11-11: Samsung is being cautious about the rollout of its foldable smartphone as it closely gauges market demand; JDI announced it is cutting 4,700 jobs; JDI is to receive a bailout amount of about JPY75B from INCJ; etc.


Intel reportedly is planning to add USB 3.1 and Wi-Fi functions into its motherboard chipsets and the new design may be implemented in its upcoming 300-series scheduled to be released at the end of 2017. (Digitimes, press, OfWeek, My Drivers)


BlueFin Research Partners analysts Paul Peterson and Steve Mullane offer up their thoughts on the foundry chip business, citing a surge in orders from both Qualcomm and Nvidia in recent days, driving production at TSMC. (Barron’s, blog, TechNews)


NXP revealed a new microcontroller product for use with vehicle radar that will supply 4 times more computing power to these systems. NXP also revealed a trucking solution developed in partnership with DAF Trucks, Honda and Siemens, which uses V2X communication to improve reaction time for connected autonomous truck platoons to achieve 30 times faster reaction time when compared to human-controlled vehicles by 2017. (TechCrunch, Forbes, Reuters, Uncova, Stock House, Sina, 163, ReadWrite, iFanr, Tencent)


Touch Panel

Samsung is being cautious about the rollout of its foldable smartphone as it closely gauges market demand. Kolon Industries said it is set to mass produce transparent polyimide films called CPI, to replace the hard glass sheets of smartphones, by early 2018. According to Kyobo Securitie analyst Son Young-joo, Kolon can produce around 1M units of films as pilot production in 2H17, indicating Samsung can produce foldable devices in a small quantity in late 2017. (Android Headlines, Android Authority, Korea Herald, My Drivers, 91.com)
TrendForce held its IT Industry Forecast for 2017 on Nov. 10. Table here is a summary of presentations. (TrendForce, press, TrendForce[cn], press, Android Authority)


Japan Display Inc. (JDI) announced it is cutting 4,700 jobs (about 30% of its workforce) to improve profitability, but also said that it is seeing strong demand for its LCD screens from Chinese phone makers. JDI explains that its LCD panels have “caught up with OLED rivals in thinness and power efficiency” and so phone makers are now beginning to have “doubts about the future of OLEDs”. (OLED-Info, Reuters, 163, Sina)
Japan Display Inc (JDI) is in advanced talks to receive a bailout amount of about JPY75B (USD704.49M) from Innovation Network Corp of Japan (INCJ), a government-backed fund and the display maker’s largest shareholder. INCJ owns a 35.58% stake in JDI. (CN Beta, Reuters, Business Insider)
LG Electronics VC (Vehicle Components) Business Headquarters is speeding up its process of commercializing automotive OLED displays. IHS Markit predicts that markets for automotive displays are going to grow by 11% annually. (TechNews, ET News)


In regards to 2017 NAND flash status, NAND flash IC vendor Phison president Pan Jiancheng indicates that current market is in tight-supply. He expects this situation will continue throughout 2017. He also forecast that demand in 3Q17 will skyrocket, worse than 3Q16, becoming the worst supply quarter. (TechNews)


The Samsung battery unit Samsung SDI that took the brunt of the blame for exploding smartphones may not be as badly burned as markets think. SDI sits on KRW1.4T (USD1.25B) of net cash, or 22% of its market value. The company also owns around 15% of Samsung Display. Deutsche Bank values SDI’s stake in the unlisted Samsung Display unit at KRW3.9T. (CN Beta, WSJ)
Apple is allegedly working with Energous for wireless charging on its next-gen iPhone. Energous’ technology allows wireless charging distance up to 15ft. Energous has previously said it’s working with a “tier-1” smartphone manufacturer. (BGR, Pocket-Lint, Phone Arena, 135Fa)


Chinese cloud computing and big data services provider Inspur Group and U.S. technology multinational Cisco on 11 Nov. 2016 announced the official inauguration of their joint-venture company, after a framework agreement for strategic cooperation signed between the 2 companies. (CN Beta, PR Newswire, People)



