verge)

Robotics

Ford and startup Agility Robotics are partnering in a research project that will test how two-legged robots and self-driving vehicles can work together to solve that curb-to-door problem. Agility’s Digit, a two-legged robot that has a lidar where its head should be, will be used in the project. The robot, which is capable of lifting 40 pounds, can ride along in a self-driving vehicle and be deployed when needed to delivery packages. (TechCrunch, CNBC, VentureBeat, CN Beta)

Payment

Marqeta — which helps third parties like Square, Affirm, DoorDash, Kabbage and Instacart build and offer card services to their customers — has announced that it has raised a Series E of USD260M led by Coatue Management. Marqeta plans to use this growth round to continue building out its platform with an emphasis on global expansion. (TechCrunch, CNBC, FinsMES, Ebrun, Teller China)

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