11-18: Sorry for absence yesterday. Apple has reportedly Foxconn and Pegagron if moving production to US is feasible; JDI has developed an off-screen LCD display for smartphones, which combines two panels; etc.


IBM and Nvidia are teaming up to help accelerate the foundation behind artificial intelligence breakthroughs. A new software toolkit available today called IBM PowerAI is designed to run on the recently announced IBM server built for artificial intelligence that features Nvidia NVLink technology optimized for IBM’s Power Architecture. (TechNews, Extreme Tech, Venture Beat)


Qualcomm collaborated with Samsung over the 14nm Snapdragon 820 and 821, and Qualcomm is continuing to work with the Samsung over its next-gen SoC, the Snapdragon 835, which will be built on Samsung’s 10nm FinFET node, which entered mass production in Oct. 2016. (Android Central, Android Authority, The Inquirer, CN Beta, iFeng)


United Microelectronics (UMC) is opening ceremony for a 12” wafer fab in Xiamen, China. The new 12” fab dubbed Fab 12X has achieved its volume production stage just 20 months after groundbreaking, UMC indicated. Pilot production yields for communication ICs at the fab have already exceeded 99% on the foundry’s 40nm process. (Digitimes, press, EEPW, East Day)

Touch Panel

AU Optronics (AUO) on 16 Nov. 2016 kicked off volume production at a 6G LTPS (low-temperature poly-Si) TFT-LCD factory in Kunshan, eastern China. With investment of NTD50B (USD1.58B), it has initial monthly production capacity of 25,000 glass substrates and the capacity has already been booked up. (TechNews, Digitimes, press, 163, ZDNet)


Apple is reportedly pushing to bring at least one OLED model to market in 2017, which will boast an all-glass design with edge-to-edge display and virtual home button. Apple’s first order is for 100M units of OLED panels to be delivered across 1 year, far less than what is needed to field both 4.7” and 5.5” iPhone models. The contribution could be enough for a single high-end version. (Apple Insider, Bloomberg, My Drivers, CNFOL)

Japan Displays Inc. (JDI) has developed an off-screen LCD display for smartphones, which combines two panels and can open and close like a book or a photo album. The display comes with ultra-slim bezels and the width can be controlled below 1mm. It will be commercialized by summer 2017. (Gizmo China, Android Headlines, Asia Nikkei, 163)


Samsung Electronics launched 7 32” to 55” smart digital signage solutions with thicknesses of 29.9mm and bezel sizes of 6.9mm in 2H16, equipped with in-house-developed Samsung Smart Signage Platform and Tizen operating system, according to Digitimes Research. (Digitimes, press)


In response to the rise in worldwide shipments and memory content per box for smartphones, DRAM suppliers since 2Q16 have gradually reduce their output of PC DRAM while increasing their server and mobile DRAM production. Consequently, prices of PC DRAM started to rise in 3Q16 as supply tightened. According to TrendForce, global DRAM revenue for the 3Q16 rose about 15.8% sequentially on account of this recent price uptrend. (TechNews, TrendForce, press, TrendForce[cn], press)



Carnegie Mellon University has discovered that a brain’s structural connections are so unique that can be used to identify a person based on their brain “fingerprint”. This brain fingerprint is discovered using a new, non-invasive diffusion MRI scan. (CN Beta, Nature World News, IB Times, The Scientist)



At a meeting of the 3GPP, the organization responsible for defining future wireless standards, AT&T and Verizon have asked the organization members to push through an early version of the official 5G standard by Dec. 2017. (Android Headlines, C114, RCR Wireless News)

Huawei and NTT DoCoMo, a Japanese telecommunications provider, have successfully completed the world’s first large-scale 5G field trial in the 4.5GHz frequency band. (Android Authority, Huawei, Huawei[cn])


Japan’s NTT DoCoMo says it just completed a 5G trial with Samsung Electronics that achieved a data speed of more than 2.5Gbps with a mobile device that was in a vehicle traveling 150km/h (about 93mph) (Fierce Wireless, East Day, Huanqiu)

BMW Korea and SK Telecom, a South Korean telecommunications operator, have introduced the world’s first 5G connected car. Known as the T5, the vehicle can recognize road conditions like accidents and heavy traffic in just 0.1 seconds, and can relay UHD video in real-time over a 5G network. (Android Authority, SK Telecom, Ajunews)


Australia carrier Optus and Huawei achieved a single-user transmission speed of 35Gbps during a 5G trial using spectrum in the 73GHz band. The trial was a localised initiative as part of the 5G collaboration MoU between Singtel and Huawei. (CN Beta, ZDNet, La Rampa di Napoli)



TrendForce has lowered the projected annual growth rate of smartphone production worldwide for 2016 to 2.5%. Though shipments from Chinese smartphone brands have been fairly strong, other international brands have suffered significant shipment declines. In 2017, global smartphone production volume is forecast to reach nearly 1.4B units, an increase of around 4.5% compared with the prior year. (TrendForce, press, TrendForce[cn], press, TechNews)

OnePlus’s support team indicated: “We can’t confirm a restock date for the OnePlus 3 yet,” OnePlus will be updating its social media channels regarding this new stock. (Ubergizmo, GSM Arena, Phone Arena)


Reliance Jio Infocomm Limited, a subsidiary of India’s largest private sector conglomerate — Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) is developing 2 feature phones priced at INR1000~1500 (USD15~22) that are likely to be launched during Jan.~Mar.  2017. Jio is working with LAVA International, and another Chinese OEM. The devices will function just like smartphones (powered by Spreadtrum processor) with data and calling capability without touchscreen. (Android Authority, CN Beta, Economic Times)


