01-03: A new year begins! Starting tomorrow, CES 2017 info; Today info — This year perhaps Qualcomm, MediaTek, Spreadtrum hardly make money as well; etc.


Apple, Samsung and Huawei are using in-house chipsets for their high-end smartphones, causing Qualcomm, MediaTek and Spreadtrum till now failed to enjoy the high-margin segment. In 2017, it is believed that low-margin situation will continue to haunt the chipset market and its main players. In 2016, Qualcomm earns little, MediaTek earns hardly anything, and Spreadtrum earns nothing, and this would continue in 2017. (Laoyaoba, Digitimes, article)


Before President Obama hands over to Donald Trump on 20 Jan. 2017, the chief science adviser to the president, John Holdren, will produce a report on Chinese investment in the US semiconductor industry. Part of the report is expected to relate to the Committee on Foreign Investment in the US (CFIUS) which has blocked a number of attempts by China to buy US chip companies. (Electronics Weekly, Financial TimesCN Beta)

Touch / Display

Microsoft has been granted a patent for a transparent camera. The patent is in fact only for a transparent camera housing – the cover for the lens and sensors which prevent stray light from hitting the sensor and interfering with your image being recorded. (CN Beta, Tech Viral, MS Power User)


AU Optronics (AUO) has introduced bi-directional foldable AMOLED display, which both internal and external displays can be bent 180°. (OLED-Info, OLEDNet)

auo-foldable-display auo-foldable-display


A trio of ex-Apple engineers launched a new company called Pearl. Pearl]s first product is a weather-proof backup camera and alert system that install as a typical license-plate frame, called RearVision. (CN Beta, Business Insider)


Caltech and Samsung recently successfully created a flat lens that can be stacked on top of a digital sensor to create a tiny camera combo. They have used 2 sheets of silicon cylinders. These collections of cylinders, called a metasurface, can be adjusted so that the diameter of each cylinder varies. Each cylinder is 600nm tall — which would make each double sheet lens about 1,200nm thick. (Digital Trends, Caltech, Optics Journal)



Yangtze River Storage Technology (YRSL) announced the begin of construction of factory in Wuhan with total investment of USD2.4B. It will have 3 fabs in the area, with the largest size of 3D NAND flash fab. By 2020, the production value would be more than USD10B. (CN Beta, TechNews, Forbes, Digitimes, press)



IBM introduces a new feature to Watson Visual Recognition that allows users to continue improving visual classifiers. When a user submits an image and Watson Visual Recognition returns a score, users can now continue inputting new images, giving Watson additional examples to learn from. In layman terms, Watson Visual Recognition can now learn over time, continuously getting better at understanding visual information. (CN Beta, 4-Traders, IBM)


Velodyne LiDAR Inc., the recognized global leader in Light, Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) technology, announced a design for a solid-state LiDAR sensor that can deliver a subsystem cost of under USD50 U.S. when sold in high-volume manufacturing scale. (EDN Taiwan, EE Trend, Forbes, EE Journal, Leiphone, iFanr, VentureBeat, Business Wire)

velodyne-lidar-gan-ic velodyne-lidar


Tapdo is a fingerprint-reading gadget that simultaneously controls numerous devices, by assigning different parts of your fingers to different actions. It communicates by Bluetooth LE with a dedicated Android / iOS app, and that app in turn runs various other device-controlling apps already on the phone. (Digital Trends, Tapdo, Technowize, New Atlas, IT Home)



Sprint’s CTO John Saw promised that the 4th largest wireless carrier in the United States will deliver 1Gbps speeds on its network over the course of 2017. (Android Headlines, Fierce Wireless)



Foxconn  is setting up its first Apple iPhone manufacturing unit in India in Ahmedabad. Foxconn  is adopting a model of setting up smartphone assembly lines in multiple cities across India, with a second iPhone facility coming up in Gurgaon, as Apple steps up efforts to grab a larger pie of the world’s fastest growing smartphone market. (Laoyaoba, Rediff, Business Standard, Zaobao)


Wistron is setting up a facility in Peenya, Bengaluru’ industrial hub, to manufacture phones. Apple is a customer of Wistron. (CN Beta, iMobile, India Times, Hindustan Times)

OPPO / vivo have had a good year in 2016, but to see if they can break 150M targets of shipment still deserves some observation. (Digitimes, Laoyaoba, article)


Samsung unveils 2017 Galaxy A series with IP68 water-resistance, Android 6.0, USB Type-C, and fingerprint sensor: A3 – 4.7” HD Super AMOLED display, 1.6GH z octa-core processor, 13MP + 8MP cameras, 2GB RAM, 16GB storage, 2350mAh battery. A5 – 5.2” FHD Super AMOLED display, 1.9GHz octa-core processor, 16MP + 16MP cameras, 3GB RAM, 32GB storage, 3000mAh battery. A7 – 5.7” FHD Super AMOLED display, 1.9GHz octa-core processor, 16MP + 16MP cameras, 3GB RAM, 32GB storage, 3600mAh battery.  (Android Headlines, Ubergizmo, Sammy Hub, Pocket Now)


Republic Wireless launched Huawei Ascend 5W smartphone on their network – 5.5” FHD IPS TFT LCD display, Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 MSM8939 processor, 13MP + 5MP cameras, 2GB RAM, 16GB ROM, Android M, fingerprint sensor, 3000mAh battery. (Android Headlines, CBS58)



Jean-Claude Biver, head of LVMH watch brands including TAG Heuer, Hublot and Zenith indicates that Switzerland’s luxury watch sector can profit from a smartwatch boom as more consumers seek high-end versions of the technology. (CN Beta, Channel News Asia, Reuters, Yahoo)


VentureBeat’s 2017 predictions and wishes for VR and AR industry. (VentureBeat, article, 199IT)


[CES 2017] Lenovo showcasing a VR headset prototype that works with Microsoft’s Windows Holographic platform. It uses two 1440×1440 OLED panels, inside-out, six degrees-of-freedom tracking, and will ship in 2017 for around USD300. (The Verge, MS Poweruser, CN Beta)


According to Google Play, Aalot of Daydream apps have not yet passed the 1,000 – 5,000 installs window. (CN Beta, Yahoo)

Internet of Things

TrackR launches Atlas, a USD40 wall plug to track all misplaced items in home; Pixel, a USD25 enhanced version of Bravo device, which is a tracker. (Android Headlines, Engadget, TrackR, VentureBeat, TechWeb)


Google and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) have announced a new smart infotainment system based on Android. The new Uconnect system features an 8.4” touchscreen and runs Android. (CN Beta, Android Authority, FCA)


Using data from 3M New York City (NYC) taxi rides, a team from MIT’s CSAIL found that just 3,000 vehicles from services like UberPOOL and Lyft Line could replace NYC 14,000 strong cab fleet. They would reduce congestion by 3 times, barely impact travel times, and passengers only have to wait an average of 2.7 minutes for a ride. (Engadget, The Verge, MIT, CN Beta)


Drone maker ZeroTech is laying off 134 employees. 3 reasons behind the layoff: 1. Number of employees has increased drastically in 1 year, which causing management difficulty; 2. Core and mid-level managers are not enough; and 3. To decrease the cost of operation. (TechNews, iiMedia, CIT News, OfWeek)

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