12-17: India has increased the import tax on dozens of electronic products such as mobile phones and television sets; Nanya Technology expects it will continue to be shortage in 4Q17 and 1Q18 for DRAM; etc.


MediaTek has revealed that it has received orders for its newly released health monitoring solution, Sensio MT6381, from China-based first-tier smartphone vendors and other wearable device makers, with related devices powered by Sensio to hit the market prior to 2Q18. (Digitimes, press, UDN, Dospy)

FriendlyELEC’s latest tiny computers measure just about 1.6×1.6” and sell for as little as USD8. The NanoPi NEO Core is a tiny single board computer with a quad-core ARM Cortex-A7 processor, a micro USB port, a microSD card slot, GPIO pins, and integrated memory and storage. (Liliputing, FriendlyELEC)

Touch Display

A new patent filed by Microsoft shows a unit folds from a tablet with one large display into one with two smaller and separate OLED screens. The device also functions as a phone. The new sketches go into detail as can see the individual parts making up the hinge that allows the device to fold. (GizChina, Phone Arena, Windows Central, Laoyaoba, Sohu)

According to IHS Markit, the global smartphone OLED market was estimated at USD4.7B in 3Q17, up 29.4% from USD3.7B in 3Q16.  The growth has been mainly led by the expanded adoption of OLED displays by global smartphone makers including Samsung and Apple. Samsung Display has maintained its lead in the global smartphone OLED display market, accounting for a 97.8% share. (Laoyaoba, Pulse News)

Touchscreen and LCD driver solution provider FocalTech Systems is expected to ship a total of 60M TDDI (touch with display driver integration) chips in 2017. For 4Q17, FocalTech’s TDDI chip shipments are likely to reach 20M units, up slightly from 19M units shipped in the previous quarter. (Digitimes, press, UDN, IEK)

To develop new and future-oriented application fields for its liquid crystals beyond displays, Germany-based Merck will collaborate with GemTech Optoelectronics, a Taiwan-based maker of ITO conductive glass, to manufacture smart windows and privacy windows that can cut power consumption by 30% and provide privacy protection. (Digitimes, press)

The growing popularity of all-screen smartphones is playing a role in easing global oversupply of handset displays, as the production of 18:9 panels will consume 12.5%~20% more production capacity than that for 16:9 ones, according to Digitimes Research. Recent capacity ramps for handset panels by a number of panel makers from their 6G lines and the gradually saturating smartphone market in China has raised concerns about oversupply of small- to medium-sized LCD panels. (Digitimes, press, PJ Time)

Global shipment momentum of large-sized LCD panels is expected to slow down in 4Q17 after experiencing a 5.7% sequential growth to 220M units in 3Q17, according to IDC. Moreover, the large-sized panel segment is likely to face mounting challenge of oversupply in the in 4Q17 as the average size of LCD TV panels is expected to increase moderately by 1.2” in 2017, which will not be sufficient to gobble up all of newly available capacities. (Digitimes, press, IDC, press)

LG Group has pledged to invest KRW19T (USD17.4B) in new businesses pivoting on electric vehicle parts and next-generation displays. More than 50% of the new investments will be allotted for electric vehicle parts, autonomous driving sensors, organic light-emitting diode displays, camera modules and biomedicine, which LG will focus as areas of innovative growth.  (TechNews, Money DJ, Korea Herald)

LG Display (LGD) said it will tap deeper into the organic light-emitting diode (OLED) light business by launching the new brand Luflex as it announced the operation of a new production facility. The launch follows the operation of the world’s largest OLED light production line, located in the industrial city of Gumi. (Laoyaoba, ZDNet, Yonhap News, Asia Nikkei, ST Daily)


DRAM market grows strongly in 2017, and Nanya Technology expects it will continue to be shortage in 4Q17 and 1Q18. Looking into 2018, DRAM ASP will be stable, and capital will be spent in transition to advanced manufacture and sustain monthly production capacity. DRAM bit yearly growth will be about 20%~25%, expects the demand will grow 23% in 2018 compared to 2017. (Laoyaoba, CTEE, CTEE)

Taiwan-based Lite-On Technology will team up with China’s Tsinghua Unigroup to jointly develop the China market for storage products such as solid state drives (SSD), with the latter to invest USD55M in the former’s new subsidiary in Suzhou in a cooperative capital expansion pact signed 12 Dec 2017. (Digitimes, press, LTN, My Drivers)


