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12-17: Samsung has shipped 3.2M 5G smartphones in 3Q19; Redmi K30 5G (6+64GB) costs around CNY1,746 (roughly USD250); etc.

Chipsets

Intel has announced that it has acquired Habana Labs, an Israel-based developer of programmable AI and machine learning accelerators for cloud datacenters for about USD2B. Intel says it will strengthen its AI strategy as Habana begins sampling its proprietary silicon to customers. (VentureBeat, Business Wire, Sohu, Intel)

Touch Display

Lu Weibing, general manager of the Redmi brand, has addressed the concern of “yellowing” of the punch hole cameras on the Redmi K30 series. He has listed 2 major advantages of the new generation of Redmi K30 punch-hole display: (1) Upgrade “thickened glass”; and (2) Increase the density of support columns. (GizChina, IT Home)

Samsung has allegedly signed a long-term supply contract with AUO and CSOT. The number of panel purchases from AUO in one year will be 7M units. The purchase volume of Innolux will also increase significantly to 6.5M units in 2020. Samsung’s overall TV shipments in 2020 will aim as high as 50M units. (China Times)

Prices of TDDI (touch with display driver integration) chips are expected to drop another 10%-20% in 2020, according to sources at Taiwan-based fabless chipmakers, which expressed concerns about the impact on their profitability in 2020. TDDI chip suppliers will be striving to maintain their average gross margin for the product segment at above 20%. (Digitimes, press, Digitimes)

Camera

Microsoft has filed a patent titled “Object recognition using depth and multi-spectral camera”. It discusses a camera configured to output depth-multi-spectral image and each pixel includes at least a depth value and spectral value. It uses object recognition machine combined with a depth + multi-spectral image to understand the structure of the object and produce output. The recognition machine uses a convolutional neural network to determine the face or object. (Phone Arena, Windows Latest, Free Patent Online, CN Beta)

Samsung has presented a technology promising 144MP image sensors based around 14nm FinFET process. The 14nm FinFET technology will allow for a 42% reduction in power consumption in a 144MP sensor while capturing images at 10fps. For a 12MP readout at 30-120fps (i.e., recording video), the power savings can be up to 37%. (Image Sensors World, GSM Arena, CN Beta)

Sensory

Israeli 4D imaging radar chipset developer Arbe Robotics has announced the closing of USD32M Series B financing. Arbe’s 4D imaging radar chipset solution allows high-resolution sensing for ADAS and autonomous vehicles. (Laoyaoba, TechCrunch, Globes)

Battery

The first phase of LG Chem’s power battery project in the Jiangning Binjiang Development Zone in Nanjing has achieved mass production. It is expected that the annual output value will reach CNY60B. LG Chem’s battery project is settled in Nanjing in Jul 2018, with a total investment of USD2B and 700 acres of land. It is invested and constructed in two phases, mainly producing power batteries, energy storage batteries and small batteries. The factory plans to build 23 electrode and battery cell production lines, including 16 power batteries, 3 energy storage batteries, and 4 small batteries. (Laoyaoba, Xueqiu, ESCN)

Phone

According to IHS Markit, Redmi K30 5G (6+64GB) costs around CNY1,746 (roughly USD250). However, the cost estimated is just for the components used and does not include cost of research and development, assembly and after sales expenditure. The pricing of the Redmi K30 5G smartphone starts at CNY1,999 (roughly USD284). (Twitter, Gizmo China, GizChina)

realme CEO Madhav Sheth has announced that in 2019 the company has sold 15M smartphones, and plan to double the figure in 2020. realme currently enjoys a 14.3% market share. (Gizmo China, The Hindu, TechRadar)

Samsung has shipped 3.2M 5G smartphones in 3Q19, representing 74% of the 4.3M-unit global market. Samsung’s 5G smartphone shipments in 3Q19 more than doubled compared to 1.5M units in 2Q19. The company has largely maintained the massive lead it built in 2Q19, when it held an 83% share of shipments. (Gizmo China, IHS Markit)

NPD Group reveals that just under 10% of U.S. consumers are spending over USD1,000 on their smartphones. Since these consumers will be the target audience for 5G devices, which typically hit the market around the USD1,200 price point, this may bring into question how quickly consumers will chose to upgrade to 5G. (CN Beta, LA Times, NPD, 9to5Google)

vivo X30 / X30 Pro is announced in China, featuring 6.44” 1080×2400 FHD+ Super AMOLED, Samsung Exynos 980, fingerprint on display, Android 9.0, 4350mAh 33W: X30 – rear tri 64MP OIS-32MP OIS telephoto-8MP ultrawide + front 32MP, 8+128 / 8+256GB, CNY3,300 (USD472) / CNY3,600 (USD514). X30 Pro – rear quad 64MP OIS-13MP OIS periscope-32MP OIS telephoto-8MP ultrawide + front 32MP, 8+128 / 8+256GB, CNY4,000 (USD571) / CNY4,300 (USD614). (CN Beta, GSM Arena)

Wearables

Asymco predicts that in 4Q19 Apple AirPods revenue will soon overtake the USD4B quarterly revenue that Apple saw at the peak of iPod in 2007. Looking forward to the next quarter, Asymco expects a 51% increase YoY for Wearables and 24% growth in Watch. This results in a Watch revenues about USD5.2B and non-Watch USD5.7B. (My Drivers, 9to5Mac, Asymco, Mac Daily News)

realme Buds Air is announced in India, featuring a customized R1 chip that supports super-low latency over Bluetooth 5.0. Each earphone has two microphones – one for calls, and another one for in-call noise cancellation. There is also a 12 mm bass booster that should provide a clearer sound. It is priced at INR3,999 (USD56). (CN Beta, GSM Arena, realme)

Robotics

Industrial robotics startup Gecko Robotics has landed USD40M in financing as it looks to build an additional 40 robots over the 2020 to meet what the company sees as growing demand for its safety and infrastructure monitoring services. (VentureBeat, PR Newswire, TechCrunch, CN Beta)

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