05-02: Too busy, sorry for being absent again. Last 2 days – Qualcomm allegedly will collaborate with Datang Telecom to form a new phone chipset company in 3Q17; etc.

Chipsets

Intel is forecasting a “slight decline” in its premium chip prices for the remainder of 2017, and AMD’s Ryzen chips could have played a part in that. Prices of Intel’s chips in both desktops and laptops went up in 1Q17. That helped drive up the quarterly revenue for Client Computing Group—which deals in PC chips—to USD8B, which was up 6% compared to the same quarter last year. (PC World, CN Beta)

Cambricon launches world’s first deep learbing specific neural processing unit (NPU). Currently the company is expanding its IPs to cover applications of smartphone, national security, wearables, etc. In 2016, the company already received 1M orders. The chairman Luo Tao indicates that in coming 1 year, the company will launch the chipset, and will work with TSMC for manufacturing. (CECB2B, Laoyaoba, Atman360)

After nearly a quarter of a century, the semiconductor industry could see a new number-one supplier in 2Q17. If memory market prices continue to hold or increase this quarter, Samsung could charge into the top spot and displace Intel, which has held the No. 1 ranking since 1993, according to IC Insights. IC Insights expects that the tremendous gains in DRAM and NAND flash pricing experienced through 2016 and into 1Q17 will begin to cool in 2H17. (IC Insights, press, Digitimes, Sohu)

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ASML announced that it is filing initial legal claims against Nikon for infringement of more than 10 patents, related to a broad range of products in the fields of semiconductor manufacturing equipment, flat panel display manufacturing equipment and digital cameras. This follows Nikon’s announcement on 24 Apr 2017, that it has sued ASML. ASML denies infringing any of Nikon’s patents. (Laoyaoba, Elecfans, Seeking Alpha, NASDAQ)

AMD announced that in fiscal quarter 1Q17 revenues has reached USD984M, an increase from last year same period of USD832M, and last quarter of USD111M. AMD’s net loss narrowed to USD73M, from USD109M. (Laoyaoba, EE World, AMD, Fortune)

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Qualcomm allegedly will collaborate with Datang Telecom to form a new phone chipset company in 3Q17, and aiming for low-end market, competing with MediaTek and Spreadtrum. Datang would own more than half of the stake, while Qualcomm will play an important role in technical support. (My Drivers, Laoyaoba)

Touch Display

Samsung Electronics and LG Display (LGD) are remaining apart in liquid-crystal display (LCD) supply negotiation. LGD was planning to supply TV LCD panels to Samsung Electronics from Jul 2017. However, the supply is expected to postpone for quite a long time as the two have failed to sign the contract. (Laoyaoba, EE World, Business Korea)

Samsung Electronics is reportedly seeking to take over PlayNitride, a Taiwanese micro-LED maker, for an estimated USD150M. (Laoyaoba, The Investor, OLED-Info)

Global LCD and OLED panel shipments are expected to increase by 7% sequentially in 2Q17 to 646.7M units, a rebound from a 9% quarter-to-quarter decrease in 1Q17, according to IHS Markit. The increase in shipments has been driven by demand from new product model preparation and the annual Labor Day sales promotion in China held during May. (IHS Markit, press, Digitimes, UDN)

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According to Quarkdisplay, in 2016 global small-to-mid size OLED panel production value has reached USD10.7B, and by 2018 the number will increase to USD13.4B, with annual growth of 12.5%. At the beginning of 2018, with new AMOLED panel makers entering production, the penetration of AMOLED panels in smartphone market will reach 35%. (Jiemian, press, Laoyaoba)

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Smartphones

According to Canalys, the market share of Samsung smartphones in India stood at 22% in 1Q17 period after shipping 6M units. Its market share for the previous quarter was also at 22%. Sustained J-series shipments to its established offline distribution partners ensured that it stayed on top. Xiaomi continued to grow in 1Q17, accounting for 14% of shipments in the quarter, up from 3% a year ago, as it closes in on 4M units. (Korea Times, Android Authority, Canalys, Canalys, press, CN Beta)

According to the data compiled by Strategic Analytics, Samsung sold 7.2M units of the Galaxy S7 and the Galaxy S7 Edge over the 1Q17. Strategy Analytics added Samsung sold 92.8M units of handsets in 1Q17, with smartphones accounting for 86%, or 80M units. (GSM Arena, The Investor, Kejixun)

Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei revealed that Huawei’s headquarter will never leave Shenzhen China. Mr. Ren indicates that Shenzhen has a good environment and support for Huawei to grow. (Laoyaoba, 163, Sina)

Apple has reportedly plans to start selling the iPhone SE online first, before it dives into a full retail launch. Allegedly, the launch will be only iPhone SE models made in the country, with a widening array of Apple products and accessories rolled out as traffic grows. (CN Beta, Apple Insider, Economic Times)

Wearables

According to recent survey conducted by market research firm Creative Strategies, a record breaking 98% of Apple AirPods owners said they were either “very satisfied” or “satisfied” with the wireless headphones. (CN Beta, Apple Insider, Experian, Techpinions, blog)

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Acer is pushing MR, VR hardware. Acer CEO Jason Chen pointed out that VR products are becoming mature in terms of technology, but lack of content is still a major issue that has greatly limited the market.  (Digitimes, press, HiNet, China Times)

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Tencent is reportedly looking at launching a new virtual reality (VR) head-mounted display for the Chinese market in 2H17. The company has been working with tech manufacturer Qualcomm to create a design for a standalone VR headset that used ‘inside out’ tracking that does not require an additional tracking camera or sensor.  (CN Beta, Financial Times, VR Focus, Barron’s)

Internet of Things

Google is transitioning to “an AI-first company,” the firm’s CEO Sundar Pichai. (Android Headlines, SDX Central, Engadget, Mobile World Live)

Samsung Electronics received a license to test autonomous vehicles on public roads in South Korea, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport revealed. (CN Beta, Android Headlines, The Investor)

According to KGI Securities analyst Ming Chi Kuo, Apple is preparing its first “home AI product” dubbed “Siri Hub” for a marketing launch as soon as 2017 summer at its annual conference. The device is said to feature 1 woofer and 7 tweeters for rich sound and is believed to be powered by a custom ARM processor. He predicts Apple’s first home AI product will see cyclical shipments (around 12-18 months) of over 10M~12M units.  (Laoyaoba, 9to5Mac, The Apple Post, Business Insider)

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