11-8: Samsung will reportedly integrate 3-coil wireless charging on Galaxy S8, remove its Home button, and using Qualcomm ultrasonic fingerprint solution; etc.


Executive chairman and chairman of the board of Qualcomm Incorporated predicts that in the coming 5 years, there will be 8B units of smartphones sold, hence, denying that people are worried that the mobile industry is saturated. Additionally, there will be more trillion devices connected. (CN Beta, 163, SZ News, 91.com)


MediaTek’s subsidiary unit Gaintech Co. Limited plans to invest up to USD100M in Mapbar Technology Limited (BVI). Gaintech is said to hold 35%~49% stake in Mapbar after investment. (TechNews, Reuters, Sohu)
Nikon plans to eliminate about 1,000 jobs in Japan, or 10% of its domestic workforce, as the company shifts resources away from once core businesses to medical devices and other growth areas. The cuts over the next 2~3 years will mostly affect Nikon’s money-losing semiconductor equipment operations and its shrinking digital camera business. (TechNews, Reuters, Asia Nikkei)
Softbank Founder and CEO Masayoshi Son plans to make future large-scale investments via an upcoming USD100B tech fund established with other partners. He aims to make the firm the “Berkshire Hathaway of the tech industry”. (CN Beta, WTAQ, Gulf Times)


Touch Panel

Supply chain claims none of the vendors have received orders from Samsung for Home button, indicating Samsung has removed the Home button from Galaxy S8. Qualcomm ultrasonic fingerprint solution would be adopted. Upgraded OLED material – known as  “M8” may be used for this handset’s displays. This new material composition is said to have improved lifetime and efficiency. (CN BetaMy Drivers, Softpedia, Sam Mobile, ET News)



International Business Strategies (IBS) predicts a 0.2% increase in chip sales in 2016 and a 4.6% rise in 2017. Handel Jones, chief executive of IBS, said DRAM prices should rise 20~30% in 2H16, making up for most of the declines that started about a year ago. NAND flash prices are also increasing “with bit growth of 36.2% in 2016,” driving the overall NAND market up 6.2% in 2016. (EE Times, Lightwave)



Samsung will reportedly integrate 3-coil wireless charging on Galaxy S8 enabling faster wireless charging at a larger area. (Android Headlines, Softpedia, Universmartphone, My Drivers)


Swedish eye-tracking company Tobii has announced plans to invest in “large-scale initiatives” involving smartphones and VR and is seeking to raise SEK400M (USD50M) in a new rights issue of shares. (Android Headlines, Venture Beat, Business Wire, 163)



Indian law enforcement agencies will soon acquire the technology to unlock hard-to-crack iPhones and other devices with ‘top-notch encryption’. The Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) in Gandhinagar, the country’s premier forensic facility, will be buying the technology from Cellebrite, the Israeli company that manufactures data extraction, transfer, and analysis devices for mobile devices. (Android Authority, Economic Times, Sohu, TGBus, East Day)


Mobile internet providers will slowly shut off 2G networks over the next 2 years. After December 31, 2016, BMW drivers with 2G mobile connectivity will lose access to services including SOS, Concierge Call and BMW Assist eCall. (CN Beta, CNET, BMW CCA, Telematics News)



Due to disappointing 3 consecutive quarterly financial reports, analysts believe Apple would pressurize supply chain to lower the cost, to further reduce the pressure of decreasing profit. However, not all the suppliers would give in to Apple, in particular Samsung and TSMC. (CN Beta, 52RD, East Day, Elecfans, Feng)
Apple recently hired a handful of former employees and purchased key technology from defunct streaming music startup Omnifone, clearing up rumors suggesting Apple acquired the now bankrupt company earlier this year. (CN Beta, Apple Insider, TechCrunch)


Tablets and PCs

Inventec will expand production capacity for servers in Mexico and the Czech Republic and for PCs and smart terminal devices in India in 2017 and is evaluating the feasibility of setting up a factory in Indonesia, according to company chairman Richard Lee. (Digitimes, press, CECB2B)



Baofeng Mojing CEO Huang Xiaojie indicates that under tight funding, the company has more than 500 employees, but due to high pressure from operation, the company is forced to split and lay off. However, Baofeng Mojing is still the biggest VR team in China, and the company will continue to focus on software and hardware platform. (Sohu, TechNews, 163)


Magic Leap Inc., a secretive augmented reality startup with a massive funding warchest, lost its top marketing executive, Brian Wallace, who left Magic Leap in Oct. 2016. (TechNews, Bloomberg)


Internet of Things

MIT and NASA have designed a new kind of bendable, ‘morphing wing’ system that is made of carbon fiber reinforced plastic and assembled by small robots. The new structure could simplify the manufacturing process and greatly reduce fuel consumption by improving the wing’s aerodynamics. (TechNews, Nature World News, Daily Mail)


Robot vacuums now represent a non-trivial portion of the overall vacuum market – 20% worldwide, according to iRobot CEO and co-founder Colin Angle. Roomba makes up 70% of that market, i.e., 14M units, giving iRobot a commanding lead in the space. (TechCrunch, OfWeek, iMaijia)



The Chinese parliament has officially approved new electronic security legislation, due to go into effect in June 2017. “Critical information infrastructure operators” must now store both personal and business data on Chinese servers, according to the new law. (TechCrunch, Apple Insider, Reuters, 36Kr, CS)

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