12-12: Taiwan notebook ODMs see low order visibility for 1H19 because of Intel’s shortage of SoCs; Huawei is planning a new 20W SCP charge protocol; etc.


Qualcomm has shown a video with a dual-screen PC that is powered by the Snapdragon 8cx platform, and it is like a concept of mashup of 2 Surface Go devices. (MS Poweruser, Digital Trends, CN Beta)

Taiwan notebook ODMs see low order visibility for 1H19, as the market is expected to continue to suffer from Intel’s CPU shortages and uncertainties from the US-China trade war, according to Digitimes. Most ODMs have entered slack shipment season since the beginning of Nov 2018 and may experience even worse double-digit sequential shipment decreases for 1Q19 than those recorded a year earlier, due mainly to CPU supply shortfalls. (Digitimes, press, UDN, CN Beta)

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) is looking to expand its 8” fab capacity to meet strong chip demand for automotive electronics, IoT and industrial automation applications. TSMC plans to build a new 8” wafer fab at its manufacturing site in Tainan, southern Taiwan to satisfy robust customer demand for specialty process technologies, said company CEO CC Wei. (Digitimes, press, UDN, Digitimes)

Samsung is reportedly developing chips for self-driving cars, and that they might actually be working with Tesla on the technology. Samsung has been allegedly “aggressively” hiring software engineers who specialize in autonomous driving technologies, and that this could be part of a new division at Samsung. (Ubergizmo, Korea Herald, Qianjia, OfWeek)


CMOS image sensor (CIS) backend service firm Kingpak Technology has seen its order visibility extend to 1H19, and will see its capacity utilization rate rebound to over 80% in Dec 2018 from 60%~70% in the preceding months, according to Digitimes. (Digitimes, press, UDN, Yahoo)


Hertz Global Holdings and New York-based Clear have announced on Tuesday the debut of Hertz Fast Lane Powered by Clear, a service that uses biometrics to speed members through the rental car process. The service is so fast, says the company, clients can get through the rental car exit gate and be on the road in 30s or less. (CN Beta, Auto News, Fortune)


According to ChargerLAB, Huawei is planning a new 20W SCP charge protocol. The new 20W SCP should be made available to most Huawei mid to high-end phones in 2019.  (CN Beta, ChargerLab)

Daimler plans to buy USD23B worth of battery cells by 2030 as the maker of Mercedes-Benz vehicles and commercial trucks prepares to bring dozens of electric and hybrid vehicles to market. Daimler did not disclose which companies would supply them with batteries. Yet, Daimler does have supply deals with LG Chem, SK Innovation and CATL.  (TechCrunch, Reuters, CNN, East Money, Sina, Energy Trend)


Working with Ericsson, Vodafone UK is rolling out a surprisingly viable way to hide networking equipment in cities: 4G and 5G hardware that attaches under manhole covers, radiating wireless signals upwards from ground level. (CN Beta, VentureBeat, Financial Times, The Fast Mode)

Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs has revealed that companies from more than 20 countries including France and German have signed commercial deals on 5G mobile networks with Huawei. (Gizmo China, Global Times, CN Beta FM PRC)


Ryan Wyatt, YouTube’s global head of Gaming, has revealed that YouTube Gaming has crossed a big milestone where they hit 50B hours of gaming watch time in the last 12 months.  (CN Beta, VentureBeat, MCV UK, TNW)

Samsung has filed a number of trademark applications in the European Union, including “Blockchain KeyStore”, “Blockchain key box”, and “Blockchain Core”, which are all described in the trademark document as “software applications for use with mobile devices; computer software platforms; application software”. (CN Beta, TNW, Neowin)

vivo NEX Dual Display Edition is announced – 6.49” 2340×1080 FHD+ Super AMOLED + 5.49” 1920×1080 FHD Super AMOLED, Qualcomm Snapdragon 845, tri-cam 12MP-2MP-ToF, 10+128GB, Android 9.0, 3500mAh, CNY4,999. (Android Authority, Android Central, WCCFTech, India Today, CN Beta)

ASUS is launching 2 smartphones in India: ZenFone Max M2 – 6.3” 1520×720 HD+ IPS, Qualcomm Snapdragon 632, rear dual 13MP-2MP + front 8MP, 3+32GB / 4+64GB, Android 8.1, rear fingerprint scanner, 4000mAh, from INR9,999 (USD140).  ZenFone Max Pro M2 – 6.26” 2280×1080 FHD+ IPS, Qualcomm Snapdragon 660, rear dual 12MP-5MP + front 13MP, 3+32GB / 4+64GB, Android 8.1, rear fingerprint scanner, 5000mAh, from INR12,999 (USD181). (GizChina, Android Authority)


Huawei is allegedly now reportedly planning to enter the television market. Huawei has filed an application for reserve the term ‘Huawei AI Window’, associating the monicker with LCD panels and smart television sets. (CN Beta, Gizmo China, Android Headlines)


Scooter-sharing company Lime recently relayed a troubling messaging to its users: a portion of its fleet was at risk of bursting into flames. The startup recalled about 2,000 vehicles, less than 1% of its scooters. Lime placed the blame on a manufacturing defect at one of its suppliers, Beijing-based Ninebot.  Ninebot has quietly become the single-biggest source of scooters deployed in U.S. cities.  (CN Beta, Denver Post, Financial Review)

Artificial Intelligence

Microsoft is bringing multi-user voice recognition to Cortana. According to the features description, users can train Cortana to recognize their own voice, before adding five more people into the mix for a total of 6 individual people that Cortana can recognize. (Neowin, Windows Central, CN Beta)

Hong Kong startup PowerArena is moving to apply computer vision and AI deep learning technologies to conduct real-time monitoring of production lines to help manufacturers discover factors leading to poor production efficiency, in order for them to seek improvement solutions, according to company co-founder Ken Law. (Digitimes, press, Digitimes)

Commerce / Retails

Rakuten and Walmart have officially opened the first Walmart e-commerce store in Japan, the Walmart Rakuten Ichiba Store, on the Rakuten Ichiba internet shopping mall. (TechCrunch, Japan Today, PC Pop)

JD.com and Intel have launched a joint lab that will explore the use of Internet of Things (IoT) in smart retail solutions. The Digitized Retail Joint Lab will develop next-generation vending machines, media and advertising solutions, and technologies to be used in the stores of the future, based on Intel architecture. (Huanqiu, TechCrunch, JD Corporate)


Google Pay is now available in 28 countries, after it is available in France for both Visa and Mastercard via Boon, Boursorama Banque, Edenred France, Lydia, N26, and Revolut; as well as Chile for Visa via CMR Falabella. (Android Authority, Google)

Vipps will cooperate with China’s Alipay to enable its Vipps-payment to be used outside Norway and to open the system up for mobile payments by Chinese tourists visiting the country. Finnish ePassi which is present in Sweden, Finland, Estonia and Spain, is also part of the collaboration. (CN Beta, IT Home, Sohu, Payment Source, Reuters)

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