2-1 Pray for them at the frontline: Samsung to purchase 20 EUV equipment from ASML; Motorola has announced that its Moto G series has just reached 100M units sold; etc.

Chipsets

A federal jury has found Apple and Broadcom in infringement of patents owned by California Institute of Technology, awarding the university USD1.1B to be paid by the two tech companies. (Apple Insider, Law360, Sina)

Samsung Electronics has signed a contract with semiconductor equipment supplier ASML to purchase about 20 EUV lithography equipment for USD3.38B, which is higher than Samsung’s plan in Oct 2019. Previously, Samsung Electronics planned to invest KRW133T to upgrade the semiconductor business by 2030. (CN Beta, Business Korea, Semi Media)

Touch Display

Alibaba has developed a new design for a foldable smartphone and has also filed for its patent. It has a clamshell design, which can be folded twice. It also has a secondary display on the upper part of the back panel which covers about one-third of the total area. (Gizmo China, LetsGoDigital, GizChina)

Samsung has filed a patent with USPTO titled “Portable terminal and icon arranging method”, which shows a very unique design for a Samsung phone with a rounded display on both ends. The patent application suggests three display parts have been used — one main screen and two sub-displays on the top and bottom. (Android Authority, LetsGoDigital, CN Beta)

Samsung Electronics has submitted the “UTG” trademark to the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO). The blue change on G indicates a collapsible display. (GSM Arena, LetsGoDigital, Union Journal, Small Tech News)

Japan Display Inc (JDI) has agreed a deal to receive up to JPY100.8B (USD918.87M) from Ichigo Asset Management. However, JDI denies closure the funding deal with Ichigo. (CN Beta, Asia Nikkei, Telecom Paper)

Camera

Samsung has filed a new trademark “Super ISO” with the U.K. Intellectual Property Office (IPO). This filing suggests that the company might be planning to use the term for the high ISO range on its upcoming flagships. ISO sensitivity refers to the sensitivity of an image sensor towards the light. (Android Central, GSM Arena, Neowin, LetsGoDigital)

Memory

Western Digital (WD) has shipped 29.2M HDD disk drives in 4Q19, slightly less than the year-ago 30.2M, but disk revenues of USD2.4B were higher than the USD2.1B recorded. That is because HDD capacity shipped at about 119EB was up 56% YoY. The average price has increased from USD67 to USD81. (CN Beta, Blocks and Files, NASDAQ)

Western Digital (WDC) and Kioxia have announced their BiCS5, which uses 112 layers compared to 96 for BiCS4. BiCS5 is the second generation from WDC / Kioxia to be constructed with string stacking, and is probably built as two stacks of about 56 active layers each. The density of the memory array itself is said to be about 20% higher. The memory interface speed has been increased by 50%, which should put it at 1.2GT/s, on par with most of the 96L competitors. (AnandTech, CN Beta, AnandTech)

Sensory

Skyle is the world’s first eye tracker for Apple’s iPad Pro and is perfect for people with complex access and communication needs. Combining two leading learning tools, iPad and Eye Gaze, ensures this is the most flexible AAC device on the market. (CN Beta, New Atlas, PR Newswire)

Connectivity

After the UK approved the use of Huawei’s equipment in its market, the EU has followed suit to allow the Chinese telecommunications manufacturer to help build its 5G network. This decision comes with a set of guidelines for its member nations called the toolbox. EU nations will have to implement the guidelines mentioned in this toolbox by 20 Apr 2020. (Gizmo China, Europa, rfi)

Orange has chosen Nokia and Ericsson to deploy 5G networks in the French market. This is decision is also conditioned by Huawei’s equipment security reviews in Europe. The company is expected to launch a commercial 5G service in France in 2020. (GizChina, Orange, Laoyaoba)

Phone

Google is reportedly working on a mobile application for businesses that brings together the functions of several standalone apps the company already offers, including Gmail and its online storage service Drive.  (Android Authority, Android Headlines, The Information)

Motorola has announced that its Moto G series has just reached 100M units sold. The first Moto G is introduced in 2013. (Android Central, Phone Arena, XDA-Developers, Motorola)

According to the latest research from Strategy Analytics, global 5G smartphone shipments reached 19M units in 2019. Demand is much higher than expected. Huawei holds first position with 37% global 5G smartphone market share, followed by Samsung in second place at 36%. (Strategy Analytics, press, GizChina)

According to Strategy Analytics, global smartphone shipments held steady at zero growth to reach 375M units in 4Q19. Apple has grabbed first position with 19% global smartphone market share, Samsung has claimed second position, while Huawei dipped to 15% share in third place. Full-year smartphone shipments totaled 1.4B units in 2019. (Strategy Analytics, press)

According to Canalys, global smartphone shipments has grown 1% in 4Q19, the second consecutive quarter of growth, as the market hit 369M units. Apple led the market, exploiting strong demand for iPhone 11 models to increase 9% to 78M units. In 2019 the worldwide smartphone market fell by 2% to 1.37B units, compared to 2018. This is despite global market growth in 3Q19 / 4Q19. (Canalys, press, Laoyaoba)

According to Canalys, China’s smartphone market declined 15% to 85.3M units in 4Q19, as device fatigue hit consumers. It marks the 11th consecutive quarterly decline, and the market’s lowest level since 1Q13. For the 2019 full year, China’s market closed at 369M units, down 7% year-on-year. The market significantly underperformed in a traditionally high season of smartphone sales, given a drastic slowdown of 4G smartphone purchases coupled with weaker demand than major vendors’ anticipated for 5G smartphones. Meanwhile, distribution channels started to clear 4G inventory in anticipation for 5G uptake in 2020. (Canalys, press)

PC Tablets

According to IDC, the worldwide tablet market has declined 0.6% year over year during 4Q19 as global shipments has fallen to 43.5M units. For the full year 2019, the tablet market shrank 1.5% year over year as global shipments totaled 144M units. (IDC, press, GizChina)

Augmented / Virtual Reality

NASA is using virtual reality (VR) technology are redefining the understanding about how the galaxy works. Using a customized, 3D VR simulation that animated the speed and direction of 4M stars in the local Milky Way neighborhood, astronomer Marc Kuchner and researcher Susan Higashio obtained a new perspective on the stars’ motions, improving understanding of star groupings. (CN Beta, TechCrunch, Yahoo, Engadget, NASA)

AR / VR startup Spatial has announced that it has raised USD14M in Series A funding, bringing the total amount raised to date up to USD22M. Spatial is a cross-device, multi-user VR and AR communication platform.  (TechCrunch, Upload VR, ENN Weekly)

Artificial Intelligence

Alibaba Cloud has announced that during the pneumonia epidemic in Wuhan, its AI computing power will be available to public research institutions around the world for free to accelerate the development of new pneumonia drugs and vaccines. (CN Beta, CN Techpost, Small Tech News)

Microsoft is starting a USD40M AI for Health program to help researchers and key organizations improve the quality of life for people around the planet. The 5-year initiative will use artificial intelligence (AI) to improve diagnosis, prevention and treatment. (Engadget, Microsoft, TechCrunch, CN Beta)

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