08-31: Visionox Display has completed the construction of its 6G AMOLED plant in Hebei; TCL allegedly plans to bring back Palm by launching new devices with the Palm branding sometime in early 2018; etc.

Chipsets

Qualcomm Snapdragon 670 is allegedly going to be built on Samsung’s 10nm LPP (Low Power Plus) process and that it is going to have next-generation Kryo cores. The octa-core configuration is said to include 2 high power Kryo 360 cores and 6 low power cores. (Ubergizmo, GizChina, My Drivers, CN Beta)

Touch Display

According to Bosi Data, in 2015 China 3D glass demand is about 183Km2, 17.3% up on year (156Km2 in 2016). In 2015 China 3D glass production is about 205Km2, a 26.5% increase compared ot 162Km2 in 2014. (SEMI, FPDisplay, Glass, Laoyaoba, Bosi Data)

In 2017, mobile display revenues will exceed TV display revenues, with USD5B gap. That is because AMOLED penetration in smartphone display is rapidly increasing. Not many Taiwanese panel makers have AMOLED, thus this would impact HannStar, CPT, Innolux and AUO revenues. (UDN, Laoyaoba, DS-360)

Visionox Display has completed the construction of its 6G AMOLED plant in Hebei, China, with installation of needed production equipment set to begin in early 2018. The CNY30B (USD4.56B) AMOLED plant is also set to kick off production in mid-2018 with a capacity of 30K substrates a month, mainly for flexible AMOLED panels. (Digitimes, press, Digitimes, Sina)

In recent years, Samsung Display (SDC) and LG Display (LGD), along with Taiwanese vendors, have developed various technologies to enhance features such as wide color gamut (WCG) for their products. TrendForce expects the production costs of liquid crystal display modules (LCMs) for TVs will go up. Depending on the solution type for achieving WCG, the cost increase 3%~10%. (TrendForce, press, TrendForce[cn], press, Laoyaoba)

Memory

Increases in average selling prices (ASPs) for memory products are the main factor driving the recent memory revenue growth. Memory prices hit a low in Jun 2016, and by the end of the year prices for DRAM had increased 30.8%. Likewise, the NAND market saw prices rise 44.2% by year-end. Prices continue to rise in 1H17. Just 2017, DRAM ASPs have increased by 47.2% since Dec 2016. NAND ASP growth has moderated somewhat but has still increased 20.6% since Dec 2016. (Semiconductor Engineering, article)

NOR Flash contract price is expected to increase 15% in 4Q17,  and this follows the 10%~20% increase in 3Q17. Taiwanese vendors Macronix, Winbond, Elite Semiconductor Memory Technology (ESMT) orders are already fully filled by end 2017, and even if they increase production in 2018, it will still be in shortage. (Laoyaoba, UDN)

Biometrics

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has granted Apple a patent for acoustic fingerprint imaging technology. Titled “Active sensing element for acoustic imaging systems”, it describes a method of gathering biometric data, specifically a fingerprint, through ultrasonic transmission and detection.  (Apple Insider, USPTO, Neowin, Phone Arena, iFeng, CN Beta)

Smartphones

Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty predicts a 23% growth in Apple iPhone sales over the next fiscal year. She explains that high-end Chinese users want to buy Apple products, but the iPhone has not had a form factor change for 3 years. She believes that Chinese consumers are just waiting for that change. (CN Beta, Business Insider, Motley Fool)

MIIT chairman Diao Shijing indicates that in 1H17 China has manufactured 930M units mobile phones, 6.4% up on year. There is 93.67M units smartphone, a 6.1% up on year, which is about 74.1% share of mobile phones. He also indicates that smart device competition homogenization is very severe, from both the products and also business models. (My Drivers, Sohu)

CCS Insight predicts the market for rugged handsets will boom 25% in 2017 to 22.2M units, as more workers opt for durable phones that can withstand a harsh environment. CCS expects the niche to continue to expand rapidly, with volumes of 54.5M by 2021. (Financial Times, CN Beta, Laoyaoba)

China-based handset ODM Topwise launched 3 Comio phones in India in early Aug 2017 with prices ranging from INR6,000-10,000 (USD94-156), and the company aims to ship over 1M units before the end of Mar 2018. The INR6,000-10,000 segment is one of the fast growing sectors in India’s smartphone market, and smartphone sales in the segment account for 35% of total smartphones shipped in India. (Digitimes, NDTV, First Post, Laoyaoba)

TCL allegedly plans to bring back Palm by launching new devices with the Palm branding sometime in early 2018, according to TCL Marketing Manager Stefan Streit. (Android Authority, Android Planet)

