04-25: Toshiba has decided to split off 4 in-house companies; Samsung Display and LG Display are reportedly looking for ways to create phones that are truly bezel-less and all-screen by curving all sides; etc.

Chipsets

Google’s Android Open Source Project code revealed that the 3 models of next-gen Pixel phone will be powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 (MSM8998) processor. The 3 models codenames are Muskie (Pixel 2), Walleye (Pixel XL 2) and Traimen (Pixel XXL). HTC is hopeful to manufacture next-gen Pixel. (My Drivers, GSM Arena, Google Source, CN Beta)

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ARM has unveiled the Mali-C71, its first image signal processor (ISP) built from the ground up for the automotive market. The Mali-C71 is the first development to come out of ARM’s 2016 acquisition of Apical, which gave ARM the capabilities in imaging and computer vision necessary to meet the automotive market’s needs. (CN Beta, ZDNet, Tom’s Hardware, Business Wire)

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Touch Display

Samsung Display and LG Display are reportedly looking for ways to create phones that are truly bezel-less and all-screen by curving all sides and eliminating even the top and the bottom bezels—this would allow for a screen-to-body ratio of over 98%. (Android Headlines, Android Authority, ET News)

LG Display (LGD) senior vice president and CTO Kang In-byeong indicates that OLED has become display technology mainstream trend, and he expects by 2023 more than 50% of TV will be using OLED technology. (Laoyaoba, OfWeek, CENA)

Samsung and Amazon have launched their very own HDR10+ standard. It is an updated version of the HDR10 standard and comes with a new feature called Dynamic Tone Mapping. The feature uses dynamic metadata to produce improved contrast and colors on a wide range of televisions. (Ubergizmo, Samsung, Laoyaoba)

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Digitimes expects in 2017 full display smartphone shipment would exceed 100M units. Because of rapidly growing demand, it will bring challenges to full display smartphone product design and manufacture, and also triggers supply chain fighting for business opportunities. (Digitimes, Laoyaoba)

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Memory

Toshiba has decided to split off 4 in-house companies — electronic devices, energy, information technology and infrastructure — into wholly-owned subsidiaries. These are the 4 pillars of Toshiba in its current form. Toshiba is planning to sell its NAND memory chip business, the group’s flagship technology asset, as well as offload much or all of Westinghouse. (Laoyaoba, Financial Times, Asia Nikkei)

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TrendForce anticipates that 3D-NAND will formally become the mainstream architecture of NAND Flash memory in 3Q17 with its share in the total NAND Flash bit output exceeding 50%. Following the footsteps of the leading 3D-NAND producers Samsung and Micron, most NAND Flash suppliers will begin mass production of 64-layer 3D-NAND chips in 2H17. Nonetheless, the overall NAND Flash supply is expected to remain tight through the year due to Apple stocking up components for the next iPhone release and steady demand growth from SSD vendors. (TrendForce[cn], press, TrendForce, press, Laoyaoba)

Sensory

Xiaomi will reportedly partner with AAC Technologies who will develop a better new generation technology known as AAC actuator which would be used for the ear piece sound output. The AAC actuator is said to achieve a better screen sound especially at low frequency. It also works better with the 3GPP standard. (Gizmo China, CN Beta, Qianlong)

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Connectivity

Germany and Italy are among 15 European Union (EU) member states pushing back against a proposal to set a 25-year minimum on wireless spectrum licenses, thwarting the telecoms industry’s hopes for a more coordinated approach across the bloc. (My Drivers, Laoyaoba, US News, Gulf Times)

As the world biggest 4G network and having the biggest population of 4G users, China Mobile is against the worldwide trend of exiting 2G network, it has expanded its GSM networks in 2016 and 2017, which are related to BBU+RRU, BSC/OMC-R equipments. (My Drivers, Huanqiu, C114)

