03-20: Broadcom now has 3 potential targets, namely MediaTek, Cirrus Logic and Xilinx; Huawei is likely to use Qi and AirFuel’s wireless charging technology in the future; etc.

Chipsets

MediaTek believes that high-end Android smartphones are way too expensive and mid-tier phones are just as good. It says its Helio P60 will power “the new premium” tier of smartphones, promising more value for your money. It defines “the new premium” as phones with far cheaper prices. (Android Headlines, WCCFTech, TechRadar, Apple Daily, China Times, iFeng, EET China)

According to IHS Markit, Samsung’s semiconductor division posted USD62.03B (KRW66.28T) in sales in 2017, up 53.4% from 2016. The company’s market share came to 14.5%, exceeding Intel, which had been the world’s biggest seller of chipsets for a long time, by 0.2%. In 2017, Intel recorded sales of USD61.46B (KRW65.61T). SK Hynix, which has become the 3rd largest chip manufacturer, had sales of USD26.64B (KRW28.46T) in 2017. (Android Headlines, Business Korea, KBS)

After retract acquisition of Qualcomm, Broadcom is widely expected to buy other companies instead, since inorganic growth is one of its core strategies. The company now has 3 potential targets, namely MediaTek, Cirrus Logic and Xilinx. MediaTek only has a market cap of about USD17B – a much lower sum than the USD117B it was ready to pay for Qualcomm. (GizChina, Motley Fool, My Drivers, Sina)

After soaring 22.3% on year to hit a 7-year annual high of USD420B in 2017, the global semiconductor revenues will enter a new round of growth mainly driven by AI and 5G technologies and applications and may challenge USD500B in the foreseeable future. And revenues from diverse semiconductor segments are expected to see a more balanced growth in 2018 although a double-digit overall growth would be a little hard to achieve, according to Ajit Manocha, president and CEO of SEMI. (Digitimes, press, Laoyaoba)

Touch Display

Apple is expected to procure a total of 250M~270M flat panels for the production of iPhone devices in 2018. (Digitimes, press, Apple Daily)

Apple is reportedly working on developing its own displays at a secret manufacturing facility in Santa Clara, California. The company is allegedly making “significant investment in the development of next-generation Micro-LED screens”. (Android Authority, Digital Trends, Bloomberg, Tencent, ZOL)

Storage

According to TrendForce, the top three Server DRAM suppliers are progressing towards the specification of 32GB RDIMM, and the 1Q18 quotes offered by Server DRAM suppliers will grow by only 4% compared with 4Q17 in order to ensure sales by favorable prices. In 2Q18, as domestic server demand from China rises, the server DRAM prices will continue to rise. (Laoyaoba, TrendForce, press, TrendForce[cn])

Biometrics

Huawei Honor President Zhao Ming has announced that Honor 9 and V9, which are launched in 2017, will receive Face Unlock feature. (Gizmo China, Sohu, Tom, My Drivers)

Battery

Each top-tier mobile chipset launched by Qualcomm comes with Quick Charge. The technology has evolved throughout the years, so the latest smartphones equipped with Qualcomm’s newest chipsets should support Quick Charge 4.0 / 4.0+. (Phone Arena, Qualcomm, Android Police, Gizmo China, Apple Daily)

A new battery technology could increase the power packed into phones, cars, and smartwatches by 30% or more within the next few years. The new lithium-silicon batteries, nearing production-ready status thanks to startups including Sila Technologies and Angstron Materials, will leapfrog marginal improvements in existing lithium-ion batteries. (CN Beta, Fortunes, WSJ, CCIDNet)

NuCurrent, a US-based startup has filed a lawsuit against Samsung mobile in a U.S. District Court in Marshall, Texas, accusing the company of allegedly stealing its wireless charging technology. (GizChina, BGR, NuCurrent, Sohu, TechNews, JRJ)

