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07-27: DOJ has approved T-Mobile US and Sprint for their proposed USD26B merger; SoftBank has announced the launch of its Vision Fund 2; etc.

Chipsets

Huawei is expected to have 60% of its phones powered by HiSilicon’s APs in 2H19, compared with 45% in 1H19 and less than 40% in 2H18, according to Digitimes. This means that over 150M Huawei handsets will adopt Kirin mobile SoCs rolled out by its chipmaking arm HiSilicon, based on the total shipments of 270M units projected for 2019. (Digitimes, press, GizChina)

Huawei consumer business CEO Richard Yu has revealed that, Huawei’s “smart display / screen” products would be powered by Kirin AI chipset, Gigahome Wi-Fi chipset and Honghu smart display chipset. The first smart screen would be powered by HiSilicion Honghu 818 smart chipset, supporting top-notch display technology, 8K@30fps, 4K@120fps, and equipped with Histen high quality audio quality. (CN Beta, Sohu, iFeng)

According to Credit Suisse, the downstream chain is citing the prolonged inventory depletion and a stretched out product replacement cycle ahead of the 5G ramp dampening the business. With growing possibility of tech supply chain revising down 2H19 recovery and full-year outlook into the results season, Credit Suisse has lowered their expectation for foundries from -1% YoY to -4% YoY in 2019 to reflect more modest 12” recovery and relatively lower 8” utilization. The back-end industry will also see a mild 2% decline in 2019 as soft memory packaging demand offsets modest growth in logic and SiP. (Credit Suisse report)

Credit Suisse believes the semis high inventory levels is due to disappointing sales across major tech end markets (servers, smartphones, automotive, graphics, TVs) and some buffer was built up ahead of the trade war. The overall inventory picture will likely continue to be a headwind for the tech supply chain into 2H19, with the downstream supply chain at 43 days vs 33-44 day range, total tech at 49 days vs 35-49 day range (both Taiwan and China tech chain above normal), fabless at 95 days vs 50-95 day range and total semis at 99 days vs 70-99 day post crisis range. (Credit Suisse report)

Credit Suisse believes foundries and memory makers are gradually regaining bargaining power over raw wafer suppliers during the industry demand slowdown while supply is more sufficient following the expansion the past 2 years. TSMC noted the contract price it signed for 2018-19 is still lower than the current spot price and is honoring its signed agreements. However, the company will try to negotiate lower pricing as some contracts end in 2019. (Credit Suisse report)

According to Southwest Securities, among the components of the RF front-end, the filter accounts for about 50% (SAW accounts for 35%, BAW accounts for 15%), power amplifiers account for about 30%, and switches and low-noise amplifiers account for about 20%. The RF market is monopolized by Japanese and American vendors, with high market concentration. (SouthWest Securites report)

According to QYR Electronics Research Center, the global RF switching market has experienced sustained rapid growth since 2011, with a global market size of USD1.65B in 2018. It is predicted that the scale of the RF switch market will reach USD2.29B in 2020, and with the peak of the growth of 5G commercialization, the growth rate will gradually slow down thereafter. (SouthWest Securites report)

There are two types of communication chips, one is a general-purpose communication chip, which is used to implement V2N functions, and can be an ordinary 4G/5G communication chip. Currently, the networking scale of the Internet of Vehicles is at a relatively early stage, and the chips mainly use ordinary 4G LTE chips. The 5G chip is currently being tested and trial commercial, and CICC has expected to enter maturity by 2020. The 5G-based baseband chip may be used for the application of the Internet of Vehicles V2N. The other type is a dedicated C-V2X chip. Huawei, Datang Mobile, Qualcomm and Samsung all have GSM-V2X chip plans. (CICC report)

Touch Display

Adobe has created an experimental display prototype that blends digital and physical worlds, Project Glasswing. It features a transparent display that lets users tweak a screen’s opacity to reveal objects on the other side. They can also interact with or reposition images and videos on the screen, which can be layered over the objects. (CN Beta, Adobe, Axios, CNET)

Connectivity

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has approved T-Mobile US and Sprint for their proposed USD26B merger. The deal, which would combine the nation’s third and fourth largest carriers (by subscriber number) has been green lit on the condition that Sprint sell its prepaid assets (including Boost Mobile) to Dish Network. (TechCrunch, Pocket-Lint, VentureBeat)

