07-20: Sorry for not able to provide instant info, on business trip. These few days – Samsung to make Apple chipset next year; Xiaomi signed OLED supply deal with Samsung; etc.


According to SEMI, since 2009, installed 200mm (or 8”) fab capacity has increased, and by 2020, 200mm capacity is expected to reach almost 5.7M wafers per month (wpm). By the end of 2017, installed capacity will reach close to 5.4M wpm. Driven by mobile and wireless applications, IOT, and automotive, the 200mm market is thriving. Looking only at IC volume fabs, the report shows 188 fabs in production in 2016 and expanding to 197 fabs by 2021. (TechNews, Sohu, iConnect, SEMI, press)

Qualcomm CEO Steve Mollenkopf has compared the dispute with Apple over potentially billions of dollars in royalties on mobile chipsets to earlier fights Qualcomm has had over the years with other tech companies that were settled out of court. He expects out of court settlement with Apple. (GSM Arena, Fortune, 9to5Mac, CN Beta, Sohu)

Qualcomm CEO Steve Mollenkopf says that mobile internet speeds will hit incredible new records in 2019 as 5G service becomes real in that year. While he said that most in the industry pick 2020 as the launch year for the next generation of mobile wireless service, “people are pulling us faster”, that means “you’ll see 5G in 2019 for sure”. (Phone Arena, Business Insider, JRJ)

Qualcomm faces a new set of antitrust allegations from a group of 4 companies that assemble the iPhone and other products on behalf of Apple. Foxconn parent Hon Hai Precision, Wistron, Compal Electronics and Pegatron alleged that Qualcomm violated two sections of the Sherman Act, a U.S. antitrust law. (Apple Insider, Reuters, CN Beta)

Samsung Electronics will produce chips again for Apple’s new iPhone in 2018 — a crucial deal coming after it lost iPhone orders to TSMC in 2013. Samsung has reportedly purchased extreme ultra violet lithography machines, the most advanced chip manufacturing equipment, to produce 7nm mobile processors solely for iPhone. (Phone Arena, The Investor, Laoyaoba, Sohu)

Taiwan-based embedded NVM IP provider eMemory Technology has signed a 2-year cooperation contract with SK Hynix for providing technology support to the Korea-based electronics firm to develop its wafer foundry business, according to Digitimes. eMemory will receive revenues of NTD180M (USD5.928M) from SK Hynix in 2 years for its technology support. (Digitimes, press, EE World)

Intel has reportedly eliminated its internal wearables group about 2 weeks ago as part of a transition away from health trackers to more current advanced technologies. The division includes fitness trackers and the Basis smartwatch, as the company refocuses on augmented reality. (CN Beta, CNBC, Engadget, ZDNet, Apple Insider)

Touch Display

Xiaomi has reportedly signed an OLED supply deal with Samsung Display for its flagship smartphone in 2018. Samsung will supply a 6.01” rigid OLED panel for Xiaomi, with the first shipment starting from Dec 2017. About 1M units will be shipped in the first month, followed by another 2.2M units in the next month.   (GSM Arena, The Investor, Android Headlines, Seeking Alpha, Laoyaoba, Sina)

AU Optronics (AUO) has secured a total of NTD23B (USD757.528M) in syndicated loans from a banking consortium led by Bank of Taiwan. AUO will use the new funds to finance the second-phase expansion project of its 8.5G plant in Houli, central Taiwan. The company aims to ramp up production capacity at the plant to 100,000 panels a month when the new facilities come online in 2H18. (Digitimes, Reuters, OfWeek)


Largan Precision has announced the acquisition of an existing factory located in Taichung City, central Taiwan, at NTD1.036B (USD34.1M). The acquisition of the factory may indicate that the company expects long-term demand for lens modules, and deems it necessary to further expand production capacity. (Digitimes, LTN, CNYes)


According to Strategy Analytics, in 2017 852M smartphones shipped with fingerprint recognition functions. Front fingerprint sensors continued to account for the 90% level. It is expected that they accounted for 55%, more than the half of the total global smartphone sales. (Android Headlines, Business Korea)

Walmart is developing facial recognition technology to detect frustrated or unhappy shoppers.The technology uses video cameras at store checkout lines that monitor customers’ facial expressions and movements to try and identify varying levels of dissatisfaction (CN Beta, BGR, Business Insider, WSJ)


Samsung says it will recover more than 157 tons of gold, silver, cobalt, and copper through the recycling process of its recalled Galaxy Note 7 in 2016. The company has decided to separate and reuse key components such as the AMOLED displays, memory semiconductors, and camera modules “through eco-friendly processing methods”.  (GSM Arena, Samsung, Android Headlines, JRJ, Sohu, Sina)

