2-24 #Snapoutofit : OPPO has announced ‘Wireless Air Charging’ (WAC) and ‘The Flash Initiative’; ZTE has revealed second-generation under-display selfie camera technology; Samsung has announced ISOCELL GN2; etc.

Qualcomm has showcased its new reference design headset for AR development based on its Snapdragon XR1 chipsets. Built in partnership with partner Goertek, the new reference headset packs a pair of 1080p micro-OLED displays that support frame rates up to 90Hz, along with an 8MP camera with image stabilization and two monochrome cameras for head and hand tracking. (CN Beta, Engadget, Sina, Hexun, Qualcomm)

Qualcomm and Lofelt have now partnered with the express aim to “bring advanced haptics to the Android ecosystem”. Lofelt and Qualcomm will deliver a universal haptic software framework that runs natively on the Qualcomm Snapdragon Mobile Platform to enhance Android phones with next-generation haptics for mobile gaming and other immersive experiences. (Engadget, Lofelt, The Verge, 9to5Google)

BOE is said to be working with touch panel supplier GIS to develop OLED panels for Apple’s next iPhone. BOE’s OLED technology is “closer to that of major South Korea manufacturers” now.” In 2020, Samsung ended up supplying the majority of the OLED orders for the iPhone 12 Pro lineup. (UDN, Apple Insider)

LG may scrap a plan to develop a smartphone with a rollable display, amid growing speculation that the company will sell its mobile division or shut it down. LG reportedly told its parts suppliers, including BOE, to put the rollable smartphone development project on hold. (GSM Arena, Yonhap News, Gizmo China, Chosun)

Samsung Display is reportedly currently developing in-folding foldable OLED panels to supply to OPPO, Xiaomi and Google. (Android Authority, The Elec, Sam Mobile)

TCL has showcased 10.1” tri-fold display, which can be folded in half and closed like a book. The bottom quarter of the device works as a keyboard or input area while using the device like a laptop. (Liliputing, Twitter)

Apple is reportedly developing a 7” foldable iPhone, which supports Apple Pencil. It is rumored to launch in 2H22 or 1H23. The device will pack a 7.3”-7.6” foldable display, close to the size of iPad mini. Apple may replace iPad mini with this foldable iPhone.  (GizChina, GSM Arena, My Drivers)

Ennostar to start production of miniLED BLUs soon reportedly for Apple. Ennostar will kick off production of miniLED backlight units (BLU) at the end of 1Q21 or 2Q21, according to Digitimes. (GSM Arena, Digitimes, Digitimes, 9to5Mac, Sohu)

Samsung Display’s CEO Choi Joo-sun is aiming to further embolden the company’s environmental, social and governance (ESG)involvement beginning 2021. The company has joined the Responsible Business Alliance (RBA), which is an international industry coalition that holds its members accountable to a code of conduct that aspires for a higher level of corporate ethics. More than 160 global companies are its members, including Samsung Electronics, Apple and Intel. (Gizmo China, Korea Herald, IT Home)

Samsung has announced a successor to the ISOCELL GN1, called the ISOCELL GN2. This is a 50MP sensor as well, but it offers a larger sensor size (1/1.12”) and bigger pixels (1.4µ) than its predecessor. The Isocell GN2 is also capable of using four-in-one pixel-binning to deliver pictures roughly comparable to a 12.5MP 2.8µ pixel camera (Android Authority, CN Beta, Samsung)

ZTE has revealed second-generation under-display selfie camera technology. It aims to reduce the haze effect seen in the display area above the camera. ZTE has increased the pixel density of the screen area above the selfie camera from 200PPI to 400PPI. ZTE also announced under-display 3D face unlock tech. (Android Authority, GizChina, My Drivers)

OPPO has announced ‘Wireless Air Charging’ (WAC) and ‘The Flash Initiative’. OPPO’s WAC can charge at 7.5W for a distance up to 10cm from the charging mat. The Flash Initiative is a series of partnerships with accessory manufacturers, chip makers and car companies. Included in the initiative are deals with FAW-Volkswagen, Anker, and NXP Semiconductors. (Android Headlines,Twitter, CN Beta, Digital Trends, XDA-Developers, Gizmo China, Sohu)

Apple’s patent titled “Oxide coatings for metal surfaces” explains in detail how a thin coating can significantly reduce the appearance of fingerprints on devices. Apple’s patent for oxide coatings has stressed the advantages of using titanium on consumer electronics, such as “high strength, stiffness, and hardness”. Apple highlights that, compared to other metals, titanium easily shows fingerprints when handled. (Gizmo China, Mac Rumors, CN Beta, Patently Apple, USPTO)

Ryan Ding, Executive Director, and Carrier Business Group President officially released the Huawei 5GtoB solution. The Huawei 5GtoB solution is a “one-stop solution that covers sales, operations, and services”. The basic aim of this technology is to create value for every “player across the industry value chain”. (GizChina, Huawei, IT Home)

