4-26: 1Q16 global smartphone sales about 292mln units, down 18.6% YoY; Microsoft launch buy one get one free for Lumia to clear inventories; etc.

1Q16 global smartphone sales about 292mln units, down 18.6% YoY; Demand for mid-to-low end smartphones in China is increased in 2Q16, chipset vendors have received 170-180 million orders in 2Q16; Microsoft launch buy one get one free for Lumia to clear inventories; Samsung prepares to manufacture OLED TV while LG  to increase mobile panel production; Lots of smartphone vendors start trying the VR market; etc.


It seems lately China smartphone demand is better than expected recently, and thanks to increasing orders for IoT, Taiwan foundry vendors including TSMC and UMC, their 28nm orders are filled up until end of 3Q16. (Sohu, TechNews)
The second-generation Apple Watch, expected to arrive by this fall, may boast integrated cellular data, as well as a faster next-gen custom chip “S2”. (Apple Insider, WSJ, TechWeb, Tencent)
Xiaomi reportedly will introduce its first in-house developed mobile application processor – dubbed Rifle – at an event in May. (Korea Times, Phone Arena, TechNews)
China-based hardware makers have rushed into the development and manufacture of robot products, offering an opportunity for Taiwan-based chipset vendors including Mediatek to ramp up their shipments to the sector, according to sources from Taiwan’s IC supply chain. (Digitimes, press, EEPW)


The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE) of Korea plans to allocate new budget on OLED-related projects from next year, says Kim Jeong-hwa, director of the electronic component policy bureau. (TechNews, Korea Times)
Mizuho analyst Yasuo Nakane believes that Apple iPhone will start at the at the latest 2018 start adopting OLED. Foxconn and Sharp invest JPY200 billion to build R&D line, trial production line and mass production line. The mass production line yearly capacity of 5.5” panel can reach 95 million units, which is equivalent to G6 substrates monthly production of 50K. As Foxconn and Sharp lack the experience of OLED, and its R&D is lagging behind Samsung, LG and JDI, thus its OLED mass production would be after 2020. (TechNews, IT Time, OfWeek)
Samsung Display was largest maker of smartphone panels, shipping more than 80 million panels in 1Q16, according to Sigmaintell Consulting. About 440 million smartphone-use panels shipped globally in the first quarter, increasing 7% on year, and nearly one-third were of AMOLED models. (Digitimes, press, CENA, Sigma Intell, press)


According IHS, Samsung Display big size (bigger than 9”) LCD panel shipment in 1Q16 reached 22.43 million units, market share of 14.5%, and ranked at top 5.  LG Display leads the market with 37.49 million shipped and 24.3% market share, follows by BOE (26.66 million, 17.3%), AUO (24.44 million, 15.8%) and Innolux (22.91 million, 14.8%). (Yonhap News, TechNews, CN Beta)
Samsung Display and LG Display have been actively promoting PID (public information display) applications for digital signage, shipping large Ultra HD panels and transparent panels, and forming international partnerships via mergers or joint ventures, according to Digitimes Research. (Digitimes, press)
Samsung is reportedly preparing to start manufacturing OLED TV panels later this year. LG, which currently is a major player in the OLED TV market, is gearing up to improve its mobile OLED panels in a bid to take on Samsung. (Tencent, The Verge, SamMobile, Business Korea, TechNews)


Digitimes Research expects demand for car-use image sensors to reach a scale of USD900 million worldwide by 2020. From 2016-2018, most countries will include automatic emergency braking systems as an item for evaluating car safety, and in 2018 night sensor functions are expected to be included. By 2035, 1 in every 4 cars will feature semi-automatic or full-automatic driving technology and each of these cars will use up to 19 image sensors. (Digitimes, press)


XMC is expanding its fab capacity, while Unisplendour Gouxin (formerly Tongfang Guoxin) has also increased its investments in NAND Flash production. Along with activities from domestic semiconductor companies, major international manufacturers such as Samsung and Intel likewise are building up new NAND Flash capacity in China. TrendForce estimates that China’s domestic flash memory capacity will reach 590,000 wafer pieces per month by 2020, a nearly sevenfold increase from 2015. (TechNews, TrendForce[cn], press, TrendForce, press)


SK Hynix’s March quarter revenue fell 17% from the previous quarter to 3.7 trillion won, while operating margin tumbled 43% to 562 billion won. However, this set of numbers is in line with consensus. (Barron’s, press, TechNews)


SK Hynix releases their first 3D NAND SSD, PE3110. It stacks 36 layers together to make a single die. (eTekNix, IT168)



Tesla CEO Elon Musk claims that autopilot actually helps reduce the probability of having an accident by as much as 50%. (Ubergizmo, Eletrek, Hexun)
Developed by University of Wisconsin at Madison Fusion Technology Institute, the technology looks for signatures of explosive material or other objects by shooting out a small stream of neutrons at a given target from a small device mounted on a drone. (CN Beta, Digital Trends, Journal Times)



Thanks to China operators restarting subsidy plan and Alibaba starting its own subsidy solution, the demand for mid-to-low end smartphones in China is increased in 2Q16. Chipset vendors have received 170-180 million orders in 2Q16. If this trend continues, the volume of smartphone sold in China would reach 680 million units in 2016, which is 50% more than previously forecast 450 million units. (TechNews, Sohu)
Global sales of smartphone in 1Q16 reach 292 million units, 18.6% decline YoY, 1.3% decline QoQ. According to TrendForce, in 1Q16 Huawei, Lenovo, Xiaomi are still top 3 China brands, but only Huawei presents some actual growth. Coolpad already dropped out of top 5, replaced by OPPO and vivo. Even though TCL is ranked fourth, its revenue has dropped drastically. (163, China.com, CN Beta)


