07-01: Mainland China OLED production capacity will increase 300% in 2017 compared to 2016; Samsung Display is reportdly planning to construct world’s biggest OLED plants; etc.

Chipsets

Qualcomm has launched Snapdragon 450 platform, but MediaTek is already preparing to react. MediaTek Helio P23 expects to use its cost advantage to win over some market share. OPPO, vivo and Gionee reportedly have received samples from MediaTek. (China Times, Sohu, Laoyaoba)

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Test chips dominated 2016, with a handful of early 10nm production designs. 2017 is the year of volume manufacturing for 10nm. Samsung on its introduction of the first mass-produced system-on-chip (SoC) using 10nm, Samsung and Qualcomm using 10nm for its latest Snapdragon 835 mobile processor, Mediatek’s Helio X30 processor, and LG’s next-generation processor—all on 10nm processes.  (Electronic Design, article, Laoyaoba)

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China has the possibility to become a world-class semiconductor industry if local players make good use of resources domestically and internationally, according to Huiwen Ding, head of Imec China. (Digitimes, press, OfWeek)

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MediaTek has unveiled its first narrow band Internet of Things (NB-IoT) system-on-chip (SoC), the MT2625, and announced a collaboration with China Mobile to build what the companies claim is the world’s smallest NB-IoT module (16×18mm) around the chipset. New ultra-low-power MT2625 SoC supports a full frequency band (450MHz~2.1GHz) of 3GPP R13 (NB1) and R14 (NB2) standards. (Laoyaoba, Digitimes, press, EET China, EE World)

Touch Display

According to IHS Markit, the combined global sales of LCD and OLED displays that are 9” or smaller came to USD13B in 1Q17 period, up 35% from a year earlier. The combined sales of flexible OLED products came to USD1.1B, doubling over the cited period on the back of the release of Samsung Galaxy S8. (GSM Arena, Korea Herald, Sam Mobile, Sina, Pulse)

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Mainland China and Korea are competing in AMOLED production. Mainland China production capacity will increase 300% in 2017 compared to 2016. That includes BOE, Tianma and Visionox etc. combined monthly production in 2017 will increase to 137K units. (UDN, OfWeek, Laoyaoba)

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Samsung Display is reportedly planning to construct world’s biggest OLED plants which will have more than 30% of production capacity than A3 that is currently Samsung Display’s biggest plant. It has started constructing 6th generation flexible OLED production line called ‘A5 (tentative name)’, which has production capacity of 180,000 panels per month and up to 270,000 panels per month, at its new sites in Cheonan and Asan. (ET News, TechNews)

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In 2017 CPT tried to optimize its product portfolio, actively expanding its automotive market. In 2016 CPT’s automotive panel shipment was about 13M units, and expects it will stay flat in 2017. Thanks to it has succeeded entering German tier 1 automotive supply chain, 2017 expects to see increase in revenues. (Laoyaoba, China Times)

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Samsung Electronics will reportedly produce TVs featuring LCD panels supplied by its rival LG Display from Jul 2017.  LG Display will start producing the 40” and 60” panels for Samsung’s high-end TVs from as early as Jul 2017 at its P7 and P8 plants in Paju, Gyeonggi Province. About 700K~1M units of the LG panels are expected to be supplied to Samsung in 2017.  (Laoyaoba, The Investor)

Camera

Wuhan-based HT Optical supplied 360º camera module, which fits into a 7.6mm thick smartphone and capable 16MP photos and 4K videos shoot. (Android Authority, Engadget, Phone Arena, Android Headlines, Engadget)

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CMOS image sensor sales are on pace to reach a 7th straight record high in 2017, and it will break more annual records through 2021, according to IC Insights. After rising 9% in 2017 to about USD11.5B, worldwide CMOS image sensors sales are expected to increase by a CAGR of 8.7% to USD15.9B in 2021 from the current record high of USD10.5B set in 2016. (IC Insights, press, Digitimes)

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Memory

Powerchip Group chairman Frank Huang indicates that it has an installed capacity of 100K a month in Taiwan, but is still facing a severe capacity problem. Hsinchu-based Powerchip, primarily a maker of driver ICs for LCD panels, plans to boost the Hefei plant’s monthly capacity to 10K wafers by 2Q18 after producing a first batch of chips by the end of 2017. (TechNews, Laoyaoba, Taipei Times)

