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2-6: Huawei, OPPO, vivo, and Xiaomi have allegedly teamed up to let foreign developers upload apps onto all of their app stores at the same time; etc.

Chipsets

On the supply side, UBS look at 8” and 12” foundry capacity for the Chinese foundries: SMIC, Hua Hong, and Huali. UBS estimates that in 2019, China has roughly 6.7M wafers per year in 8” capacity, and 3.5M wafers per year in 12” capacity (8” equivalent). On the demand side, UBS estimates that China requires 5.4M wafers per year in 8” foundry wafers, and 4.9M wafers per year in 12” capacity (8″ equivalent). (UBS report)

Touch Display

TV panel pricing has been soft since mid-2019 due to overcapacity, weaker demand, and inventory adjustment. Multiple panel makers in Taiwan, China, and Korea started lowering their utilisation since 3Q19 as panel pricing for some sizes fell below the cash cost. This has led to stabilisation of TV panel pricing in Nov 2019, and Credit Suisse expects it to continue in the next few months. (Credit Suisse report)

Credit Suisse believes Samsung’s fab conversion to QD-OLED, LG Display’s potential closure of Gen 7 and Gen 8 fabs in Korea, and the exit of Panasonic’s Gen 8 fab will help to ease the overcapacity risk in 2020 and 2021, although there are still some new fabs ramping up in China. (Credit Suisse report)

Unlike a few years ago (i.e., 2016) when Chinese panel makers were only capable of producing smaller-sized panels or entry level product for 55” TV panels (i.e., FHD and some lower-end 4K), Credit Suisse believes the gap has narrowed. For example, BOE’s large size (55”+) TV panel shipment is expected to reach 14.6M units in 2019 or 27% of its total output, based on IHS, up significantly from 3M units in 2016 or 7% of its total shipment. Moreover, its 4K penetration for TV panels is expected to reach 41% (vs 45% for the industry) in 2019 vs 9% (24% for the industry) in 2016. (Credit Suisse report)

Samsung’s patent reveals schematics of the upcoming Samsung speaker that seems to sport a flexible display. The screen can be unfurled to 180º maximum or wrap around the speaker, which will tout cylindrical shape with woofer up top. The display also seems to house hinges at the back for added support. (CN Beta, 91Mobiles)

Visionox has indicated that the current 4K / 8K resolution mainly focuses on large-display applications. The company’s technologies are oriented to customer needs. The company is actively deploying micro LED technology. For the inkjet printing AMOLED technology, Visionox has certain R&D investment and will continue to pay attention to technological progress. (Laoyaoba, LED Inside)

Camera

Multi-cam growth is likely to be driven by higher penetration of triple / quad cams. Credit Suisse forecasts global triple+ cam penetration of 25% / 37% for 2019 / 2020 and multi-cam penetration of 68% / 75%, respectively. Credit Suisse sees the trend as particularly obvious for Chinese smartphone brands as recent models released are focused on triple+ cameras for high-end models, while dual-cam share decreases due to cannibalisation. (Credit Suisse report)

OnePlus has filed a patent for a technology that hides the camera when not in use. It is clearly visible that there are no punch-holes of pop-up camera mechanism for the front-facing snapper and the entire surface is covered by the screen. (Laoyaoba, Gizmo China, LetsGoDigital)

Memory

ChangXin Memory Technologies (CXMT) / Innotron continues to invest, but at a modest pace and with limited visibility. Tsinghua Unigroup has announced its ramp-up of its DRAM capabilities, targeting mass production in 2021, which could be a more viable contender than others in terms of schedule. However, UBS thinks IP will remain the key challenge. UBS expects China to account for 0.4% / 1.1% of the industry’s bit supply by 2020 / 2021. (UBS report)

Micron Technology has announced that it has commenced the mass production of the world’s first low-power LPDDR5 DRAM chip designed for high-end smartphone market. Xiaomi Mi 10 series will be the first phones to feature it. It is twice as fast as LPDDR4 and 20% faster than LPDDR4x RAM. (CN Beta, EET India, Gizmo China)

