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11-01: Xiaomi has officially opened its camera technology R&D hub in Tampere, Finland; Sony plans to invest USD918M in its new image sensor factory in Nagasaki; etc.

Chipsets

UNISOC has announced two new breakthroughs. One is to complete the indoor test under the 5G SA and NSA modes based on the 3GPP R15 standard, and the other is to open the two-way wave (mmWave) uplink and downlink physical link based on the 26GHz band, which complies with China’s 5G enhanced technology research and development test organized by IMT-2020 (5G) promotion group. The test used a terminal based on UNISOC’s 5G multi-mode chip Ivy 510, and cooperated with Huawei and ZTE to carry out chip and interoperability tests around 2.6G/3.5G frequency band under both NSA and SA modes. (CN Beta, IT Home, Guancha)

Touch Display

Taiwan’s shipments of small- to medium-size LCD panels are expected to decrease 17.6% on quarter and 31.1% on year in 4Q19 due to off-peak season effects and reduced smartphone shipments resulted from the US-China trade dispute, according to Digitimes Research. Shipments of small- to medium-size panels by Taiwan’s makers grew 12.4% sequentially to 201M units in 3Q19, driven by increased shipments for smartphone and feature phone applications. (Digitimes, press, China Times, Digitimes)

Konka Group plans to build a CNY30B (USD4.4B) semiconductor and photoelectric hub in the megacity of Chongqing. The industrial park project is aimed at new display technologies such as Micro LED. The project is planned to be constructed in three phases. (Laoyaoba, Yicai Global)

Konka Group is showcasing its latest Micro LED display products including a 118” 4K TV, a 117” 6K TV and a 236” 8K TV under the brand name “APHAEA”. Konka calls its Micro LED TV product “Smart Wall”. The Micro LED displays of Konka are modular display that can be customized into different shapes and sizes. (LED Inside, Yicai)

Apple is building the third plant in Taoyuan Taiwan, which is scheduled to be finished in Dec 2019. Many believe that the new facility, like the old ones, are for Micro LED. (My Drivers, IT Home, WCCFTech, LED Inside)

Camera

Xiaomi has officially opened its camera technology R&D hub in Tampere, Finland, 3 months after the company announced that it has set up a local company in the area. (VentureBeat, Suomi Mobiili, GizChina, Xiaomi Today)

Sony plans to invest USD918M in its new image sensor factory in Nagasaki. The company will produce CMOS sensors for smartphones in the new factory. The new plant is expected to be operational in Apr 2021. (Laoyaoba, Antutu, Asia Nikkei)

SmartSens, a global supplier of high-performance CMOS image sensors, has announced DSI pixel, as SmartSens’ latest enhanced SmartPixel technology. Equipped with SmartSens’ advanced sensor design architecture, the DSI pixel has significantly improved image performance across metrics. While compared to the current SmartPixel FSI performance, the DSI pixel excels in sensitivity improvement and dark current reduction by 2x and 5x respectively. (Laoyaoba, PR Newswire)

Connectivity

Derrick Sun, chief executive of Huawei Brazil, has indicated that the company expects around 480M households worldwide will have access to 5G broadband service by 2025. He has noted the company sees more than 70 countries allocating spectrum to 5G by 2021. So far, 56 countries have deployed 5G networks and 40 have launched some kind of 5G service. (CN Beta, NY Times, Economic Times)

Phone

Sony has initially forecasted decent smartphone shipments of 5M units for the 2019 financial year (1 Apr 2019~31 Mar 2020) but was later forced to revise the number down to 4M units following a particularly terrible Apr-Jun quarter. Sony has managed to sell just 600K smartphones to customers across the globe Jul~Sept 2019. (Phone Arena, Sony, CN Beta)

