11-03: MediaTek Helio M70 5G baseband chip will hit the market in 1H19; Samsung Electronics has slashed 2018 capex by more than a quarter; etc.


MediaTek CEO, Cai Lixing, has pointed out that the Helio M70 5G baseband chip will hit the market in 1H19. However, MediaTek 5G system chip (SoC) will have to wait until the end of next year. This implies that 5G phones with MediaTek chips are expected in 2020. (CN Beta, GizChina, 52RD, China Times)

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) opens 12” fab in Nanjing, dubbed Fab 16, which has directly entered 16nm FinFET chip production with installed capacity reaching 10,000 wafers a month. Production capacity at Fab 16 will climb to 15,000 12” wafers monthly by the end of 2019, and reach 20,000 units in 2020. (GizChina, Digitimes, press, China Times, EET China, TechNews)

As its processor supply continues to fall short of demand, Intel reportedly has begun planning to outsource production for its entry-level Atom processors and some of its chipsets while keeping its high-margin Xeon and Core CPU production in-house, according to Digitimes. Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) is the only one capable of handling such rush orders. For demand from entry-level PCs and Internet of Things (IoT) devices, Intel is planning to outsource its entry-level Atom processors and 14nm chipsets to outside makers and expects the shortages to be resolved by 1Q19. (Digitimes, press, CN Beta)

Networking IC design specialist Realtek Semiconductor has obtained validation for its automotive solutions, and expects its shipments to the auto sector to ramp up in 2019. Realtek will start mass shipping Ethernet solutions for automotive in 2019, said company VP and spokesperson Yee-Wei Huang, adding that it has cut into the supply chain of Europe-based car manufacturers. (Digitimes, press, Yahoo, China Times, UDN)

Apple’s 5G iPhone will come to market in 2020. Apple plans to use Intel’s 8161 5G modem chip in its 2020 phones. If everything goes as planned, Intel will be the sole provider of iPhone modems. Intel has been working on a precursor to the 8161 called the 8060, which will be used for prototyping and testing the 5G iPhone.  (Apple Insider, Fast Company, CN Beta)

According to supply chain, HiSilicon will surpass MediaTek in 2019 and become the top 3 customers of TSMC. With Huawei’s goal of smartphone sales reaching 200M, its Hisilicon Semiconductor has also grown rapidly, especially the Kirin 980 processor, which is the first to introduce the 7nm process in 2018. (CN Beta, Huanqiu)

Touch Display

Samsung patents a smartphone with flexible display that goes all way around the device. Samsung imagines all kinds of uses for this new real estate, such as having a photo gallery on one side and opening a photo full screen on the other it also envisions displaying corner buttons for gaming on the edge where they would not overlap with the on-screen display for the game, and a wide variety of other interactions. (CN Beta, Sina, Tech Gen XY)

Mobile phone companies think they have a solution to slowing sales: smartphones with big displays that fold up like books. At least 5 of the world’s best-selling phone makers, including Apple have sought patents for folding models, which would mark the biggest design advancement on the flat rectangular slabs that have been ubiquitous since the dawn of the smartphone era a decade ago. At least 2 companies— Samsung and Huawei—have confirmed plans to release handsets with foldable displays; Huawei is targeting a release for 2019. (WSJ, CN Beta)


Lexar has announced the 512GB Lexar High-Performance 633x microSDXC UHS-I card meets the Application Performance Class 2 (A2) requirements from the latest SD Association’s 6.0 specifications. It is priced at USD299.99. (CN Beta, WCCFTech, GSM Arena, Lexar)

Samsung Electronics has slashed 2018 capex by more than a quarter and warned of lower profit until early 2019, calling an end to a 2-year boom in memory chips that fueled record 3Q18 profit. Samsung said its capital spending in 2018 would drop by 27% to KRW31.8T (USD28B) from a record KRW43.4T in 2017. (CN Beta, Reuters CN, Reuters, Bloomberg, Financial Times)


Battery-free eye-tracking glasses developed at Dartmouth College could create an even more realistic experience for augmented reality enthusiasts. The new technology improves player controls for gaming and allows for more accurate image displays. By using near-infrared lights and photodiodes, Dartmouth’s DartNets Lab has created an energy-efficient, wearable system that tracks rapid eye movements and allows hands-free input of system commands. (News Atlas, Dartmouth University, CN Beta)


Sony, NEC and ORIX have announced a partnership to promote the ELTRES IoT Network Internet of Things (IoT) business service in Japan. In Sept 2018, Sony Network Communications (SNC) announced the early trial service of the ELTRES IoT Network IoT, hoping to promote its own ELTRES standard. (CN Beta, Sina, Digitimes)


Apple has announced financial results for the 3Q18 and FY4Q18. For the quarter, Apple posted revenue of USD62.9B and net quarterly profit of USD14.1B, compared to revenue of USD52.6B and net quarterly profit of USD10.7B, in the year-ago quarter. Apple sold 46.9M iPhone, up slightly from 46.7M in the year-ago quarter.  iPad sales fell to 9.7M from 10.3M in 4Q17. (Mac Rumors, Apple)