Huawei is a member of the AirFuel Wireless Power Consortium and WPC Wireless Charging Alliance and the company has its own Watt Lab.  Huawei has made some suggestions on how to improve the efficiency of AirFuel’s magnetic resonance wireless charging technology. It seems that Huawei is likely to use Qi and AirFuel’s wireless charging technology in the future. (GizChina, CN Beta)

Phones

According to Above Avalon, after a brief lull, Apple’s R&D expenditures are once again exploding higher. Management is on track to spend USD14B on R&D in FY2018, nearly double the amount spent on R&D just 4 years ago. The dramatic rise in Apple R&D expenditures raises questions regarding the company’s product pipeline and whether management’s overall approach to R&D is changing. (Above Avalon, press, CN Beta)

Microsoft has announced a strategic partnership to offer enterprises a solution that integrates BlackBerry’s expertise in mobility and security with Microsoft’s unmatched cloud and productivity products. The companies have collaborated on a first-of-its-kind solution: BlackBerry Enterprise BRIDGE.  (GizChina, CNBC, Market Watch, Financial Times, Microsoft, BlackBerry, Tencent, iFeng)

According to TechInsights, Samsung Galaxy S9+ cost is estimated at USD379—Exynos 9810 SoC is USD68, Super AMOLED panel is USD72.50. (TechInsights, article, CN Beta)

OPPO R15 is announced in China – 6.28” Super-V Display FHD+ 2280×1080 19:9, MediaTek Helio P60,rear dual 16MP-5MP + front 20MP, 6GB+128GB, Android 8.1, 3450mAh, CNY2999 / CNY3299 (Dream Red model). (My Drivers, 9to5Google, GSM Arena, The Verge, Android Central, OPPO, iFeng)

vivo X21 is launched in China – 6.28” FHD+ 2280×1080 19:9 Super AMOLED, Qualcomm Snapdragon 660, rear dual 12MP-5MP + front 12MP, 6GB+64/128GB, Android 8.1, rear fingerprint scanner, 3200mAh, CNY2898 (64GB) / CNY3198 (128GB). (Android Headlines, GSM Arena, First Post, vivo)

vivo X21 UD is launched in China, featuring under-display fingerprint scanner – 6.28” FHD+ 2280×1080 19:9 Super AMOLED, Qualcomm Snapdragon 660, rear dual 12MP-5MP + front 12MP, 6GB+128GB, Android 8.1, 3200mAh, CNY3598. (Android Headlines, GSM Arena, First Post, vivo)

BLU Vivo XL 3 is launched on Amazon – 5.5” HD+, MediaTek MT6737, rear 13MP + front 13MP, 3GB+32GB, Android 8.0, facial recognition, rear fingerprint scanner, 3000mAh, USD190. (Phone Arena, Amazon)

Wearables

Magic Leap has launched the Lumin SDK, the toolkit which allows developers to build AR experiences for Lumin OS, the operating system that powers the Magic Leap One headset. (Apple Insider, Magic Leap, The Verge, Road to VR, 163)

According to IDC, worldwide shipments for augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) headsets will grow to 68.9M units in 2022 with a 5-year CAGR of 52.5%. Despite the weakness the market experienced in 2017, IDC anticipates a return to growth in 2018 with total combined AR/VR volumes reaching 12.4M units, marking a YoY increase of 48.5% as new vendors, new use cases, and new business models emerge. (IDC, press, VentureBeat, IT Home, Tencent)

Commerce

Alibaba Group Holding will invest another USD2B in Lazada Group SA and install one of its most senior executives to run the business as it doubles its bet on Southeast Asia. (CN Beta, Quartz, Bloomberg, Channel News Asia)

According to communication minister Rudiantara, Indonesia is likely to have more than 5 startups worth at least USD1B each by 2019, with healthcare and education the most promising sectors to spawn new unicorns in Southeast Asia’s biggest economy. The country currently has 4 unicorns – companies that have reached USD1B in valuation without tapping the stock markets – including ride-hailing company Go-Jek, travel site Traveloka, and market places Bukalapak and Tokopedia. (Reuters, Laoyaoba)

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