05-04: Qualcomm is reportedly looking to secure a ban on Apple’s U.S. iPhone imports; TCL Corp. module manufacture base has begun construction in Zhongkai high-tech zones; etc.


As a part of the legal battle between the 2 firms, Qualcomm is reportedly looking to secure a ban on Apple’s U.S. iPhone imports. The petition will allegedly be filed through the U.S. International Trade Commission, which can potentially act faster than federal courts.  (Apple Insider, Bloomberg, CNFOL, My Drivers, 163)

Worldwide semiconductor wafer-level manufacturing equipment (WFE) revenues totaled USD37.4B in 2016, an 11.3% increase from 2015, according to final results by Gartner. The top-10 vendors accounted for 79% of the market, up 2% from 2015. Spending on 3D NAND and leading-edge logic process drove growth in the market in 2016. Applied Materials continued to lead the WFE market with 20.5% growth in 2016, Gartner indicated.  (Gartner, press, Digitimes, 52RD, HC360)


Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) announced worldwide sales of semiconductors reached USD30.9B for Mar 2017, an increase of 18.1% compared to the Mar 2016 total of USD26.2B and 1.6% more than the Feb 2017 total of USD30.4B. Sales from 1Q17 were USD92.6B, up 18.1% compared to 1Q16 but down 0.4% compared to 4Q16.  (TechNews, SIA, press)

sia-mar-2017 sia-2017-semi-revenues

Vienna University of Technology has built a primitive microprocessor out of a two-dimensional material similar to graphene, the flexible conductive wonder material that some believe will revolutionize the design and manufacture of batteries, sensors and chips. 2D materials have the benefit of flexibility, meaning that they can be incorporated more easily into wearable devices or connected sensors, and potentially making them less breakable. (Nature, Laoyaoba, PC World)


ARM has unveiled its newest Mali-Cetus GPU architecture, which will be first of all focused on bringing better support fro multi-window sessions in Android 7.0 Nougat and further Google Android OS releases.  Mali-Cetus works with up to 4K×2K screens at up to 120Hz. Cetus achieves this by splitting up 4K video layers to different sub-units, which has the added benefit of improved battery life. (AnandTech, EE Board, Android Authority, Fudzilla, Android Police)


Touch Display

TCL Corp. module manufacture base has begun construction in Zhongkai high-tech zones. After the project is complete, the annual production value is expected to reach CNY88.8B. (Laoyaoba, OLEDW, CECB2B)


SFA has announced that it has signed a KRW61B (USD53.49M) contract with China’s Royale to supply OLED manufacturing equipment. Royole is constructing a Gen-5.5 flexible OLED production facility in Shenzhen, China. The new fab is scheduled to begin operation in 2018 and will have a monthly capacity of 45,000 substrates. (OLED-Info, The Investor, OfWeek)

TPK, O-Film and BOE have formed a strategic alliance to compete for Apple’s tablet LCD panel and touch panel orders, after already taking up Apple’s notebook panel orders. GIS and Sharp alliance are being challenged. (Laoyaoba, SEMI, OfWeek)

A new family of maXTouch touchscreen controllers is now available from Microchip Technology. The MXT1665T-A family of automotive qualified touchscreen controllers is designed for large screen automotive human machine interface (HMI) designs. (Laoyaoba, Sohu, EE WebSME Channels)


AUO’s net profit expanded for 1Q17 about 5.7% to NTD9.48B (USD314.4M), compared with NTD8.97B in 4Q16. In 1Q16, the company lost NTD5.48B. Regarding its AMOLED business, AUO says that it made “significant progress” in 2017 in expanding its client base. The company’s monthly shipments are expected to reach 1M units in 2H17. (OLED-Info, Taipei Times, CTEE, Money-Link, CDNews, China Times)


Apple CEO Tim Cook announced that the company will invest USD1B into a fund aimed at promoting advanced manufacturing jobs in the US. (CNBC, Engadget, ZOL, Sina)


Deutsche Bank analyst has suggested that the 10th anniversary version of Apple’s smartphone would not be released in 2017 due to several supply chain reports revealing that a shortage of key components as well as the technical challenges of manufacturing the device could delay the release of the iPhone 8 / iPhone X. (Gizmo China, Business Insider, GSM Arena, ValueWalk, PC Online, Elecfans)

vivo SVP Ni Xudong indicates that they never define KPI, they focus on the fundamental needs of customers, thus they do not purposely chase after market size or market share. R&D is one of the main targets for the company in 2017. Mr. Ni believes that if the company only relies on marketing and sales, it will die. (Laoyaoba, Tencent, press)


PCs / Tablets

TrendForce reports global tablet shipments for 1Q17 totaled 31.95M units, representing a steep drop of 34.5% compared with the prior quarter and a year-on-year decline of 9.3%. The shipment slump was attributed to the effect of the traditional slow season and the general decline in tablet market demand. (TrendForce, press, TrendForce[cn], press)



Sales of the Apple Watch have nearly doubled year over year, CEO Tim Cook announced. Apple sold 1.6B Apple Watch in 2Q16. (The Verge, Apple Insider, Ubergizmo, PED30, Sohu)


Fitbit announced 1Q17 revenue amounted to USD299M. Fitbit sold 3M devices in 1Q17. Looking into 2Q17, Fitbit estimates revenues to be USD330M~350M. (Laoyaoba, Bloomberg, TechCrunch, Fitbit, Fortune)


Acer has introduced the Holo 360 camera, which can capture 3D content, much like other 360º cameras, and could be used to capture, view, and create content for VR headsets. The device also has Wi-Fi and LTE connectivity.  (AnandTech, Kejixun, 163, PC World, Android Authority)


Internet of Things

Inventec has been selected by Apple to manufacture Apple’s rumored Siri speaker, if supply chain reports out of China are to be believed. Inventec currently produces Apple’s AirPods. (Apple Insider, UDN)

Tesla announced it has shipped 25,051 vehicles in 1Q17, putting it on track of its goal to sell 50,000 cars by the middle of 2017. Tesla says it expects to begin production with 5,000 cars per week at some point in 2017, which it hopes to increase to 10,000 cars per week by some point in 2018. Revenue more than doubled to USD2.7B from USD1.15B. (Laoyaoba, Laoyaoba, The Verge, Tesla, NY Times, TechNews)


According to Sigmaintell, global LCD TV shipment in 1Q17 has reached 49.3M units, a 3.0% down on year. Because of the unstable global economy, and there is no major sports event driving the sales, Sigmaintell estimates in 2017 global LCD TV shipment would be 233.5M units, a 2.0% drop on year. (Sigmaintell, press, Laoyaoba)


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