The Mainland China smartphone market improved sequentially in 3Q19 as shipments reached 97.8M, from 97.6M units in 2Q19. China is still shrinking against the previous year, though the decline has narrowed to -3%. Huawei has extended its market lead by shipping 41.5M smartphones, to reach a record market share of 42%, an annual growth of 66%. Shadowed by Huawei’s strong performance, the remaining top five vendors, OPPO, vivo, Xiaomi and Apple, shrank further. Their combined share only accounted for 50% of the market, down from 54% in 2Q19, and 64% in 3Q18. (GizChina, Canalys, press)

Global smartphone shipments grew 1% in 3Q19 to 348.9M units, bucking 2 years of declines, as a range of market stimuli aligned to drive demand. Samsung topped the rankings and shipped 78.9M devices, up 11%, as its strategy to sacrifice operating profit in pursuit of market share gained traction. Huawei bounced back from a weak 2Q19 and was second with 66.8M units, up 29%, as pent-up channel demand caused a surge in volume of shipments. (VentureBeat, Canalys, press, CN Beta)

According to Strategy Analytics, global smartphone shipments grew 2% annually to reach 366M units in 3Q19. This is the smartphone industry’s first period of positive growth for 2 years. Samsung maintained first position with 21% global smartphone market share, Huawei rose to a record 18%, while Apple held 12% market share in third place. (Strategy Analytics, GSM Arena)

Guo Taiqiang, chairman of Foxlink, has said that the company is investing in the construction of high-end mobile phone supply chain in Xuzhou, and will develop smart manufacturing. Starting from “Industry 4.0”, production in various regions of the mainland will be based on Xuzhou Zhizhi as the core of technical capabilities, supporting local development. Foxlinl’s 4th factory is also the largest factory, mainly targeting smartphones, wearables, etc., integrating the development of high-end equipment such as photoelectric sound and automated robotic arm, which is an important production base for Xuzhou to become Taiwanese business “Industry 4.0”. (Laoyaoba, UDN, CNA)

Xiaomi has collated its festive sales figures, and claims that 12M devices have been sold in one month in India. Out of the 12M, 8.5M are Xiaomi phones, and a phenomenal 40% year-on-year growth is achieved during the festive sales. Xiaomi has calculated these giant sale numbers from 28 Sept to 29 Oct 2019. This period was filled with Diwali sales on Amazon, Flipkart, and Mi.com. (Gizmo China, NDTV, India Times)

Huawei’s managing director and operator BG’s president Ding Wei has indicated that the entry-level 5G phones of CNY1000-2000 are expected to be launched in 2020. (My Drivers, 163, QQ)

Gree has announced that it intends to amend the company’s articles of association. The scope of its business scope includes deletion of “operating in telecommunications business and value-added telecommunications business”. This raises speculation that Gree is no longer making smartphone. Gree however has denied such rumor. (Laoyaoba, My Drivers)

OnePlus CEO Pete Lau has indicated that currently the company will stick with a current strategy by introducing two products; wherein one will be affordable and the other one be priced higher. (Pocket Lint, My Drivers)

Smartisan Nut Pro 3 is announced in China – 6.39” 2340×1080 FHD+ AMOLED, Qualcomm Snapdragon 855+, rear quad 48MP-13MP ultrawide-8MP telephoto-5MP macro + front 20MP, 8+128 / 8+256 / 12+256GB, Smartisan OS 7.0, under display fingerprint, 4000mAh 15W / 18W, CNY2,899 / CNY3,199 / CNY3,599. (GizChina, CN Beta, Gizmo China, IT Home)

Wearables

Worldwide end-user spending on wearable devices will total USD52B in 2020 — an increase of 27% from 2019 — according to Gartner. In 2019, worldwide wearable devices end-user spending is on pace to reach USD41B. End users will spend the most on smartwatches and smart clothing with spending growing 34% and 52% in 2020, respectively. (Gartner, press)

Shipments of Apple’s just-unveiled AirPods Pro are estimated at only 2M units in 2019. (CN Beta, My Drivers, Digitimes)

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