Tencent has reported a net profit of CNY10.6B (USD1.5B), up 43% year-on-year, on revenue of CNY40.4B (USD6B), up 52%, for 3Q16. (CN Beta, 199IT, WSJ, TechCrunch)

Apple’s patent application for a “Virtual assistant in a communication session” grants iMessage users inline chat access to artificial intelligence like Siri. Siri would be able to automatically decipher incoming requests and complete tasks like scheduling appointments, providing navigation directions and retrieving movie times, among other functions. (Apple Insider, USPTO, 163)


Apple has reportedly asked its manufacturer partners, namely Foxconn and Pegagron, in China whether moving production of the iPhone to US is feasible. Foxconn is actively researching ways to make iPhones in the US although Pegatron apparently refused Apple’s request over cost concerns. (Asia Nikkei, 9to5Mac, GSM Arena, SZ News, Tencent)

Samsung announced its partnership with Microsoft to bring more developers to its open source operating system, Tizen. (Android Authority, Samsung, Korea Times, My Drivers)

vivo Xplay6 is official – 5.46” QHD Super AMOLED dual-curved edge display, 12MP OIS PDAF + 16MP cameras, 6GB RAM, 128GB storage, Android 6.0 (Funtouch OS 3.0), LTE (VoLTE), dual-SIM, ES9038 DAC and an OPA1622 amplifier, 4080mAh battery, CNY4498. (CN Beta, TechWeb, Gizmo China, Android Headlines)


vivo X9 and X9 Plus announced with dual camera 20MP-8MP at the front, and 16MP PDAF at the rear, powered by Android 6.0 (Funtouch OS 3.0), LTE (VoLTE), dual-SIM, fingerprint sensor: X9 – 5.5” FHD Super AMOLED display, Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 processor, 4GB RAM, 64 / 128GB storage, 3050mAh battery, from CNY2798. X9 Plus – 5.88” FHD IPS LCD display, Qualcomm Snapdragon 653 processor, 6GB RAM, 128GB storage, 4000mAh battery. (CN Beta, TechWeb, Gizmo China, Gizmo China, 163, First Post, NDTV)


ZTE Grand X 4 is unveiled at Cricket Wireless – 5.5” HD display, Qualcomm Snapdragon 412 processor, 13MP + 5MP cameras, 2GB RAM, 16GB storage, Android 6.0, USB Type-C, fingerprint sensor, 3140mAh battery, USD130. (Android Headlines)



Tablets / PCs

Global notebook shipments for 2016 is estimated to decline by 4% compared with the prior year to around 157.9M units, reports global research firm TrendForce. Global notebook shipments for 2017 are projected to total 150.7M units, representing an annual decline of 4.5%. Notebook shipments will continue to fall next year as the LCD panel market experiences a structural supply shortage. (TechNews, TrendForce, press, TrendForce[cn], press)


TrendForce estimates that global tablet shipments for 2016 will total around 154.5M units, translating to an annual decline of 8.3%. Global shipments for 2017 are forecast to fall by just 5.3% annually to about 146.4M units. TrendForce forecasts that over 30% of tablets shipped worldwide in 2017 will be in the 10” and greater size segment. The 10.x” segment in particular will see a noticeable expansion in shipment share. (TechNews, TrendForce, press, TrendForce[cn], press)


Huawei MediaPad M3 is launched in US – 8.4” 2560×1600 display, Huawei Kirin 950 processor, 8MP + 8MP cameras, 4GB RAM, 32 / 64GB storage, Android 6.0 (EMUI 4.0), LTE optional, fingerprint sensor, Harmon Kardon certified speakers, 5100mAh battery, from USD299. (Ubergizmo, CN Beta)


Barnes & Noble launching Nook Tablet 7 – 7” 1024×600 display, MediaTek MT8163 processor, 5MP + 2MP cameras, 8GB storage, Android 6.0, 3000mAh battery, USD49.99. (CN Beta, Android and Me, Phone Radar)


Wacom Cintiq Pro 13 and 16 drawing tablets announced, Pro 13 is 13” FHD display, and Pro 16 16” UHD (3840×2160) display. The Pro 16 model also covers more of Adobe’s RGB gamut at 94%, while the Pro 13 covers 87%.  Pro 13 is priced at USD1000, and Pro 16 is USD1500. (Ubergizmo, Engadget, Wacom, Tencent)



Google Earth is now available in virtual reality. Google Earth VR covers the entire 196.9M square miles of the planet. It is now available for HTC Vive via Steam. (Android Headlines, Ars Technica, Engadget, Google, Leiphone)


Stereolabs introducing Linq mixed reality headset – can “understand” the environment it’s being used in including recognizing people and objects up to 20m away (over 65ft), driven by ZED 3D camera works similar to human vison, compatible with Windows and Linux PC. (Android Headlines, Engadget, Tom’s Guide, Stereolabs)


Internet of Things

Faraday Future, the LeEco Group venture that makes self-driving electric cars, said it is poised to begin construction of the 2nd phase of its Nevada factory in Feb. 2017, refuting a report that work had been halted due to a cash crunch at its main investor. (CN Beta, SCMP, TechWeb)


Samsung Electronics Co President Young Sohn said when talking about the South Korean company’s USD8B deal to buy Harman International Industries Inc is that Samsung has no intention of building a car. (Android Headlines, Value Walk, China Daily, Sina)


With Samsung acquiring Harman International Industries, as the business partners of the latter, LG Electronics and Hyundai Motor feel under pressure, but both companies confirm that the change in ownership will not affect existing contracts, at least for the time being. (Business Korea, Android Headlines, KBS)

Gree Electric Appliances has officially announced that the CNY13B (USD1.92B) acquisition discussion of energy company Zhuhai Yinlong New Energy Co is terminated. (CN Beta, Shanghai Daily, Global Times)


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