Since 2014-2015, Tesla has driven the trend of cars connecting to 3G/4G networks. As an option for car multimedia distribution, V2N connection has become a selling point for car sales. The number of models equipped with 4G LTE T-Box networking function is increasing; and 4G-based rear-mounted products such as rearview mirrors are also supported by many manufacturers. The V2N market is growing rapidly. IHS Markit believes that the number of pre-installed network modules in the world is only 10M units in 2015, reaching 148M in 2022, corresponding to 44% of CAGR. (CICC report)

Phone

According to Counterpoint Research, the smartphone shipments in India grew to 37M units, single-digit annually during 2Q19 setting a second-quarter shipment record. Xiaomi captured the top spot in 2Q19 with a 28% share. Its shipments grew 6% YoY driven by portfolio expansion and aggressive offline expansion in the budget segment. (GSM Arena, Counterpoint Research, press)

Facebook-owned WhatsApp has announced that the instant messaging service had reached the 400M monthly active users (MAU) milestone in the country. Back in 2017, WhatsApp has reached 200M users in India. (TechCrunch, India Times, First Post, Tencent)

Flextronics has received USD2.5B worth of Huawei orders each year. However, at the inception of the US ban, Flextronics immediately complied. It has stopped all cooperation with Huawei in all factories around the world. In addition, it did not continue production and rejected all shipments from Huawei. It has refused to return Huawei-owned equipment and materials. Among the Huawei materials Flextronics was withholding, the Zhuhai plant has about CNY400M (USD58M) worth of Huawei materials and equipment. Its foreign factories were holding CNY300M (USD43M). Until mid-Jun 2019, Flextronics did not release Huawei’s equipment. (My Drivers, GizChina)

Huawei has officially announced that nova 5/5i series sales in China have exceeded 2M units within 1 month after its launch. The nova 5 series (nova 5, nova 5 Pro and nova 5i) are launched on 21 Jun 2019. (My Drivers, ZOL)

According to He Gang, head of Huawei’s mobile division, claims Huawei has priced its new 5G phone aggressively to ensure better 5G adoption among consumers. He claims that for first generation 5G smartphones, companies should be focusing less on profits and more towards getting the devices into the hands of actual consumers. (Gizmo China, My Drivers)

Huawei nova 5i Pro is announced – 6.26” 1080×2340 FHD+ HID IPS, HiSilicon Kirin 810, rear quad 48MP-8MP ultrawide-2MP macro-2MP depth + front 32MP, 6+128GB or 8+128/256GB, Android 9.0, rear fingerprint scanner, 4000mAh 22.5W fast charging, from CNY2,199. (Gizmo China, Huawei, GSM Arena)

Huawei Mate 20 X 5G is announced in China – 7.2” 1080×2244 FHD+ OLED, HiSilicon Kirin 980, rear tri 40MP-8MP telephoto-20MP ultrawide + front 24MP, 8+256GB, Android 9.0, rear fingerprint scanner, 4200mAh 40W fast charging, CNY6,199. (Gizmo China, Huawei, CN Beta, GSM Arena)

Augmented / Virtual Reality

According to Goldman Sachs, VR/AR technology can be applied to 9 major areas: video games, live events, video entertainment, healthcare, real estate, retail, education, engineering and military, and it has made predictions on these 9 segments from the aspects of users and software revenues. (CMC Securities report)

Artificial Intelligence

SoftBank has announced the launch of its Vision Fund 2 with the help of Apple, Microsoft, Foxconn and several financial institutions. SoftBank is planning to invest north of USD38B while the combined first-round of funding from its partners is expected to reach USD108B. (GSM Arena, SoftBank, Apple Insider, CN Beta, 36Kr)

Waymo does a lot of training in order to refine and improve the artificial intelligence (AI) that powers its self-driving software. Recently, it teamed up with fellow Alphabet company and AI specialist DeepMind to develop new training methods that would help make its training better and more efficient. (VentureBeat, DeepMind, CN Beta, TechCrunch)

Payment

Cyber threat intelligence (CTI) organization Sixgills has revealed that, in the first 6 months of 2019, over 23M stolen credit cards were on sale on the dark web. Nearly 2 out of every 3 stolen cards, more than 15M, were issued in the U.S. (Neowin, ZDNet, Sixgills, report, 199IT)

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