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06-09: SiFive has raised USD65.4M during its latest funding round; HMD Global will allegedly launch two 5G smartphones in 2019; etc,

Chipsets

SiFive, the startup that provides processor core IP and silicon solutions based on the open source RISC-V set raised USD65.4M during its latest funding round. The company has managed to receive USD125M in investment till date and Qualcomm is the latest to join the coterie of high profile investors. Intel itself has also invested in the startup. (Android Headlines, The Information, Sina)

In Huahong Wuxi IC R&D and Manufacturing Base (Huahong 7th Factory), the first batch of lithography machine has been moved for the first phase of the 12” production line construction project. There are 35 process equipment moved in, and it took only 14 months to complete. Huahong 7th factory project covers an area of about 700 acres, with a total investment of USD10B. The total investment of the first phase project is about USD2.5B. A new process manufacture of 90-65nm and a monthly capacity of about 40,000 pieces of 12” wafers are built. (CN Beta, My Drivers, Sohu, Laoyaoba)

Camera

General manager of Redmi, Lu Weibing, has indicated that he believes that more people will gradually recognize the importance of the second and third camera. (My Divers, Huanqiu, Sina)

According to IHS Markit, due to the rapid popularity of triple cameras and quad cameras, as well as considering the demand for high end models of 3D ToF, the demand for cameras is expected to increase by more than 40% in 2019 compared with 2018. The increasing demand of triple camera and quad camera specifications is mainly for low end 2MP and 5MP specifications. (IHS Markit report)

According to IHS Markit, In 1H19, Chinese OEMs Huawei, Xiaomi, OPPO and vivo all have adopted triple camera on mid high end models, which lead to mid high end camera module supply risk. (IHS Markit report)

Connectivity

From the cost point of view, CICC estimates that the cost of typical 5G mobile phone BOM may be USD350 or more in 1H19, which is close to USD150 (70%) compared with typical 4G mobile phones, mainly in AP, BB, RF front-end, antenna, battery and heat dissipation, and other costs are higher than typical 4G mobile phones. CICC expects 1H20 cost increase to fall to less than USD70 (30%) and 1H21 to fall to around USD30 (15%). (CICC report)

CICC believes that the Android is more driven by the competition, and is more focused on 5G configuration, and is the first to carry 5G on the high-end flagship model. It is expected that in the early stage of 5G penetration, Samsung, Huawei, OPPO, vivo and Xiaomi will have about 200M Android phones. The flagship model penetrates faster, and the other 1.1B~1.2B ordinary models may depend more on the promotion of operators. Apple has a high probability of launching 5G mobile phones in 2H20. (CICC report)

Xiaomi, OPPO and vivo do not have self-developed chip capabilities, mainly relying on external mining Qualcomm and MediaTek. In addition, Qualcomm’s patents in the communications field make it possible to charge for each mobile phone. (CICC report)

Analysys Mason’s overall conclusion is that the countries ranked highest in the previous report are still positioned as 5G leaders in 2019. In the top tier of countries, the US has moved up to a tie with China as the leading nations in ‘5G readiness’ assessment, scoring higher than other nations on most of the metrics. South Korea and Japan follow closely behind China and the US. (Analysys Mason report)

Analysys Mason has consolidated launch dates and plans for commercial 5G services that have been announced by operators in the benchmark countries. (Analysys Mason report)

Phone

OPPO has patented Reno Z and Reno F with EUIPO, the Intellectual Property Office of the European Union. (GSM Arena, LetsGoDigital, CN Beta)

HMD Global will allegedly launch a 5G smartphone in 2019, which might be the successor to the Nokia 9 PureView. However, new details have surfaced and they reveal there will be 2 Nokia 5G smartphones in 2019 as well as when they are expected to arrive. (GizChina, Gizmo China, Nokia Poweruser)

HMD Global is expanding the breadth of its smartphone lineup in the US with the launch of the Nokia 3.1 A for AT&T and the Nokia 3.1 C for Cricket. (The Verge, GSM Arena, PR Newswire)

Piper Jaffray’s survey of Apple iPhone owners shows that 18% would pay USD1,200 for a 5G device when upgrading next. Analyst Michael Olson says interest will grow from here, which makes this “a favorable early sign that 5G is viewed as a key feature”. (Phone Arena, Seeking Alpha, WCCFtech, CN Beta)

CICC estimates that in the Huawei shipment structure, Greater China (51.4% in 2018) is less affected, as compared with the developed overseas markets (Western Europe, Eastern Europe, Japan, North America, etc., accounting for 24.8%, of which Western Europe accounted for 14 %). Due to the accustomed to Google GMS services, those developed markets will be greatly affected. Specifically, they are divided into 3 situations: optimistic, neutral, and pessimistic. (CICC report)

Augmented / Virtual Reality

Apple has largely focused on ARKit software, but the company has also been working on mixed reality hardware. Apple’s new patent application suggests that a person will sit down with physical typing and trackpad surfaces while looking at a screen. To observers, the screen might show an image of a “dummy document” or screen saver, while the headset wearer will see an augmented image of the actual document in the same place. (VentureBeat, Patently Apple)

Fintech

Facebook will reportedly announce its cryptocurrency soon, and will allow employees working on the project to take their salary in the form of the new currency. About a year ago, the company appointed former PayPal executive David Marcus to begin exploring opportunities with blockchain, the technological underpinning for cryptocurrency. (CN Beta, CNBC, The Information)

Economy

Global growth in 2019 has been downgraded to 2.6%, 0.3 percentage point below previous forecasts, reflecting weaker-than expected international trade and investment at the start of the year. Growth is projected to gradually rise to 2.8% by 2021, predicated on continued benign global financing conditions, as well as a modest recovery in emerging market and developing economies (EMDEs) previously affected by financial market pressure. (World Bank Group report)

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