BYD indicates that the main customers for its metal chassis are Samsung, Huawei, vivo, etc.  In nearly 2~3 yers, flagship smartphone’s mainstream is glass cover case plus metal frame, i.e., 3D glass with metal frame. Currently the company’s glass production capacity is expanding from 2H17. The company’s Shantou glass fab will begin mass production from Mar 2018, with a good yield rate. (STCN, Laoyaoba)


Mexican carrier America Movil and Samsung Electronics are planning to develop 4.5G networks in Mexico and other Latin American countries.  (GSM Arena, Samsung, C114)


According to Verto Analytics, the phone-based personal assistants see big declines in terms of average monthly users while those that cater to home computing devices grew. As of May 2017, Apple Siri managed to hold on to its position as the most widely used personal assistant. Siri is used by around 41.4M consumers, nearly 2x as much as the 2nd place holder Samsung S Voice.  (Android Headlines, TechCrunch, 9to5Mac, Verto Analytics, report, Sina, Laoyaoba)

How a smartphone looks now accounts for about 50% a consumer’s purchase decision, with the assessment formed in roughly 1s, according to Charles L. Mauro, president of MauroNewMedia. Mauro says peer-reviewed research reveals aesthetics matter much more than previously believed, as older surveys pegged looks as influencing only 7% of a phone purchase. (TechNews, Barron’s, blog, WSJ)

Samsung CEO Dongjin Koh has refuted market speculation indicating that sales of the Galaxy S8 devices are falling short of those for the Galaxy S7 since launch, stating that cumulative sales of the Galaxy S8 smartphones are 15% higher than their predecessors’ compared on the same number of selling days thus far. (Phone Arena, Digitimes, press, Sina)

Morgan Stanley’s  analyst Katy Huberty suggests Apple could have big Dec~Mar quarters after the anticipated launch 2017 fall of the redesigned iPhone, which is expected to come with a higher price tag. Depending on its desirability, a new OLED iPhone could spur a “supercycle” of sales, as there is a buildup of current iPhone users waiting for a compelling new model before they upgrade. (Phone Arena, Business Insider, CN Beta)

Production of Apple’s OLED-version next-generation iPhone will be delayed to Nov~Dec 2017, shipping only in small volumes initially, according to Digitimes. (Phone Arena, Digitimes, press)

Analyst Pan Jiutang believes Apple’s small screen iPhone SE will be a one-off. As for the 2017 iPhones, Pan points out that manufacturers want to hit the 5.5” mark as that is where most smartphone sales are. (GSM Arena, Weibo, ZOL, iFeng)

Apple has reportedly bought 11 patents from Korea-based Pantech. On July 18, Britain’s patent-specialized media channel, IAM, quoted US Patent Office (USPTO) as saying that Apple acquired patents from Pantech in Korea through Gold Peak Innovation, a patent trader. (CN Beta, Patently Apple, Business Korea)

Original JP Morgan estimates pinned 9M Apple “iPhone 8” units available for launch and for sale before end Sept 2017. Rod Hall from JP Morgan believes that the actual number is now closer to 2M because of unspecified production problems, and has shifted quarterly unit forecasts accordingly. Hall believes that the average selling price will not hit the peak of USD681 as they predicted, but will be around USD629.  (Phone Arena, Apple Insider, CNFOL, Sohu)

With LeEco having recently stopped selling some of its smartphones on its online shopping website, several market watchers expect the company’s upstream component suppliers including MediaTek, WPG, and Compal Electronics. (Android Headlines, Digitimes, press, Shixunwang, UDN)

Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun reveals that there are still 5M users using Mi 2 and Mi 2S, which are launched in 2012. (GSM Arena, Playful Droid, Sohu)


Alphabet X, which oversees the development of Glass, has announced that after 2 years in a limited trial program, the Google Glass Enterprise Edition is being rolled out to more businesses. (Android Central, Wired, LA Times, TechCrunch, Sohu)

Disney and Lenovo are developing the Star Wars Jedi Challenges VR system which comprises of a lightsaber controller that’s paired with a special virtual reality headset. The headset itself is like just another mobile VR viewer as it will require a smartphone to be docked in the front. (Ubergizmo, Fortune, Forbes, Sina, CN Beta)

Huawei has launched new fitness trackers Band 2 and Band 2 Pro. They feature a heart rate sensor that provides all-day heart monitoring. The Band 2 Pro has additional functionality that provides more in-depth information to the user. It has a built-in GPS. (Ubergizmo, NDTV, CN Beta, JRJ)

Internet of Things

Electric carmaker Lucid Motors is allegedly raising a new round of financing and is also considering an outright sale after holding early-stage takeover talks with Ford Motor.  (CN Beta, Jalopink, Bloomberg, Elektrek)

Samsung’s Harman International has announced acquiring Arcam, perhaps better known as A&R Cambridge Ltd., likely so it can use Arcam’s Hi-Fi audio technology for integration with its future products.  (Android Headlines, Korea Herald, KK News)

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