04-14: SDC reportedly plans to produce 200M OLED panels this year; vivo plans to complete 5G research by end of this year; etc.

Touch Display

Samsung Display (SDC) reportedly plans to produce 200M OLED panels in 2018, of which 100M panels are for Apple. It is twice the number of panels Samsung supplied to Apple last year for its iPhone X. Samsung plans to produce about 25M OLED panels for the iPhone X and the rest for the iPhone X’s successor due to arrive later in 2018. Production of OLED panels for the next iPhone will begin next month, starting with 2M~3M panels before doubling the output in Jun 2018. Samsung has apparently resumed operations at the A3 line which  was earlier shut down due to overcapacity. (CN Beta, ET News, Gizmo China, Sam Mobile)


Automotive lidar system developer Luminar Technologies says it is ready to scale production of a new sensing platform, with initial units already shipping to its 4 strategic partners. The venture-backed US firm, which emerged from stealth mode almost exactly a year ago with a series A funding round worth USD36M, now employs 350 people across 3 sites. It uses a longer wavelength of light to operate at higher power, allowing it to see darker objects over longer distances. It is also able to zoom in on areas of specific interest. (CN Beta, Technology Review, Digital Trends, Peta Pixel, The Verge, Optics)


PACid Technologies, a company that deals with technology pertaining to encryption, claims that Samsung has used 3 of its biometric patents without licensing them. 2 of the patents were filed in the states and the third in South Korea. All 3 patents have something to do with encryption technology. The suit alleges that Samsung used these patents to help it develop its fingerprint, face and iris scanners. (Phone Arena, Justia, SlashGear, Gizmo China, Yesky)


vivo founder and president Shen Wei reveals that the company has begun research in 5G antenna and RF related technologies. The company has joined 3GPP since 2017. The company plans to complete 5G research by end of 2018, and will mass produce in 2020. (Laoyaoba, JRJ, Tencent, CGTN)


LG has opened the doors to its new Software Upgrade Center in South Korea, the first such facility aimed at providing customers worldwide with faster, timelier, smartphone operating system and software updates. (Android Headlines, The Verge, 9to5Google, LG, Tencent, Hexun)

Huawei consumer business group CEO Richard Yu indicates that Huawei’s smartphone price has increased from CNY2000+ back then to now CNY6000+, as well as CNY10,000+. Meanwhile, smarpthone market gross margin is very low. As Huawei has invested in innovation, at the CNY8000~9000 price segment, Huawei’s product is still very value for money. (CN Beta, My Drivers, Android Pit)

Spotify has acquired the music licensing platform Loudr, which offers products and services that allow content creators, aggregators, and digital music services to identify, track and pay royalties to music publishers. (TechCrunch, Spotify, 10JQKA, Sina)

Xiaomi officially announces that the company will “target to release the kernel source of a device within three months after its launch.” Xiaomi also said it made efforts to “speed up” kernel source code releases and is “committed” to comply with the GNU General Public License (GPL). (Android Authority, XDA Developers, Sina)

Apple reportedly has begun trial production of iPhone 6s Plus — one of its highest selling models in India — at the Bengaluru facility of its contract manufacturer Wistron, which may lead to a price correction. (Apple Insider, Economic Times, CN Beta)

According to Security Research Labs, nonly do many Android phone vendors fail to make patches available to their users, or delay their release for months; they sometimes also tell users their phone’s firmware is fully up to date, even while they have secretly skipped patches. (Liliputing, Wired, Security Research Labs, Hack Base)

Xiaomi Black Shark gaming phone is launched – 5.99” FHD+ 97% DCI-P3 color gamut , Qualcomm Snapdragon 845, rear dual 12MP-20MP + front 20MP, 6GB+64GB / 8GB+128GB, Android 8.0, 4000mAh, CNY2999 / CNY3499, accessory Black Shark Gamepad with 340mAh. (Android Central, Black Shark, CN Beta)

BLU launches 2 new smartphones: Vivo XL 3 Plus – 6” 720×1440 HD+, Qualcomm Snapdragon 425, rear 13MP + front 16MP, 3GB+32GB, Android 7.1.2, 3000mAh, USD200. Vivo XL 3 – 5.5” 720×1440 HD+, MediaTek MT6737, rear 13MP + front 13MP, 3GB+32GB, Android 8.0, 3000mAh, USD180. (Android Headlines, Android Police, PR Newswire)

Entry-level Huawei Y6 (2018) is announced – 5.7” 720×1440 HD+, Qualcomm Snapdragon 425, rear 13MP + front 8MP, 2GB+16GB, Android 8.0, Face Unlock, 3000mAh. (GizChina, GSM Arena, Huawei)


Xiaomi reportedly is considering acquiring the camera maker GoPro. GoPro could fetch as much as USD1B based on what HP had paid for acquiring Palm. GoPro CEO Nick Woodman has approached investment bank JPMorgan Chase & Co to get advice on this possible acquisition deal. (CN Beta, LTN, Sohu, China Times, Biz Journal, First Post, Bloomberg)

KGI Securities analyst Mingchi-Kuo indicates that Apple’s lead in AR has been “significantly narrowed” by OPPO, which has in part caught up to Apple thanks to solid hardware and software integration. The analyst believes it took OPPO only 6~9 months to arrive at a workable platform on par with Apple’s offerings. OPPO relies on CPUs made by Qualcomm and MediaTek, an open-loop camera system and acceleration sensor, hardware common to many Android handsets. (Apple Insider, Business Insider, Beebom, 52RD, EE Focus)

Internet of Things

Apple HomePod may not be selling as well as the market expects, according to research from KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. He forecasts Apple to ship 2M~2.5M HomePods in 2018. Of that, about 1M~1.5M of those were sold in the first month. He believes Apple is mulling a low-price model of HomePod. However, even if a low-price version is commercialized, it will only provide a short-term boost. (9to5Mac, Business Insider, Phone Arena, TechWeb, Tencent)


JD.com group CEO Liu Qiangdong has revealed that the company aims to open 1000 convenient store every day by end of 2018. JD.com has shared this goal 2 years ago, and up to Mar 2018, the company has opened 1000~1000 convenient stores every week. (CN Beta, iFeng, China Daily, Seeking Alpha)

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