IDC expects shipments to grow from 1.47B in 2016 to just over 1.7B in 2021. In 2016, the market experienced its first-ever single-digit growth year with shipments up just 2.5% over 2015. IDC believes the combination of new user demand as well as a somewhat stagnant 2-year replacement cycle will be enough to keep the market at a 5-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.3%. (IDC, press, Android Headlines, CN Beta)

Huawei P9 Lite is launched in Europe – 5” HD IPS LCD display, Qualcomm Snapdragon 425 processor, 13MP + 5MP cameras, 2GB RAM, 16GB storage, Android 7.0 (EMUI 5.1),  3020mAh battery, EUR190. (Phone Arena, GSM Arena, Telefonguru)

ZTE nubia Z17 lite is launched – 5.5” FHD display, Qualcomm Snapdragon 653 processor, rear dual 13MP-13MP + front 16MP cameras, 6GB RAM, 64 / 128GB storage, 3200mAh battery, from CNY2499. (CN Beta, Laoyaoba, NDTV, GSM Arena, nubia)

BLU Vivo 8 is launched at Amazon – 5.5” FHD display, MediaTek MT6755 processor, rear 13MP + front 16MP cameras, 4GB RAM, 64GB storage, 4010mAh battery, USD299.99. (Phone Arena, Amazon, Blu Products)

LG V30 is officially launched – 6” 2880×1440 P-OLED display, Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor, rear dual 16MP-13MP + front 5MP cameras, 4GB RAM, 64 / 128GB (V30+) UFS, Android 7.1, IP68 certified, 3300mAh battery. (CN Beta, WCCFtech, TechCrunch, CNET)

Wearables

Google announced ARCore, effectively making all Android 7.0 Nougat smartphones capable of augmented reality. Google promises ARCore will work with 100M existing and upcoming devices. (Android Headlines, The Verge, Fast Company, Daily Mail, CN Beta, Sina)

ASUS has unveiled its first Mixed Reality headset designed for use with Microsoft’s Windows Mixed Reality platform. It is priced at EUR449, which includes a set of motion controllers. (Liliputing, Ars Technica, TechRadar)

Zeiss has outed a new VR One series headset, called the Connect, which promises to bridge the gap between premium VR and mobile VR by bringing PC-powered VR games to smartphone, priced at EUR129. (Android Headlines, Zeiss, TechRadar, Tom’s Hardware, CN Beta)

Samsung debuts Gear Sport, a new fitness-oriented smartwatch – 1.2” 360×360 circular Super AMOLED display, dual-core processor, 768MB RAM, 4GB storage, Tizen OS, 5 ATM water resistance, 300mAh battery. (Android Headlines, CN Beta)

Samsung announces Gear Fit2 Pro, a GPS-enabled fitness band – 1.5” 216×432 Super AMOLED display, dual-core processor, 512MB RAM, 4GB storage, 5-ATM water resistance, 200mAh battery, USD199.99. (Android Headlines, CN Beta)

Samsung announces 2nd generation Gear IconX, support gesture control, and can activate Samsung’s digital assistant Bixby. Each of the two earbuds includes an 82mAh battery on the inside, while the case comes with a 340mAh unit on the inside. (Android Headlines, CN Beta)

Acer has announced 2 new 360º cameras in the form of the Holo360 and Vision360. The former is a general-use camera for creating videos that can be viewed through virtual reality headsets, while the latter is for use in the car to record collisions and road trips. (Pocket-Lint, Android Headlines, Mobile01, Sogi, Engadget)

Magic Leap filing new patent (filed in 2015) showcasing a new smaller glasses, featuring a pair of oval lenses with thick frames, a pair of cameras is mounted on either side of the lenses in a ‘side-pod’ type arrangement. (CN Beta, TechCrunch, UploadVR, VR Focus)

Internet of Things

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) found that lane-departure warning and blind-spot detection systems reduced rates of single-vehicle sideswipe and head-on crashes by 18%, and injuries sustained in those types of crashes by 24%. It also found that fatal crash rates were reduced by 86%. (Digital Trends, IIHS, report, Autoblog, iFanr)

US self-driving car startup nuTonomy hopes to launch a paid, commercial ride service in Singapore as soon as 2Q18, nuTonomy Chief Executive Karl Iagnemma indicates. Iagnemma said he hoped paid self-driving rides would start in the 2Q18, although it could be 3Q/4Q18. (Laoyaoba, Clean Technica, The Star, Reuters)

Anker announces the Google Assistant-Powered Zolo Mojo Speaker, which has a 5W speaker inside, priced at USD70. (Android Headlines, The Verge, Variety, Sohu, KK News)

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