01-19: Samsung will launch nearly 10 Galaxy A models smartphones in 1H19; Xiaomi has announced that in order to expand its African business, the African Regional Department is established; etc.


MediaTek is gearing up to expand its businesses in AI, automotive electronics and ASIC sectors, internally dubbed as the “3A” plan, seeking to reverse in 2019 its 2 consecutive years of revenue declines, according to Digitimes. In the ASIC segment, MediaTek, after having its first crypto mining ASIC fabricated by TSMC on 7nm process in 2018, has decided to expand ASIC offerings, particularly for datacenter applications, in 2019. (Digitimes, press, Digitimes, press)

More mobile SoC suppliers are expected to start sampling their 5G-capable solutions at the end of 2019, which will spur further demand for 7nm fabrication processes at foundries, according to Digitimes Research. Demand for 7nm fabrication processes is being driven by flagship devices rolled out by smartphone vendors, said Digitimes Research. (Digitimes, press)

Touch Display

According to TrendForce, increasing penetration of UHD display panels has driven the consumption of driver IC in the past few years. The total consumption grew by 8.4% YoY in 2018, but the growth would slow down to 3% in 2019 due to technology variation in designs of large-size panels and falling shipments of small-size panels. (TrendForce, press, TrendForce[cn])


ZTE has announced that it has successfully completed its first 5G phone call in partnership with the Guangdong brand of China Unicom. The test was carried out in Shenzhen, which is one of the first 5G pilot cities of China Unicom. (Gizmo China, PR Newswire, CN Stock, TechWeb)


In mid-2017, TikTok daily active users in China are more than 150M, and monthly activation has exceeded 300M. Then, till Oct 2018, TikTok’s daily active and monthly active have exceeded 200M and 400M, respectively. The chairman Zhang Nan has announced that till Jan 2019, daily active users have reached 250M and monthly activation has reached 500M. (My Drivers, CN Beta)

In order to better compete with the Chinese smartphone vendors in the mid-range and entry-level markets, Samsung is changing its strategy in 2019. The upcoming Galaxy M series will be the first shot of Samsung’s beginning year, but not limited to this, Samsung will launch nearly 10 Galaxy A models smartphones in 1H19. (CN Beta, My Drivers)

vivo has ditched its old brand color and font for a new one that will become mainstream in due course. To be precise, the brand is dropping the old Pantone 2925 C logo for the Pantone Pantone 2386 logo with a new font. (CN Beta, GizChina, GSM Arena)

Xiaomi has announced that in order to expand its African business, the African Regional Department is established. The company’s VP Wang Lingming is responsible for reporting to Wang Xiang, SVP of Xiaomi. (CN Beta, Sina, China Times)

XDTech, jointly formed by Fujitsu Mobile, ITOCHU Corporation and Shenzhen Iwith, officially launches its first smartphone aiming for elderly Xiao Da Ren X1 – 5.65” 18:9, Qualcomm Snapdragon 450, rear dual 13MP-2MP + front 8MP, 3+32GB / 4+64GB, 3600mAh, SOS button, Type-C, CNY1499 / CNY1799. (My Drivers, CN Beta, Huanqiu, Sina)


Apple and Johnson & Johnson are teaming up on a study to determine whether the latest Apple Watch, in conjunction with an app from the pharmaceutical company, can accelerate the diagnosis of a leading cause of stroke. (VentureBeat, USA Today, WSJ, Apple Insider, China Times)


Ikea and Sonos have first announced their collaboration in late 2017. Under the plan, Ikea will build internet-connected speakers that are powered by Sonos software, and interoperable with other Sonos products. Ikea is ready to roll out its Sonos-powered smart speakers later in 2019. (CN Beta, Sonos, The Verge, Variety)


Tesla founder Elon Musk has announced that the company will cut 7% of full-time employees even as it comes under pressure to dramatically increase production of its Model 3. (VentureBeat, Tesla, CN Beta)

Wistron and its partners from an autonomous driving development team including several IT and bus companies in Taiwan and National Taiwan University (NTU), have unveiled their latest progress on the development of a car cloud computing service platform that integrates infotainment system, AIoT (AI+IoT), communication and big data analysis. (Digitimes, press, UDN, Digitimes, China Times)


EPFL and ETH Zurich describe a bacteria-inspired robot design that is biocompatible, able to modify its shape as needed, and can pass through narrow blood vessels without compromising on speed. Their robots have a special composition and structure that allow them to adapt to the characteristics of the fluid they are moving through. (VentureBeat, Science Mag, Science Daily, 163)

Artificial Intelligence

According to Microsoft CTO Kevin Scott, Microsoft’s AI assistant Cortana can find success in ways that do not require a popular smart speaker; instead focusing on playing a larger role in Microsoft products like Office software. While Cortana may lack a popular smart speaker to call its own, the assistant is available to 500M monthly active users on Windows 10 PCs and tens of millions of Xbox users. (VentureBeat, Seeking Alpha)

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