According to SIPO of China, last year IPR in China is increasing. Telecommunication segment showing more growth, with ZTE, OPPO, Huawei, Xiaomi, Qihoo, BOE and Lenovo being on the top. (CN Beta, iMobile, Sina)


According to Localytics, while the US adoption rate of Apple iPhone SE matches the worldwide average, the countries with the more competitive and open markets are adopting the compact iPhone in greater numbers. The UK, France, Hong Kong, and Canada are leading the charge for the iPhone SE. (CN Beta, Forbes)


In 2015, Apple accounted for 40% of the total USD133 billion in profits from the Bay Area tech industry. Apple accounted for 28% of Silicon Valley USD833 billion of sales in 2015. (TechNews, Silicon Valley, press, Apple Insider, Business Insider, Mercury News)


LeEco CEO, Jia Yueting notes the difference between LeEco and Apple – Apple is a mobile phone company focused on hardware and software, while LeEco focused on the internet first, and only then on software and finally on hardware. He also notes that Apple’s innovation has become extremely slow. (Digital Trends, Android Headlines, TechWeb, 163)
Microsoft is offering U.S. and Canadian users a limited-time sale on its Lumia 950/950 XL phones that may help the company get rid of excess inventory. From April 25 through May 1 – or “while supplies last”– users can purchase an unlocked Lumia 950 XL from the Microsoft Store and get a free Lumia 950.
Major department store chains might soon be closing hundreds of locations at malls across the country, if they follow the advice of Green Street Advisors. Retailers must close about 800 locations in total — about a fifth of all anchor spaces at U.S. malls — if they want to restore the sales-per-square-foot productivity of the mid-2000s, a study by the analytics firm said. (TechNews, WSJ, The Real Deal, Seeking Alpha)
Facebook is working on a standalone camera app with the aim of helping you create and share more content. (WSJ, Engadget, Sina)
Business Insider indicates that messaging apps are now bigger than social networks. The top 4 messaging apps user base combined are bigger than the top 4 social networks. The attach rate and usage rate of messaging apps are higher. Also, users who use messaging apps are mainly young, which is important for the brands, advertisement and publishers. (TechNews, Business Insider)


ZTE Blade L5 Plus is official in Thailand – 5” HD display, MediaTek MT6580 processor, 8MP + 2MP cameras, 1GB RAM, 8GB storage, Android 5.1, 3G, dual-SIM, 2150mAh battery, THB2990. (GSM Arena, Times News)


Meizu m3 is officially announced – 5” HD IPS LCD display, MediaTek MT6750 processor, 13MP PDAF + 5MP cameras, 2GB RAM + 16GB storage / 3GB RAM + 32GB storage, Android 5.1, LTE, dual-SIM, 2870mAh battery, CNY599 (2GB/16GB) / CNY799 (3GB/32GB). (CN Beta, GSM Arena, Meizu, GizChina)


Philips S653H is official – 5.5” FHD IPS display, MediaTek Helio P10 processor, 8MP + 8MP cameras, 3GB RAM, 32GB storage, Android 6.0, LTE, fingerprint sensor, USB Type-C, 2550mAh battery. (GSM Arena, Times News)



Allwinner is developing Remix OS notebook, priced from USD79. Smallest is 11.6” (with one version equipped with touchscreen), largest is 14.1”, resolution 1366×768, Allwinner A83T processor, from 1GB RAM and 8GB storage to 2GB RAM and 32GB storage. (CN Beta, Slash Gear, Liliputing, The Verge)



After a while, a lot of smartphone vendors start trying the VR market. After Samsung, HTC and Sony, China local brands are entering the VR segment with their own products. (Tencent, 163, East Day)


According to research firm Wristly, 93% of 1,150 Apple Watch owners in an online survey in April 2016 said they were “satisfied” or “very satisfied” with the device. (WSJ, NASDAQ, CN Beta)


Jefferies’ analyst Atul Goyal assumes 15% of Sony Playstation users would purchase a Playstation (PS) VR, estimating that 2 years after PS VR launched it will reach 10 million sales on yearly basis. He estimates that first year sales of Oculus Rift to be 500,000 – 2 million units. PS VR could help Sony earn some profit since launch, estimating in 2nd year of its sales, its gross margin would reach USD50. (TechNews, Barron’s)
Zotac Mobile VR solution jams a VR-capable mini PC ZBOX into a molded backpack, providing an untethered VR gaming experience. The Zbox Mini PC is equipped with NVIDIA GTX 970, 980 or 980Ti graphics. (Kit Guru, Yahoo, Geek, The Verge, Hexun, Anzhuo)


Internet of Things

Audi unveiled its Connected Mobility Concept, a trucklet based on the production Q – an electric longboard that automatically charges when it is stowed inside the rear bumper. This allows the driver to opt to either drive the car or hop onto the longboard for a more environmental-friendly ride. (The Verge, Ubergizmo, Audi, Pingwest, Sohu)


Ford CEO Mark Fields has confirmed that his company assumes the Apple Car is a real possibility. (Pocket-Lint, BBC, CN Beta)
LeEco (formerly LeTV) is reportedly interested in investing in Vizio. LeEco shipped 4 million LCD TVs in 2015, mostly in the China market, and aims to ship 6 million units in 2016. As LeEco plans to tap the North America LCD TV market, partnership with Vizio via stake investment is expected to be helpful. (Digitimes, press)


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