Google is hitting back against European Commission claims that by bundling all of its apps and services with most Android phones, Google is exhibiting antitrust tendencies. “Android hasn’t hurt competition, it’s expanded it,” Google’s SVP and General Counsel Kent Walker said. (Android Central, Engadget, Google, 163, Gfan)
Huawei announced that its Huawei P9 smartphone has sold 9M handsets since the phone was unveiled in Apr. 2016. (Android Headlines, GSM Arena, Phandroid, 163, iFeng)


BlackBerry CEO John Chen indicates that the company is developing a keyboard phone, which he has promised, and will be launched soon. (CN Beta, Yahoo)


Professor Aner Sela from the University of Florida and Robyn LeBoeuf of Washington University label the phenomenon, in which people fail to properly evaluate the product they already own before diving into an upgrade, ‘comparison neglect’. 78% readily admitted ‘comparing the upgrade to the status quo option is a necessary component in the decision’, and 95% agreed comparisons were important. Yet when faced with that decision, consumers rarely put this philosophy into practice. (199IT, BGR, Phys, Daily Mail, paper)


In the most recent of 3 class action lawsuits filed by different plaintiffs attorneys, a California man alleges LG and Samsung engaged in an agreement with each other to provide fixed compensation to their employees to avoid competition. (Legal Newsline, Android Headlines, iFeng)
HTC Bolt is official on Sprint – 5.5” QHD LCD 3 display, Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor, 16MP OIS PDAF + 8MP cameras, 3GB RAM, 32GB storage, Android 7.0, LTE Cat.9, IP57 certified, 3200mAh battery. (GSM Arena, Android Headlines, Engadget)


UMi Plus E is official – 5.5” FHD display (from Sharp), MediaTek Helio P20 MT6757 processor, 13MP PDAF + 5MP cameras, 6GB RAM, 64GB ROM, Android 6.0, LTE Cat.6, USB Type-C, 4000mAh battery, USD199.99. (Gizmo China, UMi)


Tablets / PCs

In data released by research firm Slice Analytics, Apple MacBook Pro has already almost quadrupled the sales the Microsoft Surface Book racked up over the past year — as well as generating 78% of the revenue the 12” MacBook has generated since 10 Apr. 2015. (Slice Intelligence, press, TechNews, Cult to Mac)


Verizon announces new Ellipsis 8 HD tablet – 8” 1920×1200 LCD display, Qualcomm Snapdragon 617 processor, 8MP + 5MP cameras, 3GB RAM, 16GB storage, Android 6.0, 5100mAh battery, USD99.99 (2yr contract) / USD249.99, produced by Quanta. (CN Beta, Yahoo, Android Police, Verizon)



Juniper Research forecast that there will be nearly 60M smartphone VR headsets shipped in 2021, an increase of around 240% on an expected 16.8M in 2016. However, the lower price of these devices means they will only account for 7% of hardware revenue. (Android Headlines, Yahoo, TVB Europe, Juniper Research, HiAPK)
Oculus launching new technology “asynchronous spacewarp” (AWS) to run the Rift VR headset on much lower-spec’ed hardware than before. Using frame interpolation techniques, AWS is able to deliver similarly smooth gameplay at 45fps like 90fps. (Ubergizmo, Engadget, Liluputing, Oculus, SZ News, Sanwen)

oculus-cheaper-vr oculus-asynchronous-spacewarp

Acer has invested USD10M into IMAX’s Virtual Reality Fund in a bid to “support the development of high-quality and immersive VR content” for location-based experiences. (Digital Trends, Yahoo, ET Today, China Times)


Fitness social network Strava has introduced Beacon, a safety feature designed to offer peace of mind to the friends and families of long distance runners know they are stating out of harm’s way. The feature is now being offered to Strava Premium members who own Garmin fitness trackers. (Engadget, Android Headlines, TechCrunch)


German startup Antelope Club is looking to make fitness training more effective with its new electrical muscle stimulation suit. The company claims that every 20min working out with this kit is the same as 1hr in the gym. (Engadget, Antelope)


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