Lei Jun, who is the founder of Xiaomi, said that his company is the fastest growing in its domestic market. He has announced that in 2018 the company has shipped 100M units of smartphone, reaching the company’s aim earlier. (GSM Arena, My Drivers, Tencent, Sina)

According to IDC, smartphone vendors shipped a total of 355.2M units during 3Q18, resulting in a year-over-year decline of 6.0%. This was the fourth consecutive quarter of year-over-year declines for the global smartphone market. IDC maintains its view that the market will return to growth in 2019, but at this stage it is too early to tell what that growth will look like. (CN Beta, IDC, press)

According to Counterpoint Research, global smartphone shipments declined 3% annually, recording 386.8Munits in 3Q18. The top 10 players now capture 79% of the market leaving 600+ brands to compete for the remaining 21% of the market. Samsung continued to lead the smartphone market with 19% market share in the quarter. (GSM Arena, Counterpoint Research, blog, Sina)

vivo Y93 is launched in China – 6.2” 1520×720 HD+ IPS, Qualcomm Snapdragon 439, rear dual 13MP-2MP + front 8MP, 4+64GB, Android 8.1, face unlock, no fingerprint scanner, 4030mAh, CNY1500. (GSM Arena, vivo)

PC / Tablet

The worldwide tablet market declined 8.6% during 3Q18 as global shipments fell to 36.4M, according to IDC. Slate tablets accounted for the majority of the market with 31.6M units, down 7.9% from the previous year. Detachable tablets also declined, down 13.1% from the previous year, to account for 4.8M unit shipments. (CN Beta, IDC, press)


UBS believes Apple will ship around 24M Apple Watches across 2018 which includes Series 1, Series 3, and some Series 4 sales. UBS expects the Apple Watch market to grow even more in 2019, however, with a 40% year-over-year increase to about 33M watches sold across the year predicted. UBS believes predicted Apple Watch growth could account for about 5% increase in revenue for Apple in 2019, a data point it compares to selling 15M more iPhones. (CN Beta, 9to5Mac)

Lenovo Air true wireless Bluetooth ear buds are launched, using customized BES 200IZ AI chipset. With AI antenna, signal is more stable, supporting stereo phone communication, supporting IPX5 rated water resistance, and with the battery box it supports 10 hours of battery life. It is priced at CNY298. (CN Beta, My Drivers, Sina)


Xiaomi has announced that the company has shipped more than 1M televisions so far in India. Xiaomi has first launched the Mi TV 4 in mid Feb 2018 and since then has launched other TVs too like the Mi TV 4 Pro, Mi TV 4A, Mi TV 4C Pro and Mi TV 4A Pro. (GizChina, NDTV, India TV, Mi.com)


Mercedes-Benz has confirmed for the first time that it will launch successors to the CLA and CLA Shooting Brake as well as an eighth compact model in the form of the GLB SUV in 2019. Joining the CLA, CLA Shooting Brake and the GLB will be facelifted versions of the GLC SUV and GLC coupe as well as the third-generation GLS.  (CN Beta, Auto Car, Car Buzz)

Baidu has unveiled a joint developed self-driving model with FAW Hongqi. The car is expected to become the first mass-produced driverless car in China when large-scale production takes place in 2020. The cars will enter mass production by the end of 2019, and their road debuts will be in Beijing and FAW Hongqi’s hometown of Changchun. (CN Beta, Xinhuanet, SCMP, Medium)

Volvo Cars and Baidu have teamed up to develop and mass produce self-driving electric cars in China. The Swedish carmaker, which is owned by Chinese auto manufacturer Geely, will offer its expertise in advanced technologies in the auto industry, while Baidu provides its autonomous driving platform Apollo, which it intends to use to develop a so-called Level 4 car. (Forbes, SCMP, CNBC, Reuters, TechCrunch, Sina, CCID Net, Reuters CN)

Japanese lifestyle brand MUJI is teaming up with Finnish autonomous driving company Sensible 4 to design a self-driving bus — the first in the world capable of functioning in all weather conditions. With a capacity of 10 seats, and 6 standing positions, ‘Gacha bus’ has been closely designed with consideration for its users. (CN Beta, City of Helsinki, Design Boom, Leiphone)


Lenovo has announced that its first Lenovo Lecoo future unmanned convenience store. In Jul 2018, the unmanned store has begun trial operation. Lenovo plans to promote the deployment of 5,000 intelligent vending containers in the next 3 years. (CN Beta, iFeng, Sina)


Ran NeuNer says Bitcoin won’t end the year at USD50,000. The host of the CryptoTrader show on CNBC tweeted in February 2018 that the top-ranked cryptocurrency would end 2018 on a high note but has now retracted that prediction. (CN Beta, Coin Telegraph, Sina, Live Bitcoin News, Crypto Digest)

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