12-17 #Release : Qualcomm has announced Snapdragon 678 Mobile Platform; vivo and ZEISS have announced a long-term strategic partnership; Samsung confirms to release the Galaxy Note series in 2021; etc.

Working with Qualcomm, Google is now making it feasible for Android devices to get 4 OS versions and years of security updates. In 2017, Google re-architected Android to be more modular, thus allowing updates to be easier and faster to implement. With Project Treble, OEMs can just update the OS framework without having to alter the vendor implementation (device-specific, low-level software). (CN Beta, 9to5Google, Google)

Qualcomm has unveiled QCC305x chipsets that bring premium features to lower-priced true wireless earbuds. The new quad-core hardware enables hands-free voice control, adaptive noise cancelling, and enhanced aptX support with 96kHz audio and aptX voice for calls. Qualcomm will also be one of the first to enable the Bluetooth LE Audio spec, switching on features like audio sharing. (Android Authority, Sina, Qualcomm, IT Home)

Qualcomm has announced Snapdragon 678 Mobile Platform, a follow-on to the Snapdragon 675. It is built on the 11nm LLP process and is quite similar to its predecessor with the only change being the overclocked Cortex A76 cores working at up to 2.2GHz. (GSM Arena, Qualcomm)

Samsung Electronics plans to introduce 4 foldable smartphone models that include 2 “fold-type” smartphones that can be opened side to side and 2 “flip-type” smartphones that can be opened up and down. All of these smartphones will be released in 2H21.  (CN Beta, GSM Arena, ET News)

Apple has reportedly decided to use OLED panels for its iPads as well. It is reported that Apple made requests to Samsung Display and Samsung Display in order to apply OLEDs to iPads that will be released starting from 2022. Apple has decided to use OLED panels for its iPads as well. It was reported that Apple made requests to Samsung Display and Samsung Display in order to apply OLEDs to iPads that will be released starting from 2022. Samsung Display and LG Display call such panel as “UT (Ultra Thin)” panel and “ATO (Advanced Thin OLED)” respectively. (CN Beta, iPhone Mania, ET News)

vivo has announced that it is partnering with known optoelectronics brand Carl Zeiss. The collaboration would have the smartphone maker include the latter’s renowned lens technology for its smartphones’ cameras. (Gizmo China, Sina, Sohu, My Drivers)

vivo and ZEISS have announced a long-term strategic partnership to jointly promote and develop breakthrough innovations in mobile imaging technology. The first “vivo ZEISS co-engineered imaging system” will be featured in the vivo X60 series. (GSM Arena, vivo, China News, IT Home)

SK Hynix has announced its 176-layer NAND flash chips. The 176-layer NAND flash chips offer an improved read speed of cell by adopting a 2-division cell array selection technology. The 176-layer NAND flash chips increase the data transfer by 33% by adopting speed-up technology without increasing the number of processes. (CN Beta, AnandTech, WCCFTech, SK Hynix)

Intel is announcing updates to most of their SSD product lines. Their products based on 3D NAND are being updated to use Intel’s 144-layer QLC and TLC NAND. In 2016, Intel launched the first generation of 32-layer stacked TLC flash memory, which doubled to 64 layers the following year and evolved into TLC particles. The storage density increased by 133%. In 2019, it came to 96 layers, and the storage density increased by about 50%. Today’s 144 layers once again increase the storage density by about 50%. (CN Beta, Forbes, Intel, AnandTech)

In a new survey, Huawei asks consumers if they think it is necessary that a wireless headset box includes a Type-C Charging cable. One of the questions is about the price range at which it would be acceptable for wireless headsets to ship without a free charging cable. The company also asks if the omission of the Type-C charging cable would affect purchase decisions. This might be indicative of the company’s plans to soon remove the charging cable from future products. (Phone Arena, IT Home, Gizmo China)

Contemporary Amperex Technology (CATL) plans to build a USD5B lithium battery factory in Indonesia. Indonesia’s deputy minister at the coordinating ministry of maritime and investment affairs Septian Hario Seto has revealed that the plant will start production in 2024. CATL has signed an agreement with Indonesian state miner PT Aneka Tambang requiring CATL to ensure 60% of nickel be processed into batteries in Indonesia. (CN Beta, Reuters, SCMP, Caixing Global)