Thanks to Apple’s sensors supplier ams being the big stakeholder, HLJ Technology has become AirPods sole supplier, and lately has started 3D sensing validation, hoping to enter non-Apple’s customers supply chain. HLJ will finish expanding its 4” production line by end of 2017, and by then its production will expand 6 times. HLJ’s cumulative VCSEL shipment has reached 100M units globally. (Laoyaoba, HQEW, Digitimes, Elecfans)

Apple is actively supporting second supplier for 3D sensing, and Finisar has become their first choice. IET-KY, which is a supplier to Finisar, is going to be benefited from this. IET-KY indicates that its VCSEL has already attracted 5~10 potential customers, and they are mainly Chinese smartphone vendors. (Laoyaoba, TechNews, UDN, UDN)


In view of fast growing demand for automotive lithium (Li)-ion batteries arising from increasing global sales of electric vehicles, Japan-based makers of Li-ion battery materials are expanding their production capacities, according to Digitimes Research. According to Japan-based Techno System Research, the global market value for Li-ion battery materials is expected to reach JPY1.81T in 2020, increasing 2.4 times from the level in 2015. (Digitimes, press, Digitimes)


With commercial 5G radios targeting mobile applications being a probable reality by 4Q18, both new entrants and existing vendors are ramping up their R&D efforts in the hope of capitalizing on the impending shift from 4G to 5G. Dell’Oro Group analyst Stefan Pongratz has reviewed share movements and vendor positioning in three markets including: 1) Total Macro+Small Cell RAN, 2) Small Cell RAN, and 3) CBRS RAN. (RCR Wireless, article, Sina, Laoyaoba)

Far EasTone Telecommunications (FET) has showcased its 28GHz 5G base station prototype system with Ericsson in Taiwan, the world’s eighth such demonstration following similar events held in the US, Japan, South Korea and Singapore. (Digitimes, press, IT Home, UDN)

The South Korea government has set an ambitious goal to grab a larger pie of the global 5G market as it calculates that its 5G hardware and software market is expected to grow at a CAGR of only 75.6% during the period from 2020-2026 against a much faster pace of 148% projected for the global 5G market for the forecast period, according to Digitimes Research. (Digitimes, press, Digitimes)


India has increased the import tax on dozens of electronic products such as mobile phones and television sets, a government statement said, to help curb supplies from overseas and build up the domestic industry. The rise in tax from 10 percent to 15% on handsets will make imports of phones more expensive at a time the company’s revenue growth is slowing in India’s USD10B smartphone market. (Laoyaoba, Money Control, 9to5Mac, Reuters, Economic Times, Huanqiu, TechWeb)

Metal-alloy chassis maker Foxconn Technology has announced that it will have five of its subsidiaries each invest HKD297M (USD38.02M) to subscribe to new shares issued by IDG Energy Investment Group – a Hong Kong-based holding company engaged in investment in exploration of crude oil and development and production of oil and natural gas. (Digitimes, press, Caixin, Huanqiu, CNYES)


Smartwatch maker Huami has announced second-generation Amazfit Sports Smartwatch 2 and 2S – featuring 5om waterproof, priced at CNY999 and CNY1499, respectively. (Gizmo China, Sohu, OfWeek, Huanqiu)

Internet of Things

Car-based “mobility services”, such as car-sharing, ride-hailing as well as driverless cars with entertainment, information and communications services, are projected to generate USD1T in revenue for suppliers globally in 2040 from nearly zero a decade ago, according to IHS Markit. So far, 290 cities have initiated “smart-city” pilot projects controlled by artificial intelligence (AI) technology. (Android Headlines, SCMP, Business Insider, Business Wire, Sina)

Go-Jek, the company leading Uber and Grab in Southeast Asia’s largest market, has acquired offline payment firm Kartuku, payment gateway Midtrans and payment and lending network Mapan for undisclosed sums. (TechCrunch, CNBC, Tech In Asia, iFeng, Sina)

Tesla had sold 233,856 electric vehicles (EVs) and deployed 948 Supercharger stations with 6,426 charging piles in total around the world as of Sept 2017, and as the company is expected to sell 800,000 EVs cumulatively by the end of 2018, it has to expand Supercharger stations with 25,000 charging piles in total in 2018. (Digitimes, press)

Sharp aims for cumulative sales of 3M internet-enabled appliances in Japan by fiscal 2019, up from only about 30,000 as of last fiscal year. The Japan-based electronics group, which is majority owned by Taiwan’s Hon Hai Precision Industry, seeks growth in what it calls AIoT — artificial intelligence and the internet of things — a field encompassing connected appliances. (TechNews, Money DJ, Asia Nikkei, UDN)

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