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4-12: Greer wants to make chipset and involve in new energy; Hon Hai believes IGZO can help Sharp; BLU suppliers Coretronic and Radiant are having troubles; etc.

Greer wants to make chipset and involve in new energy; Hon Hai believes IGZO can help Sharp; Expects in next few years AMOLED market size would grow to USD15 billion; BLU suppliers Coretronic and Radiant are having troubles; Only 10-12% of iPhone shipment would feature dual-camera (iPhone 7 Plus premium); etc.

Chipset

LG has announced that it has developed the world’s first TV built-in receiver chip (LG3307) that enables users to view Ultra HD (UHD) content without a separate set-top box. (CN Beta, Fone Arena, LG)

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Intel’s Data Center Group (server chips) is growing at 15% on year and provides more than 50% of Intel’s profit. Google recently announced it is developing apps for both IBM Power and ARM chips. AMD’s Zen chip will compete with Intel’s Windows x86 franchise. (Seeking Alpha, Xue163)
Greer CEO Mingzhu Dong indicates that Greer is currently studying chipsets, and also developing new energy. She also reveals that Greer lab for new energy has been established for 2 years. (CN Beta, Laoyaoba)
According to famous Chinese analyst Jiutai Pan (Pan Jiutang), HiSilicon Kirin 960 will mainly feature improvement on its wireless capabilities. It is liktely to be able to boast an integrated modem with support for high-speed LTE-networks. Others such as CPU and GPU would be similar to its predecessor. (Android Headlines, 52RD, Sohu, WoVoW)

Display

According to UBS, Hon Hai strongly believes that Sharp could turn profitable by developing an IGZO business. It is aiming to raise pixel density for mobile displays in one year to 500dpi. Though, Sharp mentioned in a document issued on 30 Mar 2016, that it is planning OLED investments of JPY5 billion in 2016, JPY75 billion in 2017, JPY100 billion in 2018 and JPY20 billion in 2019. (UBS report)
AMOLED does not require back-light unit (BLU), and it is getting a lot of traction. BLU suppliers Coretronic and Radiant Opto-Electronics have taken a hit. From Taiwan science park statistics, more than 50% of layoffs coming from opto-electronics segment. Recently Coretronic and Radiant are rumored laying off employees and even stops some operation lines. (TechNews, UDN, 52RD, 51Touch)

chinatimes-coretronic-radiant-status

Corning has launched MASTERPIX photo frame featuring Gorilla Glass in India. Launched in US in 2014, the new MASTERPIX glass is used to print photos on thin and optically clear Corning Gorilla Glass, using ultraviolet-cured (UV-cured) inks. (GSM Arena, India Times, India Today)

corning-masterpix

According to UBI Research, AMOLED panel market is projected to reach USD15 billion in 2016, which is a growth of about 40% from the more than USD10 billion market in 2015. UBI Research predicts that the projected 270 million units of AMOLED panels shipped in 2016 will have increased 16% compared to about 230 million units for 2015. Additionally, UBI says the AMOLED market could again show sharp increases in 2016. (199IT, TechNews, LIGHTimes Online)

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JOLED developed two OLED panels, a 12.2” FHD (180ppi) panel and a 19.3” 4K (230ppi) – made using printing technologies. JOLED aims to mass produce such panel in 2018. JOLED is preparing a Gen-5 (830×920 mm) fab to produce such OLEDs. (OLED-Info, OLEDNet)

joled-announcing-oled

Camera

Citi Research analyst Kota Ezawa expects Apple will launch 2 models of 5.5” iPhone 7 Plus, with the premium version featuring dual-camera, which would only see 10-20% of Apple iPhones. Apple cuts dual-camera adoption hurting Sony the most. The demands of Kyocera’s ceramic substrates, Alps Electric’s optical image stabilization (OIS) components, and Largan’s lenses will also be sluggish. (Barron’s, blog, TechNews)

