5-21 #WelcomeHome: HiSilicon is releasing its XR chip platform; Samsung is allegedly going to use BOE’s OLEDs for the company’s next generation Galaxy S; Samsung is going to bring OIS to the new Galaxy A that it releases in 2H20; etc.

Chipsets

In 2019, Microsoft invested USD1B in OpenAI, a company focuses on the development of human-friendly artificial intelligence. Now, Microsoft has announced that it has developed an Azure-hosted supercomputer built expressly for testing OpenAI’s large-scale AI models. The OpenAI supercomputer is powered by 285,000 CPU cores and 10,000 GPUs (each of which are also united by speedy 400 gigabit per second connections). (Engadget, TechCrunch, Microsoft, CN Beta)

HiSilicon is releasing its XR chip platform, the first XR chip with 8K decoding capability and GPU and NPU integration. The first AR glasses based on this platform are the Rokid Vision. HiSilicon says the XR chip platform supports 8K hard decoding capability up to 42.7PPD for a single eye. Rokid has also officially announced its addition to HiSilicon’s XR chip platform.  (TechPost, Sina, CN Beta)

Zhao Ming, President of Honor’s Business unit, revealed that the company will now be looking towards MediaTek’s 5G processors for its upcoming and future smartphone launches. He believes that 5G networking is the next step towards a new generation of smartphones and that MediaTek with its affordable lineup has helped in bringing the barrier of entry lower than ever before.  (Gizmo China, CNMO)

Touch Display

Samsung is allegedly going to use BOE’s OLEDs for the company’s next generation Galaxy S smartphones. Samsung has sent an official request for quotation to BOE. A quotation request has been sent for 120Hz and 60Hz panels to Samsung Display as well. (Phone Arena, Sam Mobile, The Elec)

According to TrendForce, the manufacturing cost of Mini LED backlight displays is currently higher than that of traditional LCD and OLED displays. However, as manufacturers continue to make improvements in process technology and yield rate, the cost of Mini LED backlight displays is expected to undergo 15-20% YoY decreases and to potentially be lower than the cost of OLED displays by 2022, making Mini LED a cost-competitive option in the market. Not only will Apple integrate Mini LED backlight technology into its product lineups other than the iPad Pro, but other leading brands will also adopt Mini LED for their own products. (CN Beta, TrendForce, TrendForce, press)

Samsung Display has indicated that it has temporarily suspended construction at an industrial complex in South Korea amid market uncertainty caused by the novel coronavirus. The company has said that despite the holdup, its original plan to invest some KRW13T (USD10.5B) into its quantum dot display sector has not changed. (CN Beta, Sam Mobile, Korea Herald, YNA)

Samsung is working on 3 types of protective solutions for foldable screens: polyimide film, polyimide film + UTG, and UTG. Its film materials lab has filed a patent for polyimide film with the title ‘Poly (Imid-amide) copolymer’ with the Japan Patent Office (JPO). The material could be used on foldable phone screens, substrates for touchscreen panels, optical discs, and various other protective solutions. (CN Beta, Sam Mobile, Tech Radar)

Camera

Samsung is going to bring Optical Image Stabilization (OIS) to the new Galaxy A phones that it releases in 2H20. This functionality has so far been limited to Samsung’s flagship smartphones only. (Phone Arena, Sam Mobile, SISA Journal)

Sony is recently granted a utility patent for a “portable electronic device” by the World Intellectual Property Office (WIPO). The patented Sony smartphone has a pop-up system that covers the entire width of the phone. The retractable part not only houses the selfie camera, but also the ear-piece which will likely double as a front-firing speaker. Sony has fitted a similar mechanism at the bottom of the phone as well. This pop-down part also houses a second front-firing speaker.  (Phone Arena, LetsGoDigital, Android Headlines, ZOL, Sina)

Battery

Panasonic is restarting production at Tesla’s Buffalo, New York solar panel factory after some businesses in the Western New York region have been given the green light to reopen. (The Verge, CN Beta)

Connectivity

Verizon is finally switching uploads from 4G to 5G in its 34 5G cities (with a 35th one coming soon), as well as for Chicago-based 5G Home subscribers. Comcast says uploads have increased by 33% while downloads have only increased by 13% compared to a 1 Mar baseline.  (CN Beta, The Verge, Fierce Wireless, PC Mag)