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Hefei Rui-Li Integrated Circuit will reportedly start making DRAM chips using 19nm process technology around the end of Feb 2018, according to Digitimes. Rui-Li IC will start installing equipment at its new 12” fab at the end of 2017 which is ahead of schedule. Rui-Li has started negotiating with silicon wafer providers to ensure a sufficient supply. (Digitimes, press)

Battery

Samsung SDI will be able to produce solid-state batteries that are safe from explosions for smartphones in 1~2 years. The first application for these batteries will be in smartphones. Meanwhile, solid-state batteries for electric cars would take till 2025 to hit the market, due to the more stringent safety constraints. (Android Authority, Korea Herald, Sohu)

Connectivity

China Mobile’s 5G Innovation Center is organizing a meeting with its members, including Ericsson, Huawei, Intel, Nokia, Qorvo, a total of 200 members to explore and develop new markets. (Laoyaoba, EE World, Sohu)

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According to the Google’s official Project Fi Twitter account, a smartphone “at a mid-tier” price will be coming to Project Fi via one of Google’s partners later 2017. (Liliputing, Android Authority, Android Central)

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Smartphones

According to Sensor Tower Store Intelligence estimates, Apple’s revenue from iPhone and iPad app purchases in 1H17 totals approximately USD4.9B, which is USD1.4B (or about 40%) more than Apple’s total net income of USD3.5B for all of fiscal year 2007, the year iPhone was introduced. (CN Beta, SensorTower, blog)

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Based on info from supply chain, OPPO and vivo have increased their orders. Huawei, Xiaomi and Gionee also expect to see their orders increase in 3Q17. From the orders volume, OPPO, vivo and Huawei will be top, follows by Xiaomi and Gionee. This indicates their inventory has been cleared in 1H17, and 3Q17 the market will be better. (Laoyaoba, Sohu)

China Mobile, Spreadtrum, Alibaba’s YunOS announced that their collaboration China Mobile A3, which combines China’s brand (CMCC), China’s system (YunOS), and China’s chipset (Spreadtrum SC9832) has achieved 1M units accumulative shipment since launched in Mar 2017. (Laoyaoba, CNMO, Sohu, OfWeek)

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After acquired by LeEco, Coolpad’s “billions target” is getting further, yet facing lose, lays off, and annul contracts with fresh employees keep happening. To survive, Coolpad aims to return to beneficial in 2017. In Apr 2017, Coolpad announced that it has lose HKD460M, and expects to lose HKD600M~800M. (Sina, Laoyaoba, China Times)

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An entity called Deshodax has filed 7 patent infringement complaints in the Eastern District of Texas in Apr 2017. All of the suits assert a single patent – US7,307,398 – which was granted to Qisda subsidiary BenQ in 2007. Deshodax LLC, a Texas entity, was registered in Jan 2017, and obtained the patent from Qisda 1 month later. The defendants are Huawei, ZTE, Lenovo, TCL, OnePlus, Acer and Nokia – all the complaints name some type of mobile phone. (I AM, Laoyaoba)

Android One phone Sharp X1 is launched in Japan from Y!mobile – 5.3” FHD IGZO display, Qualcomm Snapdragon 435 processor, 16MP + 8MP cameras, 3GB RAM,32GB storage, USB Type-C, 3900mAh battery. (Liliputing, Android Headlines, 9to5Google, Y!mobile)

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Wearables

Xiaotiancai, announced a new smartwatch for kids, called the Xiaotiancai Z3. It features Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 2100 that supports 4G. It supports NFC, Bluetooth 4.1 Low Energy (LE), and conceals a Qualcomm Snapdragon X5 LTE modem.  (Android Headlines, My Drivers)

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Loup Ventures analyst Gene Munster argues that within a decade, Apple’s AirPods could be bigger than Apple Watch in terms of revenue. By Munster’s estimates, AirPods revenue could equal Apple Watch revenue by fiscal 2022, and average selling prices could creep higher to around USD200 (compared to the current USD159 price point) as Apple pushes into augmented audio. (Motley Fool, Mac Rumors, Loup Ventures, model, IB Times)

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