01-16: OPPO has introduced 10x hybrid optical zoom camera technology; Xiaomi has announced a new fingerprint sensor technology that fixes 2 major issues related to the in-display fingerprint sensor; etc.

Touch Display

An Apple patent published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for “Fabric-based devices with force sensing” describes how a glove or another wearable item could include force sensing circuitry in its design. By ding so, this could allow for a worn glove to trigger a command to a computer system simply by the user touching a surface or holding an object.  (Apple Insider, USPTO, Qianzhan)

Samsung’s Senior Vice President Hark-sang Kim believes that Samsung’s Infinity Flex Display will open up new vistas for smartphone innovation. He predicts a major shift in phone design that goes beyond folding – rollable and stretchable devices might soon be possible too. (GSM Arena, Samsung, IT Home)


OPPO has introduced 10x hybrid optical zoom camera technology. For the 10x hybrid optical zoom camera tech OPPO uses three-camera solution that includes a Super Wide Angle, Ultra Clear main sensor and a Telephoto lens. The ultra wide angle camera has an equivalent focal length of 15.9mm, which provides wide-angle shots and the ultra-clear main camera ensures clear photos and the telephoto camera offers 159mm equivalent focal length. (CN Beta, Fonearena, Android Pit, Tencent)

Samsung Electronics will acquire Israeli multi-camera maker Corephotonics. Samsung will finalize acquisition of the stake in Corephotonics held by its largest shareholder by the end of Jan 2019. The total acquisition value is USD150M~160M (KRW165B~180B).  (ETT China, OfWeek, Business Korea)


According to TrendForce, DRAM suppliers and OEMs have already begun to discuss prices for the 1Q19 contracts since Dec 2018. Taking account of the high inventory, the weak demand, and the pessimistic economic outlook for the medium to long term, both sides have reached a general consensus that prices of 8GB modules for 1Q19 contracts will be around USD55 or even lower. This implies that the average contract price of 8GB modules will drop by at least 10% MoM in Jan 2019, and there is a strong possibility that prices will continue to fall in Feb / Mar 2019. For the DRAM price trend in 1Q19, TrendForce expects a quarterly decline of nearly 20%, steeper than the previous forecast of 15%, with the most noticeable decline in the segment of server DRAM. (TrendForce[cn], TrendForce, CN Beta)


Xiaomi co-founder Lin Bin has announced a new fingerprint sensor technology that fixes 2 major issues related to the in-display fingerprint sensor, enhancing the user experience: 1) One-time record fingerprint – only need to perform one-time fingerprint scanning without the need to scanning the fingerprint multiple times; 2) Larger area of “blind” touch – it has also increased the screen area (to 25×50.2mm) to read the user’s fingerprint to unlock the device. (Gizmo China, Sina, 52RD)


Wiliot raises a USD30M series B for a total of USD50M in funding. The postage stamp-sized chip from Wiliot is able to harvest energy from the ambient radio frequencies around us, such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and cellular signals, and use them to power a Bluetooth-equipped ARM processor that can be connected to a variety of sensors. (Engadget, The Verge)


Finnish telecom equipment maker Nokia is cutting 350 jobs in Finland as part of its plans to find savings worth EUR700M (USD800M) by 2020. The planned changes are indispensable to secure Nokia’s long-term competitiveness, according to Tommi Uitto, head of the company’s Finnish operations.

In preparation for the commercial launch, Alphabet’s Loon CEO Alistair Westgarth reveals that the company intends to partner with mobile network operators throughout the world. Loon has already struck partnership deal with Telekom Kenya to help the African carrier extend its coverage to hard to reach parts of the country where reliable communications connections are absent.  (CN Beta, CNET)

According to Global Association of Mobile Device Providers (GSA), by the end of Nov 2018, 192 operators worldwide had demonstrated, tested and tested 5G-related services, and 80 operators in 46 countries and regions had announced that they would provide 5G network commercial services between 2019 and 2022. Previously, Frest Research, an independent technology and market research company in the United States, estimated in a report that by 2025, business customers and consumers will be able to see 50% of the global coverage of 5G networks. Some domestic experts also pointed out that because of the difficulty of 5G deep coverage, the initial coverage can only focus on, 5G coverage speed will be much slower than 3G, 4G, and comprehensive coverage may even take 5 to 10 years. (CN Beta, Digital Trends, Life Wire, JQK News)


Elephone opens a new physical store in Kenitra, Morocco. Just like the previous one, is probably going to offer mainly the flagship Elephone U series and A4 budget series, but is also important to the after-sales customer service and care. The company is planning to expand further to Africa in the coming months. (GizChina, Facebook)

Realme has just passed another milestone after the 4M sold phones earlier Jan 2019. Now the company has announced 2M Realme 2 units sold, since it is launched in Sept 2018. (GSM Arena, Twitter, Sohu)

Facebook will invest USD300M over 3 years in local news globally as it faces blistering criticism over its role in the erosion of the news business worldwide. The investment in time and money is a significant expansion of a plan to help newsrooms in the U.S. and abroad create and sustain viable business models to survive. (CN Beta, Business Today, CNN)


Huami, the Chinese smartwatch and fitness tracker manufacturer, announced today it has signed a partnership with McLaren Applied Technologies, a division of the British automotive company, McLaren. (Gizmo China, Weibo, PR Newswire)

Nike has announced the Adapt BB, a self-lacing basketball sneaker that can be controlled from smartphones. Simply slipping a foot into the shoe will trigger its motors, adjusting automatically to keep the shoe tight. Wearers can finesse this with manual buttons or the upcoming Nike Adapt app. (Apple Insider, Nike, Engadget CN)

Artificial Intelligence

Face++ Megvii has held a new strategy announcement, indicating the AI unicorn company is moving from commercial application to industry application. The CEO Qi Yin has announced the company’s new logo. (CN Beta, My Drivers, Sina)


Volkswagen AG and Ford Motor have announced the first formal agreements in a broad alliance that positions the companies to boost competitiveness and better serve customers in an era of rapid change in the industry.  The companies are also exploring potential collaboration on electric vehicles, self-driving cars and transportation services. (Engadget, Ford, CN Beta)

SAIC Volkswagen has officially announced that it has completed the launch of SAIC Volkswagen’s 20 millionth car on 12 Jan 2019, so it also became the first passenger car manufacturer in China with a cumulative output exceeding 20M units. (My Drivers, CN Beta, Wall Street CN, Gasgoo)


Committed to supporting human rights and environmental protection while helping infuse more transparency into global mineral supply chains, Ford Motor, Huayou Cobalt, IBM, LG Chem and RCS Global have announced plans to use blockchain technology to trace and validate ethically sourced minerals.  (VentureBeat, Coin Speaker, Coin Desk, Reuters, PR Newswire, ChinaZ)

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