10-31: 3Q16 China smartphone market SA says Huawei no. 1, but IDC says OPPO is no. 1; In 2016 SDC and LGD have invested KRW13T in OLED; etc.


Nvidia’s new headquarters in Santa Clara, Calif., which is USD370M investment, will be 500,000ft2 housing more than 2,200 employees when it is finished in the fall of 2017. (CN Beta, Venture Beat)


Analog Devices Inc. (ADI) announced collaborating with ARM to provide ultralow power microcontrollers (MCUs) that enable more secure and energy efficient IoT based devices. By combining ADI’s innovative ultralow power mixed- signal technology with the new Cortex-M33 processor featuring ARM TrustZone technology, ADI is addressing the growing need for data security in power-constrained IoT applications. (EE Trend, IoT.do, Telecom Paper, ADI, Business Wire)
Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix agreed to the creation of the so-called “Semiconductor Hope” fund which would be invested in semiconductor-related companies. The fund will have a size of about KRW200B, of which KRW50B will be financed by Samsung Electronics and KRW25B by SK Hynix.  (TechNews, Korea Economic Daily)

Touch Display

Apple’s iPhone 8 in 2017 is reportedly featuring OLED display, with Home button gone, and fingerprint sensor integrated underneath the display. Additionally, 5.5” iPhone 8 Plus will feature a curved OLED display, which will be manufactured in the US. (Asia Nikkei, 9to5Mac, Gizmo China, China Times, 163, Sohu)
According to Gartner, FHD set to become mainstream in smartphones by 2020. However, human vision cannot perceive resolution improvements above 300ppi at a 30cm viewing distance. Higher resolutions, such as QHD will matter only when the smartphone is used as a VR headset with a less-than-10cm lens-to-eye distance and requiring more than 1,000ppi. (Gartner full report)


The specifications and requirements for 4K-and-over screen resolution, bezel-less display and migration to AMOLED impact the semiconductor BOM directly. With so much change on the horizon and a relatively limited number of chip suppliers, the potential for changing business relationships is relatively high. Gartner shows equipment manufacturers’ display feature roadmaps by application. (Gartner full report)


About a half of Korea‘s top-30 companies failed to achieve a positive growth in2016. For instance, The 9-month operating incomes of LG Display and SK Hynix plummeted 74% and 60% respectively. (Korea Times, Korea Economic Daily, TechNews, Sohu)


Synaptics earned USD386.2M during 1st quarter fiscal 2017, up 18% on year and 19% on quarter. Revenue from mobile products of USD331.3M was down 20% YoY. Mobile products revenue includes all touchscreen, display driver, and applicable fingerprint ID products. (TechNews, Seeking Alpha, NASDAQ, Daily Political)


LG Display and Samsung Display will make invest about KRW13T (USD11.6B) in flexible OLEDs in 2016 alone to win new orders for the iPhone from Apple. (Business Korea)



According to IDATE, the global revenues from telecom services will grow from EUR1,174B in 2015 to EUR1,293B in 2020, representing an average annual growth of 2.0%. Revenues from mobile services will grow by 14% between 2015 and 2020 (+2.8% per year on average), reaching EYR 814B in 2020. (IDATE, press, 199IT)


Aura Semiconductor, a provider of high-performance Radio Frequency (RF) transceiver solutions, is partnering with ARM to enable a complete Bluetooth Low Energy (BTLE) / 802.15.4 wireless connectivity solution for IoT devices. (EE Trend, CBS58, Evertiq)


According to Strategy Analytics, China smartphone shipments grew 15% annually to reach 121M units in 3Q16. Huawei maintained first position with 15% China smartphone market share, but rivals OPPO and vivo are closing the gap in second and third place. (199IT, Strategy Analytics, press)


According to IDC, the China smartphone market grew 5.8% YoY and 3.6% QoQ in 3Q16, with OPPO and vivo overtaking Huawei for the first time in the market. OPPO and vivo rose because the Chinese market has evolved beyond operator and online driven channels over to an offline structure that dovetails with OPPO and vivo’s strengths. (IDC, press, 199IT)


ZTE Communications announced up 3 quarters of 2016 financial report up to 30 Sept. 2016—operating income of CNY71.564B, up 4.44% on year, net profit CNY2.859B, up 9.78% on year. Up to now, ZTE Communications has achieved growth on both operating income and net profit in the first 3 quarters of 2016.  (199IT, CCID Com, EE World)
“Harvard Business Review”  Utpal M. Dholakia lists why Samsung Galaxy Note 7 crisis will not hurt its brand long term—1) A large, loyal base of existing customers insulates the brand; 2) Geographically identified brands bounce back quickly; and, 3) The Note 7 crisis is limited to a single Samsung product and is self-contained. (199IT, Harvard Business Review, article)
The fire-prone Galaxy Note 7 was by far the biggest disaster in smartphone history. But industry analysts, including IDC’s Tay Xiaohan and say the fiasco could be forgotten in 6 months, just in time when Samsung releases its Galaxy S8. (CN Beta, Forbes)
Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun indicates the success of OPPO and vivo in 2016 is due to the “device exchange cycle” in tier 3, 4, 5 cities, and the consumers in these cities “lack information” – they are not aware of other choices and the value of the products. OPPO PR director Liu Lei replies innovation is also another reason of OPPO’s success. In regards to “lack information” he indicates different people have different opinions. (TechNews, Sohu)


According to Gartner, by 2020, 50% of the 50,000 largest businesses globally will have piloted or integrated immersive head-mounted displays (HMDs) for enterprise and customer use. By 2020, there will be 5 HMD ecosystem providers that sell 80% of all devices. By 2020, the market for HMD devices will exceed 35M devices and generate USD75B in revenue. (Gartner full report)


Internet of Things

According to Strategy Analytics, by 2020, consumers will be spending nearly USD130B annually on smart home offerings; 47% or more than USD60B can be addressed by service providers. Applications focusing on “safety and security” have the potential to generate more than USD26B in new revenues for service providers on a global basis. Self-monitoring applications aimed at providing “peace-of-mind” for consumers will exceed USD14B globally by this time. (Strategy Analytics, press, EE Trend)


JD.com group CEO Liu Qiangdong indicates if no one is scolding you, that means your business model is not better than others.  Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun agrees saying he finally found the reason why people dislike Xiaomi.  Liu Qiangdong replies saying “mediocre company does not attract attention.” (CN Beta, 163)


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