Samsung has committed to delivering Samsung Knox security updates to a wide range of its Galaxy devices for at least 4 years after their release. Samsung offers Samsung Knox, which is its defense-grade security platform and cutting-edge technologies such as the industry’s strongest security chip, the embedded Secure Element (eSE), a Secure Processor to protect against physical attacks; and, Knox Vault, which adds another layer of security.  (Digital Trends, Samsung, Neowin)

Starting from Apr 2021, Huawei flagship devices will start getting the HarmonyOS upgrade. This finally will transition the company’s smartphones into an ecosystem of its own. Huawei Mate X2 will be in the first batch of Huawei smartphones that update to HarmonyOS. (Pocket-Lint, Gizmo China)

Huawei wants to provide technology to pig farms and coal mines to create a new revenue stream. Huawei wants to sell facial recognition technologies to pig farms. Using technology in pig farms can increase production efficiency and help the owners to detect diseases and track pigs. Huawei founder and chief executive Ren Zhengfei has announced a mining innovation lab in northern China’s Shanxi Province. He wants to develop technology for coal mines that will lead to “fewer workers, greater safety, and higher efficiency” and enable coal miners to “wear suits and ties” at work. (Android Headlines, BBC, KJKxun, Sina, Sohu)

LG Electronics’ recent attempt to sell its mobile phone factories to Vingroup has allegedly fallen through as the Vietnamese conglomerate’s offer was lower than that wanted by the Korean tech company. However, LG Electronics has not abandoned its plan to sell off the plants while keeping hold of its intellectual property in mobile technology and product design. (Android Central, Korea Times, CN Beta)

According to Gartner, global sales of smartphones to end users declined 5.4% in 4Q20. Smartphone sales declined 12.5% in full year 2020. The launch of the 5G iPhone 12 series helped Apple record double-digit growth in 4Q20. Apple surpassed Samsung to retake the No. 1 global smartphone vendor spot. (Gartner, Gizmo China)

Samsung has launched a “Buy and Try” program in the U.S. for the Galaxy Z Flip 5G and Galaxy Z Fold 2 5G, which gives consumers 100 days instead of just 15 to decide whether they want to keep or return the devices.   (Engadget, Phone Arena, Sohu, CN Beta)

Google has announced it is rolling out updates to 6 different Android apps, from the TalkBack screen reader to Android Auto. The updates add useful new features, like the ability to schedule when a text message will be sent in the Messages app. Google Maps is also receiving an update of its own that adds a true dark mode throughout the entire app. There is also an update to Google’s password autofill tool that will tell notify if passwords have been leaked. (GizChina, Gizmo China, CNET, Digital Trends, Google, ZOL, IT Home)

Huawei Mate X2 is announced – 8” 2200×2480 Foldable OLED 90Hz + 6.45” 1160×2700 OLED 90Hz cover display, Kirin 9000 5G, rear quad 50M OIS-12MP telephoto 3x optical zoom OIS-8MP periscope telephoto 10x optical zoom OIS-16MP ultrawide +front 16MP, side fingerprint scanner, 4500mAh 55W, 8+256 / 8+512GB, CNY17,999 (USD2,785) / CNY18,999 (USD2,940).  (Android Headlines, GizChina, GSM Arena, Engadget, Apple Insider)

LG W41 series is announced in India featuring 6.55” 720×1600 HD+ HiD, MediaTek Helio G35, rear quad 48MP-8MP ultrawide-5MP macro-2MP depth + front 8MP, Android 10.0, rear fingerprint, 5000mAh: W41 – 4+64GB, INR13,490 (USD186). W41+ – 4+128GB, INR14,490 (USD200). W41 Pro – 6+128GB, INR15,490 (USD214). (Gizmo China, GSM Arena, MySmartPrice)

realme Narz0 30 series is announced in India: Narzo 30 Pro – 6.5” 1080×2400 FHD+ HiD IPS 120Hz, MediaTek Dimensity 800U 5G, rear tri 48MP-8MP ultrawide-2MP macro + front 16MP, 6+64 / 8+128GB, Android 10.0, side fingerprint, 5000mAh 30W, power delivery 15W, INR16,999 (USD235) / INR19,999 (USD276). Narzo 30A – 6.5” 720×1600 HD+ v-notch, MediaTek Helio G85, rear dual 13MP-2MP mono + front 8MP,  3+32 / 4+64GB, Android 10.0, rear fingerprint, 6000mAh 18W, reverse charging, INR8,999 (USD124) / INR9,999 (USD138). (GSM Arena, Android Authority, Gizmo China)

According to Sony Interactive Entertainment, Hideaki Nishino, Sony PlayStation has announced that a new version of its virtual reality (VR) headset – the PlayStation VR – is in the works for PlayStation 5. (My Drivers, Pocket-Lint, PlayStation)

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