03-01 MWC 2017: 3rd day, main announcements are done; other outside MWC info: prices of mobile DRAM, mobile NAND Flash products and AMOLED panels will continue to climb through 2017; etc.


General manager of sales at MediaTek Finbarr Moynihan implies that the company is sitting out the opportunity to put its ARM-based chips in Windows PCs because the company sees it as a limited opportunity. (TechNews, Computer World, CIO, Softpedia)


Raspberry Pi Zero W is launched with USD10 price, which is a new single-board computer featuring Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0. It also offers a mini-HDMI port, micro-USB port, micro-USB power and microSD slot. (TechCrunch, Pocket-Lint, CN Beta, Raspberry Pi Zero W)


Touch Display

Robert Cihra from Guggenheim Securities indicates that the needed quantities of OLED screens for a full shift to the technology in Apple’s “iPhone 7s” and “iPhone 8” will not be met by suppliers only now ramping up for production. As a side-effect, explosive growth in iPhone sales in 1 year that may have been induced by a screen shift away from LED and towards OLED will be spread over up to 3 years and have a greater effect on stock price over time than it would have had otherwise. (CN BetaApple Insider)


Foxconn, whose main listed unit is Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., is investing CNY61B (USD8.9B) in the factory in Guangzhou and plans to complete it by 2019. It will use the largest glass substrates available, and have a monthly output capacity of 90,000 ultra-high-definition panels worth about CNY92B annually. (CN Beta, Bloomberg, Yahoo)

The proportion of smartphones with AMOLED panels is estimated at 27.6% in 2017 and may rise to 50% in 2020, according to Digitimes. Samsung Display is dominating global supply of AMOLED panels. Of the 350M smartphones shipped equipped with AMOLED globally in 2016, Samsung accounted for the bulk, while OPPO and vivo together shared over 20%. (Android Headlines, Phone Arena, Digitimes, press, Kejixun, IT Home)

Taiwan-based Mikro Mesa Technology is setting up a Micro LED panel laboratory in Chongqing City, western China, through cooperation with China-based TFT-LCD panel maker Chongqing HKC Optoelectronics Technology, with completion scheduled for Oct 2017, according to company founder Chen Li-yi. (Digitimes, press)



Panasonic has developed a new camera that can measure heart rate simply by taking a picture that shows the person’s skin somewhere in the shot. This technique will work on both a still shot or via a video recording and is called “Contactless Vital Sensing”. (Android Headlines, Phone Arena, Nikkei Technology, CNET, 163)



TrendForce’s latest analyses indicate that prices of mobile DRAM, mobile NAND Flash products and AMOLED panels will continue to climb through 2017. As smartphone brands will be raising hardware specifications of their products, they are also revealing their intentions to build up their inventories in advance. High prices of AMOLED panels and memory components during this entire year will constrain smartphone makers’ ability to attain greater profits. (TechNews, TrendForce, press, TrendForce[cn], press)



Apple’s patent “Interactive display panel with IR diodes” details a touch display that incorporates micro-LED sensing technology instead of the ubiquitous active matrix hardware seen on most mobile devices. The IP was reassigned to Apple last April from LuxVue, a company specializing in highly efficient micro-LED displays and technology.  (163, Sohu, Apple Insider)


Apple is granted a patent application, describes an “Electronic device including finger biometric sensor carried by a touch display and related methods”. The method involves the use of multiple layers to make the screen, including one display layer, at least one transparent conductive layer, and another for fingerprint reading. This biometric sensor could include an interconnect layer with “transparent conductive traces,” and a “transparent dielectric layer” between the sensing and interconnect layers.  (Apple Insider, USPTO, Cult of Mac, Candou, 163)



Barclays managing director Blayne Curtis expects Apple iPhone 8 to keep its Lightning connector, while he believes that Apple will sell a Lightning to USB-C adapter in European countries to adhere to the European Commission’s “one mobile phone charger for all” campaign.  (Investor Place, CN Beta, Mac Rumors, CN Beta)


Samsung heir Lee Jae-yong and four other senior executives from the electronics giant were indicted on 28 Feb 2017 on charges including embezzlement and bribery, South Korean prosecutors said. (TechNews, NY Times, Washington Post, NPR, USA Today)


