03-23: US President Donald Trump has signed an executive memorandum that would impose retaliatory tariffs on up to USD60B in Chinese imports; etc.

Chipsets

Samsung has announced the latest chipset in the mid-range Exynos 7 Series, the Exynos 9610. It has an octa-core processor with 4x Cortex-A73 cores running at 2.3GHz and 4x Cortex-A53 ones clocked at 1.6GHz. (Android Central, Samsung, iFeng, Sohu, GSM Arena)

Samsung has announced adding 2 new solutions to its 8”, or 200mm wafer. RF/IoT and fingerprint sensor will be now available, along with the existing eFlash, power, display driver IC (DDI) and CMOS image sensor offerings. All 8” offerings will be processed at Line 6 at Giheung, South Korea. (Android Headlines, SamsungZDNet, Pulse News, 52RD, Laoyaoba)

MediaTek has dismissed a media report that claimed the company had been approached by Broadcom about a takeover. (Digitimes, press, Android Headlines, Caijing)

MediaTek is expected to report strong sales in 2Q18 and see its revenues, gross margins and net earnings for the year to rebound, thanks to China smartphone vendors OPPO, vivo and Xiaomi moving to mass adopt the firm’s latest Helio P60 chipsets for their new devices. (Digitimes, press, Android Headlines, My Drivers)

To pursue higher profit, MediaTek’s subsidy PMIC supplier RichTek is reportedly going to increase its cost with 8%~10%. If they succeed, their profit in 2H18 could go back to the long-gone 40%. (UDN, Laoyaoba)

Touch Display

GIS-KY will begin mass produce Apple’s MAcBook display module from 4Q18. The company has allegedly received orders for new 13” MacBook low-cost version display module and will begin ship in 2H18. GIS has worked with Sharp to supply IGZO panels, and with Sharp expanding production, GIS will also continue to expand its production. By end of 2018, the production will increase to 600,000 units, which will contribute 10% to the revenues. (OfWeek, Laoyaoba, China Times)

Based on 4000 Android users monitoring, AppOptix (a division of Strategy Analytics) shows that 5.0”-5.5” screens and 5.5”+ screens are using much more mobile data when compared with 4.5”-5.0” smartphone screens. The data shows that users with 5.5”+ screens have 141 daily sessions and they use their phone for 261.36 minutes per day. They also use 840MB of cellular data per day. (CN Beta, XDA-Developers, SlashGear)

LG has filed for 3 new trademarks in the EU, and all of these are about marketing microLED displays. The trademarks the company wants to own are XµLED, SµLED, and XLµLED. (GSM Arena, TMDN, TMDN, TMDN, Huanqiu, Anzhuo)

While conventional LED components are used for backlight, Micro LED and Mini LED technology have been used for self-emitting in displays of consumer electronics. Every LED will then stand for a pixel, increasing the number of LED wafers used by companies. It is estimated that wafers for applications using Micro LED and Mini LED will account for 11.4% of the total LED wafers used worldwide by 2022, according to TrendForce. (Laoyaoba, TrendForce[cn], TrendForce, press)

An analyst from HI Investment & Securities Jeong Seok-won reveals that instead of installing flexible OLED facilities for Apple iPhone X at the A5 plant in Asan, South Chungcheong Province, Samsung Display will likely set up a line for large-size OLED panels (for TVs) there. (Laoyaoba, The Investor, Money DJ, TechNews)

Denso Corp. will invest JPY30B in JOLED, an organic light-emitting diode panel maker affiliated with Japan Display Inc (JDI). Denso and JOLED are expected to work together to develop in-vehicle OLED panel products, such as electronic mirrors. A total of JPY20B’s worth of investment is being planned by companies including Sony and Panasonic. (TechNews, Nikkei, Money DJ, Japan News, Asia Nikkei)

Camera

GoPro has entered into a licensing partnership with Jabil, a manufacturing services company known for its electronics design. Jabil is going to use GoPro’s design and intellectual property to make camera lenses and sensors for third-party products.  (The Verge, GoPro, Sina)

Sensory

Dolby Laboratories has announced a strategic intellectual property partnership with OPPO. The partnership will result in OPPO collaborating with Dolby on High-Efficiency Advanced Audio Coding (HE-AAC), JPEG-HDR and other audio and video technologies. (GSM Arena, Dolby, Fonearena, CNBlogs, CCTime)

According to KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, Huawei will introduce smartphone models with 3D-sensing capabilities in 2019. The company will start off with structured light solutions like those found in Apple’s TrueDepth camera system for iPhone X, but will move to cheaper, smaller time-of-flight sensors by 2Q19 / 3Q19. (Apple Insider, SlashGear, PC Pop)

Connectivity

South Korean telecom giant KT Corp. has announced that it will start commercial operations of its fifth-generation (5G) mobile network in Mar 2019. KT said its goal is to provide “perfect 5G” service by building a nationwide infrastructure so faster and more stable data processing, far exceeding the capacity of the existing 4G network, or long-term evolution (LTE), will be available to mobile device users. (Yonhap News, VentureBeat, OfWeek)