Apple is investigating whether the riot is caused by its iPhone assembler Wistron breaking guidelines over staff pay and working conditions. Following the riot at Wistron’s plant near Narasapura, India, Apple has announced that it is probing whether the supplier broke its guidelines for the iPhone assembler. (Apple Insider, Reuters, Sina, IT Home)

Honor’s CEO Zhao Ming states that the company will become the No.1 mobile phone brand soon in China. Additionally, the company also plans a huge sales target in 2021. The company reportedly plans to ship more than 100M units in 2021. (Gizmo China, My Drivers)

Samsung has officially confirmed that the company is preparing to release the Galaxy Note series in 2021. Samsung mobile chief TM Roh has also revealed that the company was bringing some of the Galaxy Note line’s “most well-loved features” to other devices in its portfolio. (Yonhap News, Android Authority)

HMD Global, the Finnish company that is making and selling smartphones under the Nokia brand, has now launched its own online store in the United States, enabling the brand to sell its devices directly to the customers. (Gizmo China, Phone Arena, Nokia Mob, Nokia)

Nokia C1 Plus is official in Europe – 5.45” 720×1440 HD+ 18:9, quad-core 1.4GHz, rear 5MP + front 5MP, 1+16GB, Android 10.0 Go Edition, no fingerprint, 2500mAh 5W, EUR69. (CN Beta, GSM Arena, HMD Global)

vivo X50e 5G launched in Singapore – 6.44” 1080×2400 FHD+ AMOLED u-notch, Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G, rear quad 48MP-8MP ultrawide-2MP macro-13MP 2x telephoto + front 32MP, 8+128GB, Android 10.0, fingerprint on display, 4350mAh 33W, SGD449 (USD333). (Gizmo China, Playful Droid)

vivo Y30 Standard Edition is launched in China – 6.51” 720×1600 HD+ v-notch, MediaTek Helio P35, rear dual 13MP-2MP depth + front 8MP, 6+128GB, Android 10.0, side fingerprint, 5000mAh 10W, micro-USB, CNY1,398 (USD215). (GSM Arena, vivo)

Redmi 9 Power is official in India – 6.53” 1080×2340 FHD+ u-notch, Qualcomm Snapdragon 662, rear quad 48MP-8MP ultrawide-2MP macro-2MP depth + front 8MP, 4+64 / 4+128GB, Android 10.0, 6000mAh 18W, 2.5W reverse charging, side fingerprint, INR10,999 (USD150) / INR11,999 (USD164). (Android Central, GSM Arena, Mi.com)

Apple has confirmed that it is working on releasing an AirPods Pro ‘Lite’ version to be launched in 1H21. This new variant without its popular active noise cancelling feature and is expected to launch at a lower price tag. The company is developing a system-in-package (SiP) product containing ‘H1’, an AirPod audio driver chip, through a domestic materials partner. (Apple Insider, CN Beta, 9to5Mac, Gizmo China, The Elec)

Lyft and Motional will launch a multi-city U.S. robotaxi service in 2023. The driverless vehicles will be provided by Motional, a joint venture between Korean automaker Hyundai Motor Co and auto supplier Aptiv Plc, and will be based on a Hyundai platform. The vehicles will be deployed in Lyft’s ride-sharing network in the United States. (CN Beta, TechCrunch, Lyft, Reuters)

EHang, the world’s leading autonomous aerial vehicle (AAV) technology platform company achieved a significant milestone on the path to offering Urban Air Mobility (UAM) services worldwide. The Civil Aviation Authority of Austria has issued a trial flight permit for the EH216 passenger-grade AAV. The permit allows trial operation of full unmanned flights in Austrian national airspace. This is the first flight permit for EHang’s passenger-grade AAVs within the European Union. (CN Beta, New Atlas, Caixin Global, Globe Newswire)

GoDaddy has signed a pact to acquire California-based payments processor Poynt in a USD365M deal which includes USD320M in cash at closing and USD45M in deferred cash payments subject to certain performance and employment conditions over 3 years. (CN Beta, ZDNet, PYMNTS, Business Standard)

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