Sensors

Goldman Sachs leads a USD30 million round for Persado’s AI-based, automated copywriting service. (CN Beta, Computer World, Venture Beat, TechCrunch)

persado

Biometrics

The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) via its venture capital branch In-Q-Tel has provided funding to a beauty products manufacturing company called Skincential Sciences, which markets “skin resurfacing” products under its Clearista brand.  It has patented a technology that painlessly collects human DNA. (CN Beta, IB Times, Ubergizmo, Business Insider)

cia-clearista

Google has released an app called Voice Access, which is an app that will let people use speech recognition to control Android devices. (Android Authority, Google, Venture Beat, Google Blog, CN Beta)

google-voice

Connectivity

Singapore operator StarHub said it has achieved 4G speeds of 1Gbps, currently the world’s fastest 4G speeds indoors, through collaboration with Huawei. (CN Beta, ZDNet, Today Online)

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Smartphones

Coolpad subsidiary ivvi launches new flagship ivvi i3 – 5.2” HD display, Qualcomm MSM8937 processor, 13MP PDAF + 8MP cameras, 4GB RAM, 32GB / 64GB / 128GB storage, Android 6.0, LTE, fingerprint sensor, 2450mAh battery, CNY2299 / CNY2499 / CNY2799. (iFeng, Sohu, CN Beta)

ivvi-i3

Tablets

Notebook ODMs Compal Electronics, Inventec and Wistron have seen their March notebook shipments grow from February as their clients had been pushing their shipments before the first quarter ended. (Digitimes, press)

digitimes-notebook-odm-march-2016

Worldwide PC shipments totaled 64.8 million units in 1Q16, a 9.6% decline from 1Q15, according to Gartner. This was the 6th consecutive quarter of PC shipment declines, and the first time since 2007 that shipment volume fell below 65 million units. (Gartner, press, Apple Insider, CN Beta)

gartner-ww-pc-vendor-unit-shipment-1q16

Wearables

Strategy Analytics expects global virtual reality headset revenues will reach USD895 million in 2016. About 77% of that value will be accounted for by newly launched premium devices from Oculus, HTC, and Sony. These three brands however will only account for 13% of volumes in 2016 as lower priced smartphone-based devices will dominate share of the 12.8 million units virtual reality headset market. (CN Beta, Venture Beat, Strategy Analytics, press)

strategyanalytics-virtual-reality-headsets-2016

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo expects 2nd-gen Apple Watch will feature improved internal components but external design will be largely unchanged from 1st-gen model. He believes only 10.6 million Apple Watch units were shipped in all of 2015, a drop of 25%. He also predicts only 7.5 million total units will ship in 2016, citing an “immature” market for wearable devices. (CN Beta, GSM Arena, Apple Insider, CNET)

Internet of Things

Chinese chain Heweilai bought several USD7,000 units to serve at waiting staff in three of its locations. Two of the restaurants were forced to close after the robots’ uselessness was discovered. (Worker’s Daily, IT168, The Verge, Shangaiist)

china-robot-waiter-guangzhou

Surround Wi-Fi maker Luma Home has raised USD12.5 million Series A in a round led by Accel that included Amazon, former AT&T CEO David Dorman. (Forbes, Silicon Angle, Re/Code, CN Beta, Fortune)

luma

DNV GL, a Norwegian company that is one of the world’s biggest providers of technical services for the renewable energy sector, is teaming up with a Singapore-based start-up SwarmX to trial autonomous drones, which are operated by robotic systems rather than human employees. (CN Beta, Financial Times)
Established giants and newer tech firms alike including Amazon, Airbnb, IBM, Facebook, Microsoft, eBay, Yahoo and Uber are enlisting economists to help with many crucial tasks. (Investors, CN Beta)
China-based server brand vendor Inspur, which is backed by the China government is rumored to have entered Apple’s datacenter supply chain. Currently, Apple mainly uses Amazon Web Services (AWS) for its datacenter need. (Apple Insider, Digitimes, Tencent, My Drivers)
Ford is testing its self-driving cars in the dark with its advanced lidar system and 3D mapping. (Re/Code, Ubergizmo, Tencent, Sina)

ford-self-driving-in-the-dark

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