Phone

Google’s (and Alphabet’s) CEO Sundar Pichai discusses the Google Pixel hardware philosophies, the difficulties the company faces, and what the future holds for the Pixel division. He sums it up best when he says very matter-of-factly, “hardware is hard”. There are the 3 things he thinks are integral when it comes to Google Pixel hardware: driving computing forward, guiding the Google ecosystem, and sustainability.  (Android Authority, The Verge, Android Central, The Verge)

Apple iPhone continues to rank highest when it comes to customer satisfaction, according to new data shared today by the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI). Apple held its top spot with a customer satisfaction rating of 82 out of 100, up 1% from 81 in 2019. Apple has just edged out Samsung, which earned an overall customer satisfaction rating of 81. According to ACSI, iPhone owners are more satisfied with battery life than in 2019. (CN Beta, ACSI, report, Mac Rumors)

Yan Meng, director and deputy general manager of Transsion Holdings, has revealed that the company’s R&D investment in 2019 totaled more than CNY800M. The company has added 164 authorized patents in 2019. Zhu Zhaojiang, chairman and general manager, has said that the demographic dividend in the African mobile phone market is still there, and market demand is growing broadly.  (Laoyaoba, EE World)

Honor’s President George Zhao has announced that the Honor X-series of smartphones has surpassed the 80M shipments milestone. The first member of the series dates back to 2013 with the Honor 3X G750. (Weibo, GSM Arena, GizChina, Sina, My Drivers)

Honor President Zhao Ming predicts that 5G mobile phones of CNY1500-1600 will appear one after another in 2020, but the most important thing is not to simply lower the price, but to find the best balance solution.  (My Drivers, JRJ, Sohu)

Honor X10 5G is announced in China – 6.63” 1080×2400 FHD+ 90Hz IPS, HiSilicon Kirin 820 5G, rear tri 40MP-8MP ultrawide-2MP depth + front motorized pop-up 16MP, 6+64 / 6+128 / 8+128GB, Android 10.0 (HMS), side fingerprint scanner, 4300mAh 22.5W, reverse charging 5W, CNY1,899 (USD267) / CNY2,199 (USD309) / CNY2,399 (USD337).  (GSM Arena, Gizmo China, GizChina, Android Authority)

LG Stylo 6 is official with Boost Mobile – 6.8” 1080×2460 FHD+ IPS u-notch, MediaTek Helio P35 MT6765, rear tri 13MP-5MP ultrawide-5MP depth + front 13MP, 3+64GB, Android 10.0, rear fingerprint scanner, 4000mAh, USD180. (GSM Arena, Neowin, Boost Mobile, LG)

LG Q61 is announced in South Korea – 6.53” 1080×2340 FHD+ IPS HiD, MediaTek Helio P35 MT6765, rear quad 64MP-8MP ultrawide-2MP macro-2MP depth + front 16MP, 4+64GB, Android 10.0, rear fingerprint scanner, 4000mAh, KRW369,000 (USD300).  (GSM Arena, LG, Gizmo China)

Wearables

According to TF Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple could be looking to remove the wired EarPods from the upcoming iPhone 12 retail package, which is believed will lead to a boost of the AirPods’ sales. Overall, he predicts shipments to grow from his original estimate of 80M-90M pairs to 93.8M pairs.  (TF Securities, GSM Arena, Mac Rumors, CN Beta)

Home

LG Electronics has indicated that that it would expand its overseas television (TV) production lines by relocating two of its manufacturing plants in Indonesia from South Korea. The company confirmed that it would also reduce its domestic production to boost its efficiency worldwide amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (CN Beta, Korea Tech Today, The Elec)

E-Commerce

Microsoft has announced a major partnership with FedEx to improve the end-to-end commerce experience globally. FedEx will be working with Microsoft to introduce new offerings based on Azure and Dynamics 365 that will use data and analytics solutions to “reinvent the most critical aspects of the commerce experience”. (Neowin, Microsoft, CN Beta)

Shopify has announced finance, shipping, and retail updates for its direct-to-consumer commerce platform. The company has unveiled a business account and debit card called Shopify Balance, a “Buy Now, Pay Later” option called Shop Pay Installments, and a new Local Delivery product. Shopify has also announced its AI-powered fulfillment network is now actively accepting merchant applications. (TechCrunch, Betakit, VentureBeat, Shopify)

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