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07-07: Foxconn Technology Group is likely to kick off construction of a 12” wafer fab in 2020 in Zhuhai; LG will reportedly turn to BOE to source OLED displays for its own phones going forward; etc.

Chipsets

The Indian Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology had earlier revealed India’s first home-made processor called as Shakti. The chipset has been in the works for since 2016 and now Indian Institute of Technology Madras has released an SDK (software development kit) for the processor. (My Drivers, Tom’s Hardware, First Post)

Foxconn Technology Group is likely to kick off construction of a 12” wafer fab in 2020 in Zhuhai, southern China in cooperation with the city government there, and will operate the plant as an IDM to satisfy the group’s own demand for 8K, 5G and AI chip solutions. (Digitimes, Elecfans)

Touch Display

LG will reportedly turn to BOE to source OLED displays for its own phones going forward. It is all part of the cost reduction strategy introduced by the new mobile department head which may see the production of LG’s handsets moved to Vietnam. (CN Beta, Phone Arena, Thelec)

Samsung Display has reportedly received reimbursement worth about KRW800B (USD681M) for display panels sold to Apple as the U.S. smartphone maker missed a sales target the parties had agreed on. (Apple Insider, CNBC, Reuters, CN Beta)

Apple is allegedly working on an iPad for 2020 that will feature both 5G cellular plus a foldable screen. It is believed that Apple’s supply chain including Catcher Technology, General Interface Solution (GIS), TPK would be beneficial from this. (CN Beta, Sina, UDN, Apple Insider)

Japan’s restrictions on the export of semiconductor materials will inevitably affect Korean companies, but the losses are not expected to be big. Since the end of 2018, semiconductor memory chips have been over-supply, and inventory has continued to increase. Samsung and SK Hynix have experienced a decline in operating profit due to the decline in flash memory chips in 1Q19. It may resume in 4Q19. The Japan’s decision may help the companies to review their long-term production plan by clearing the inventory.  Among the materials sanctioned by Japan is fluoropolyimide, which is a key raw material for the manufacture of CPI film materials. The latter can be used for foldable display, but they are not exclusively produced by Japanese vendors, such as America DuPont. There are also companies such as Kolon Industries, SK Innovation and SKC that produce CPI materials. (Korea Joongang Daily, Asia Nikkei, CN Beta)

Sony is reportedly working on a new folding phone with a “Nautilus Design”. The specs include Qualcomm Snapdragon 7250, using LG Display (LGD) display, camera supports 10x zoom, 3220mAh battery. The retail models may feature an updated Snapdragon 855 platform and Qualcomm X50 Modem. (CN Beta, Phone Arena, MS Poweruser)

Camera

Huawei has filed patents for the user interface and how the area over the under display camera will be used. The patents show a camera lens in the top left corner of the screen, and while the lens seems somewhat visible in some of the images, in one there is a phone icon directly on top of it, showing that usable screen above the lens. (CN Beta, Pocket Now, GSM Arena, TechRadar)

Battery

NEDO, Sharp, and Toyota Motor plan to commence public road trials from late July 2019. The trials aim to assess the effectiveness of improvements in cruising range and fuel efficiency of electrified vehicles equipped with high-efficiency solar batteries. (CN Beta, Toyota, Bloomberg)

BMW will launch a test fleet of fuel-cell X5 SUVs in the early 2020s, followed by a volume-production model, co-developed with Toyota, in 2025. The hydrogen fuel-cell X5 will likely function as a sort of beta test vehicle, giving BMW real world data on fuel cell technology. (CN Beta, Times Live, Digital Trends, Forbes)

Connectivity

Reliance Jio has announced a literacy program called “Digital Udaan” for first-time internet users in India. The 2.5 year-old telecom network, which has amassed more than 300M subscribers, has said it has partnered with Facebook to create “the largest ever digital literacy program” that will offer audio-visual training in 10 regional languages. (TechCrunch, Economic Times, Economic Times, News18)

Vodafone has launched the service today in 7 UK cities, including Glasgow, London, Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham, Cardiff, and Bristol, but it plans to expand to 27 cities across Europe before the end of 2019. (CN Beta, Neowin, Vodafone)

China-based handset brands including Xiaomi, OPPO and vivo are likely to launch their respective 5G-enabled smartphones in 3Q19 with a price tag of over CNY5,000 (USD727). China Mobile vice president Huidi Li as saying that 5G smartphones will focus on the CNY3,000 segment in most of 2020 before reaching the CNY1,000-2,000 segment at the end of 2019. (Sina, Digitimes, press)

Phone

According to SensorTower, the world’s App Store and Google Play users generated a combined USD39.7B in spending on mobile apps and games during 1H19. Consumers spent an estimated USD25.5B globally on Apple’s App Store during 1H19, an increase of 13.2% year-over-year from USD22.6B in 1Q18 and 2Q18. The amount generated by Apple’s platform was about 80% greater than Google Play’s estimated gross revenue of USD14.2B for 1H19. That was up 19.6% Y/Y from first half 2018’s total of USD11.8B. (CN Beta, SensorTower, blog)

Apple Korea, the South Korean unit of Apple, has proposed consent decree to the Korean antitrust authority by offering remedial actions on claims about dumping advertisement and marketing costs onto local mobile carriers. (Apple Insider, Pulse News, SinaInpai)

Qihoo 360 has clarified that the mobile phone business has not been completely suspended but that it has only slowed down, apparently referring to products cycle. The company has also hinted that the mobile phones team is still struggling to find 5G opportunities. The company is also shifting focus to its IoT business as part of the 360 Group’s big security strategy. (Gizmo China, IT Home)

PC / Tablet

Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.0 (2019) is announced – 8” WXGA 1280×800 16:10 TFT LCD, Qualcomm Snapdragon 429, rear 8MP + front 2MP, 2+32GB, Android 9.0, micro USB, dual speaker, 5100mAh. (GSM Arena, Samsung)

Automotive

BMW and Mercedes have announced that they are developing Level 4 self-driving cars that can handle freeway driving chores without human intervention, though a driver will still need to be at the wheel. Such vehicles will include driver assist and automated parking systems and go on sale to the public by 2024. (Engadget, BMW, Daimler)

General Motor (GM) self-driving company Cruise Automation has confirmed that the Committee on Foreign Investment in the US (CFIUS) had approved SoftBank’s USD2.25B investment in the driverless tech company. (Engadget, Reuters, Sina)

Robotics

DJI Technology plans to use a company warehouse in California to assemble them, a move that follows security concerns raised by some U.S. lawmakers. The company is also introducing DJI Government Edition, a new comprehensive drone solution created specifically for use in high-security situations by government agencies around the world. (Gizmo China, My Drivers, TechCrunch, Reuters, DJI, DJI)

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