T-Mobile CTO Neville Ray confirms the carrier’s plans to quickly begin using some of the 600MHz spectrum it picked up at the FCC’s auction. The nation’s third largest carrier spent USD7.99B during the auction and won approximately 31MHz of the 600MHz spectrum. Ray also indicates that Samsung will have a new handset that supports 600MHz by the holidays 2017.  (Phone Arena, Mobile World Live)

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T-Mobile reports that it added 1.1M customers in 1Q17, which means that it has added more than 1M customers every quarter for the past 4 years. Of that 1.1M, there were 914,000 postpaid customers (798,000 of which were phones) and 386,000 prepaid customers. At the end of 1Q17, T-Mobile had 72.6M customers. (TMO News, T-Mobile, Android Central)

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Smartphones

Xiaomi Senior Vice President, Wang Xiang has reasoned in terms of supply chain and manpower, Xiaomi’s resources are currently stretched thin serving 30 regions, most of which are developing markets. Thus, in response to former Global VP Hugo Barra’s previous hint of a possible 2017 smartphone launch in the US, he is reluctant to provide a time frame. (Engadget, Talk Android)

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Samsung Electronics America president and chief operating officer Tim Baxter has revealed that pre-orders for the Galaxy S8 outpaced that of the Galaxy S7 (which was released in 2016) by as much as 30%, making it the company’s “best ever” launch of a smartphone. (Ubergizmo, CNBC, CN Beta, VentureBeat)

UBS analyst Steven Milunovich believes Apple’s redesigned iPhone expected to launch fall 2017 will be priced at USD850~900. He also believes Apple might launch 2 other devices that are more similar to the current iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, without pricey OLED screens. UBS analysts believe, based on industry checks, that the less-exciting iPhone models could launch before the redesigned iPhone and will go into production first. (CN Beta, Business Insider, 163)

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China Quanzhou Intermediary Court has ordered Samsung Electronics’s mainland subsidiaries to pay CNY80M (USD11.60M)  and CNY500K to Huawei Technologies for patent infringement, the China firm’s first victory against Samsung on its legal challenges over intellectual property. Samsung is also ordered to cease manufacturing, selling 22 related Galaxy model phones. (Laoyaoba, Kejixun, Sina, Reuters, Phone Mantra)

Low price with good specs used to be Internet phone vendors sales pitch, but nowadays more vendors try to get rid of the label of “low price”, moving to high-end segment. Sino analyst Li Rui indicates that ultra low-end segment market is shrinking, and now CNY1000~2000 segment performs rather more stable. He thinks after a number of white-box brands exiting the market, consumers will be facing with more choices. It means that ultra low-end market will be highly competitive. Li Rui estimates that in 2017 this segment players will be shrunk from 30+ to merely 5 left. (Yicai, press, Sina, Laoyaoba)

ZTE Axon 7s is announced – 5.5” QHD AMOLED display, Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 processor, dual rear 20MP-12MP + front 8MP cameras, 6GB RAM, 128GB storage, USB Type-C, 3400mAh battery, CNY4099. (Gizmo China, GSM Arena, 163)

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ZTE Blade Max 3 is launched in US – 6” FHD display, Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 processor,  13MP + 5MP cameras, 2GB RAM, 16GB storage, Android 7.0, USB Type-C connector, 4000mAh battery, USD199.99. (Phone Arena, US Cellular)

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Micromax Bharat 2 is announced in India – 4” WVGA display, Spreadtrum SC9832 processor, 2MP + VGA cameras, 512MB RAM, 4GB storage, Android 6.0, LTE, 1300mAh battery, INR3750. (NDTV, India Times, C114)

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Wearables

Spotify reportedly wants to release a “wearable” hardware product, but specifics were not mentioned. (Android Authority, Spotify, Android Headlines)

Google has announced next generation of the Jump camera for capturing 3D 360º video. It is packed with 17 Yi Halo 4K-capable cameras. Google has also announced Jump Start, aimed at getting the right tools into the hands of prolific virtual reality content creators. (Google, Android Central)

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