Phones

Best Buy, the large consumer electronics retailer, reportedly plans to sever ties with Chinese phone maker Huawei amid U.S. government criticism of the phone maker. Best Buy will stop selling all Huawei phones, laptops, and smartwatches in the coming weeks. (Bloomberg, Android Authority, CNET, Android Central, CN Beta)

Huawei is reportedly considering developing a mobile phone that will be able to run blockchain-based applications. Huawei is in talks to license Sirin Labs’ operating system, called SIRIN OS, to run blockchain applications alongside Alphabet’s Android system. (CN Beta, Engadget, Bloomberg, Techspot)

Huawei Mate 10 Pro was priced at USD800 when launched in US with some free gifts. Now, Huawei has announced to decrease the price to USD700. After BestBuy stops selling Huawei’s phones, Amazon, B&H and other retailers are still selling Huawei’s high-end phones at good prices. (Laoyaoba, Tencent, CN Gold)

Xiaomi has launched its blockchain product, “Cryptorabbit (加密兔)”. The service allows users with Xiaomi accounts to adopt digital rabbits with different designs and built-in scarcity on a blockchain system that stores the transactions for each adoption.  (Gizmo China, TechNode, BTC Box, iFeng, TechWeb, NBD, Coindesk)

US President Donald Trump has signed an executive memorandum that would impose retaliatory tariffs on up to USD60B in Chinese imports. The new measures are designed to penalize China for trade practices that the Trump administration says involve stealing American companies’ intellectual property. They will primarily target certain products in the technology sector where China holds an advantage over the U.S. (CNN, CNBC, Engadget, BBC, Epoch Times, FT Chinese)

According to Morgan Stanley’s Katy Huberty, Apple Services is growing fast enough to make up for slowing iPhone sales. iPhone owners have stretched out the replacement cycle. She also notes that annual growth in the iPhone’s installed base has slowed over the last 2 years from 14% to a single-digit figure. Average Services revenue per device has risen from USD25 two-years ago, to USD30 at present. Morgan Stanley says that it would not be too much of a stretch to see that figure rise to USD100 per device.  (Benzinga, Phone Arena, Apple Insider)

ZTE Communications has announced a new subsidy holding company “ZTE Smart Devices” to be a new force in smartphone market for 5G phase. The new company is to establish a new, effective mobile phone sales model, leveraging parent company’s advantages, aiming to be the mainstream brand in China within 3 years. (Laoyaoba, CWW, Tencent)

vivo V9 is announced – 6.3”  19:9 1080×2280 FHD+ IPS, Qualcomm Snapdragon 626, rear dual 16MP-5MP + front 24MP, 4GB+64GB, Android 8.1, Face Access, 3260mAh. (CN Beta, GSM Arena)

OPPO A1 is launched in China – 5.7” 720×1400 HD+ S-IPS, rear 13MP + front 8MP, 4GB+64GB, 3180mAh, CN1399. (GSM Arena, JKEABC, Gizmo China, GizChina)

Intex Aqua Lions E3 budget smartphone is launched In India – 5” HD, Spreadtrum SC9832A, rear 8MP + front 5MP, 2GB+16GB, Android 7.0, 2500mAh, INR5499. (Gizmo China, NDTV, BGR)

Wearables

HTC has announced its mobile standalone VR headset, Vive Focus, which is first launched in China, will be launched worldwide by end of 2018. The headset has built-in 6 DoF (six degrees of freedom) tracking that allows movement in a room without added external sensors. (Laoyaoba, AnandTech, CNET, Neowin, Sina, CN Beta)

Mobvoi’s Ticwatch S and E are launched in Europe, which have GPS antenna built-in. Both watches run Android Wear OS and have a 1.4” OLED display with 400×400 (287ppi). They are powered by a MediaTek MT2601 chipset with 512MB of RAM and 4GB of storage. This storage can be used with Spotify and Google Play Music. (GSM Arena, Mobvoi, iFeng)

Internet of Things

Tmall Genie “Cookie” is launched by Alibaba, priced at USD299. The smart speaker provides music, shopping service, entertainment, smart home control, education, and living assistance usages to the users. (CN Beta, My Drivers)

KUKA and Midea will each hold a 50% stake in all three Joint Venture companies. The Joint Venture in the robot area is controlled by KUKA, while the Chinese automotive business remains fully owned by KUKA. Midea Group plans to increase industrial robot production capacity by 4-folds to 100,000 units annually by 2024. (Laoyaoba, Shine, Global Times, Kuka)

Commerce

Amazon has passed Alphabet and now trails just Apple among the list of the world’s most valuable companies. The e-commerce giant has risen 2.7% lifting its stock market value to USD768B. Alphabet, the parent of Google, has fallen 0.4%and is now valued at USD762.5B. (Android Authority, Bloomberg, CNBC, WSJ, Caijing)

Google is reportedly working on blockchain-related technology to support its cloud business and head off competition from emerging startups that use the heavily-hyped technology to operate online in new ways. Companies use blockchain and other so-called digital ledgers to securely record transactions and process other data over the internet. (Laoyaoba, Bloomberg, Futurism)

Following big expansions in Mexico and Canada in 2017, Samsung Pay is now heading to Italy. Samsung Pay is available on devices such as the Galaxy S9/S9+, Note 8, Gear S3, and more. (Android Central, GSM Arena, Samsung, Sohu)

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