Back in Oct 2016, Samsung announced that it had acquired artificial intelligence startup Viv Labs. Samsung has now disclosed it has paid around USD215M for Viv. (VentureBeat, Reuters, Sina, 163)


Foxconn is taking over SoftBank’s Asia-based tech investment fund. Foxconn has agreed to buy a majority 54.5% stake in SoftBank Asia Capital in exchange for USD600M. Softbank has confirmed that the agreement will see Foxconn become “the decision maker on investments” for the fund. (Digitimes, press, TechCrunch, Softbank, TechWeb, 163)

Xiaomi Redmi 4X is launched – 5” HD 2.5D curved display, Qualcomm Snapdragon 435 processor, 13MP PDAF + 5MP cameras, 2 / 3GB RAM, 16 / 32GB storage, Android 6 (MIUI 8), LTE (VoLTE), 4100mAh battery, from CNY699. (GizChina, Softpedia, Android Headlines, ChinaZ, Elecfans)


ZOPO Flash X Plus launches in India – 5.5” FHD 2.5D curved display, MediaTek MT6753 processor, 13MP + 8MP cameras, 3GB RAM, 32GB storage, Android 6.0, LTE (VoLTE), 3100mAh battery, INR13999. (GizChina, NDTV)



Tablets / PCs

[MWC2017] Google’s senior vice president for hardware Rick Osterloh has indicated that  the Pixel laptop — Google’s premium Chromebook and the original product bearing the Pixel name — has hit the end of the line after just 2 iterations. (CN Beta, TechCrunch, Engadget)


[MWC2017] Lenovo launches new Tab 4 with Android 7.0: Tab 4 8 – 8” 1280×800 IPS LCD display, Qualcomm Snapdragon 425 processor, 5MP + 2MP cameras, 2GB RAM, 16 / 32GB storage, 4850mAh battery. Tab 4 8 Plus – 8” 1900×1200 IPS LCD display, Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 processor, 8MP + 5MP cameras, 3 / 4GB RAM, 16 / 32GB storage, 4850mAh battery. Tab 4 10 – 10.1” 1280×800 IPS LCD display, Qualcomm Snapdragon 425 processor, 5MP + 2MP cameras, 2GB RAM, 16 / 32GB storage, USB Type-C connector, 7000mAh battery. Tab 4 10 Plus – 10.1” 1900×1200 IPS LCD display, Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 processor, 8MP + 5MP cameras, 3 / 4GB RAM, 16 / 32GB storage, USB Type-C connector, 7000mAh battery.  (Android Authority, Ubergizmo, Tablet Monkeys, Lenovo, Liliputing, Talk Android)

lenovo-tab-4-8 lenovo-tab-4-10


[MWC2017] Google’s VP of VR Amit Singh said that to date the company has shipped 10M Cardboard VR sets, and it has seen 160M downloads of Cardboard apps, with 30 individual Cardboard apps downloaded at least 1M times each. (CN Beta, TechCrunch)


UBS analyst Steven Milunovich indicates that Apple may have over 1,000 engineers working on a project in Israel that could be related to AR. Apple has also made numerous AR-related acquisitions including: PrimeSense (3D sensing), Metaio (developed software that lets users look at products and then apply different colours and finishes) and RealFace (facial recognition). (Ubergizmo, Business Insider, CN Beta)

Internet of Things

LG Electronics said it would spend USD250M to build a new factory in the United States, to be located near Clarksville, Tennessee, will employ 600 full-time workers and produce washing machines starting in 2019. (CN Beta, Business Insider)

Goldman Sachs analyst David Tamberrino has expected a delay launch of Tesla Model 3, and it will not be expected till 2018. (CN Beta, USA Today, Motley Fool, Inside Evs, Bloomberg, IB Times)

Ford envisions a future in which autonomous electric vans will work alongside drones to deliver items to people located in urban areas. Calling it the ‘autolivery’ concept, the idea here is that self-driving cars could be used to deliver packages. (CN Beta, The News Wheel, Engadget, Ford, SlashGear)


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