Quantum has announced that it had agreed to acquire ActiveScale object storage business from Western Digital. Western Digital’s ActiveScale cloud storage solutions are used to store unstructured data that requires massive amount of scalable storage space that is cheap, fast, and reliable. (CN Beta, AnandTech)

Biometrics

Google and YouTube have sent a cease-and-desist letter to Clearview AI, the facial recognition company that has been scraping billions of photos off the internet and using it to help more than 600 police departments identify people within seconds. (CNET, Engadget, CBS)

In China, Credit Suisse estimates shipments of under-display optical fingerprint modules to grow 76% / 42% to 211M / 300M in 2020 / 2021. O-film and Q-Tech remain the major module suppliers for under-display optical fingerprint sensing modules, and Credit Suisse estimates that the two jointly have 80-90% module share in China. (Credit Suisse report)

Battery

Huawei’s upcoming 5G smartphone with codename “TAH-AN00m” is spotted, which supports 65W fast charging technology. (CNMO, Gizmo China)

Material

Metal mid-frame ASP ranges from USD10-15, with USD15 more for the high-end flagship models. Glass rear casing can be both 2.5 and 3D, but rear casing is slightly more expensive than the front cover. Glass casing ASP has trended down YoY in 2019, with high / mid-end down to USD9-10 / USD6-7 from USD10-15 in 2018. For 2.5D-glass, its ASP is only one-third or half that of 3D glass in 2019. (Credit Suisse report)

Phone

Entity list is a US list of entities that are ineligible to receive any item subject to the Export Administration without a license, as specified in Supplement No. 4 to Part 744 of the Export Administration Regulations. The list now includes 14 Chinese companies. (UBS report)

Credit Suisse forecasts global 5G smartphone shipments to be 250M / 500M in 2020 / 2021, 121M / 208M units to ship in China (48% / 42% of total shipment). Credit Suisse sees 5G as key to driving the replacement cycle for China’s smartphone market. Credit Suisse raises China smartphone shipment estimate to -4% YoY from -6% in 2019 and now estimate +5% YoY for 2020. (Credit Suisse report)

Spotify has announced that the company now has 271M monthly active users (MAUs), up 31% on a year ago. Paying users are up 29% to 125M. Overall revenues for 4Q19 hit USD2B, up 24% on a year ago with a gross margin of 25.6%. (Phone Arena, TechCrunch, Business Wire)

Huawei, OPPO, vivo, and Xiaomi have allegedly teamed up to let foreign developers upload apps onto all of their app stores at the same time. The initiative is Global Developer Service Alliance (GDSA) and seems to be an indirect Google Play Store rival in some ways. The GDSA apparently aims to make it easy for developers to market their apps in foreign markets. (Android Authority, Reuters, GDSA, CN Beta)

realme C3 is announced in India – 6.5” 720×1560 HD+ IPS, MediaTEk Helio G70, rear dual 12MP-2MP depth + front 5MP, 3+32 / 4+64GB, Android 10, no fingerprint scanner, 5000mAh, INR6,999 (USD100) / INR7,999 (USD110). (GSM Arena, Gizmo China)

Huawei Y7p is launched in Thailand  – 6.39” 720×1560 HD+ HiD IPS, HiSilicon Kirin 710F, rear tri 48MP-8MP ultrawide-2MP depth + front 8MP, 4+64GB, Android 9.0, rear fingerprint scanner, 4000mAh, ~USD191. (Huawei, Gizmo China)

Wearables

According to Strategy Analytics, Apple Watch has outsold the entire Swiss watch industry by a huge margin in 2019. Apple Watch shipped 31M units worldwide in 2019, compared with 21M for all Swiss watch brands combined. Swiss companies, like Swatch, are losing the smartwatch wars. (Strategy Analytics, My Drivers)

Robotics

Amidst the Coronavirus virus outbreak, logistics robots are playing a huge role to ensure smooth operations of the material supply chain in some of the worst affected areas in China. According to Jingdong Logistics, technology is currently playing an important role in its distribution network. With smart warehouses and drones to distribution robots, smart supermarkets, and sales counters, JD Logistics is fighting the epidemic on Ground Zero. (Gizmo China, IT Home)

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