1-7 #Pressures : Qualcomm has announced new Snapdragon 480; Honor is reportedly in talks with Qualcomm for chipset supply; Samsung Display has unveiled its new brand and logo for its OLED display products; etc.

Qualcomm has announced new Snapdragon 480, a low-end 5G SoC. Its centerpiece is an X51 modem that provides “multi-gigabit” 5G speeds for both millimeter wave and sub-6GHz frequencies. It is built on Qualcomm’s 2GHz Kryo 460 processor with eight cores, four of them based on Arm’s Cortex-A76 performance architecture and four on the more efficient Cortex-A55. (Android Central, AnandTech, Android Authority, CN Beta)

Honor is reportedly in talks with Qualcomm for chipset supply. Honor has set a goal to sell over 100M smartphones in 2021. (Gizmo China, Yicai, GizChina)

Zhen Ding Technology has obtained orders for backlight boards for Apple’s upcoming miniLED-backlit iPad Pro, with shipments set to peak in 2Q21, according to Digitimes. (CN Beta, Digitimes, Digitimes, China Times)

Apple iPhone 13 would reportedly have 4 models, all using OLED panels. The 2 top models would use low-temperature polysilicon (LTPO) thin-film transistor (TFT) OLED panels produced by Samsung Display and support 120Hz refresh rate. Apple allegedly plans to use LTPO OLED in all iPhone models launched by the end of 2022. (GizChina, Phone Arena, The Elec, Apple Insider)

Samsung Display has unveiled its new brand and logo for its organic light-emitting diode (OLED) display products as the company vowed to bolster its OLED business in 2021. The company said its OLED panels will be produced under the brand of “Samsung OLED” to better promote its products. (My Drivers, Sina, CN Beta, Korea Biz Wire)

Intel has introduced Intel RealSense ID, an on-device solution that combines an active depth sensor with a specialized neural network designed to deliver secure, accurate and user-aware facial authentication. Intel RealSense ID works with smart locks, access control, point-of-sale, ATMs, kiosks and more. (Engadget, Intel, Neowin, CN Beta)

Industrial sensor giant Teledyne is set to acquire sensing company FLIR in a deal valued at around USD8B. FLIR’s technology has appeared in the consumer market via add-on thermal cameras designed for mobile devices, including the iPhone. Teledyne also serves aerospace and defense customers, including NASA, as well as healthcare, marine and climate monitoring agencies. (CN Beta, The Verge, TechCrunch, Teledyne)

Hyundai Motor plans to build the factory in Guangzhou, China by the end of 2021 and begin the production of hydrogen fuel cells from 2022. Hyundai will likely supply fuel cells produced at the Guangzhou plant to its commercial vehicle factory in Sichuan to locally manufacture hydrogen-powered vehicles. (GizChina, Korea Economy Daily, The Edge Market, IT Home)

Apple has filed 2 new patents for two-way wireless charging. Apple envisions a MacBook capable of charging an iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch. The patent also includes iPads and iPhones that can wirelessly charge devices. (Pocket-Lint, USPTO, Patently Apple)

Unikorn Semiconductor, a provider of foundry services for III-V compound semiconductor components, will extend production of GaN-on-Si chips for fast charging devices from 65W chips to 100W ones in 2H21, according to Lee Biing-jye, chairman of Epistar, the parent company of Unikorn. Fast charging devices will use more 100W GaN-on-Si chips in 2021, Lee said. (Gizmo China, Phone Arena, Digitimes, press)

Tesla has announced a new battery cell deal with Panasonic through an SEC filing until at least 2022 despite Tesla plans to produce its own cheaper alternative. Historically, the cells that Panasonic has been supplying Tesla with from Japan have been for the Model S and Model X programs. (My Drivers, Electrek, Nikkei Asia)

Verizon has backtracked on its plan to turn off its 3G network by the end of 2020. Verizon has indicated that their 3G network is operational and the company does not have a plan to shut it down at this time. (Phone Arena, Light Reading)

Year 2020 is a record-setting year for both mobile games and non-game apps, and consumer spending on Apple App Store and Google Play soared to new heights as users turned to their mobile devices for education, employment, and entertainment. Consumers spent nearly USD111B globally on in-app purchases, subscriptions, and premium apps across both marketplaces, according to Sensor Tower. This figure represents 30.2% year-over-year growth from 2019 when app stores generated USD85.2B. (MacRumors, Sensor Tower)

TF Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has indicated that Apple plans to release its long-awaited AirTags item trackers, an unspecified augmented reality (AR) device, and other new products in 2021. AirTags are expected to help users keep track of their personal belongings, such as their keys, wallets, and backpacks, and would notify users on their Apple devices when they are separated from a tagged item. (CN Beta, Apple Insider, 9to5Mac, MacRumors)

Tile is reportedly developing a tracker that will use ultra-wideband (UWB) tech, instead of Bluetooth, to help users find lost items. UWB’s high-frequency waves can transmit spatial and directional data, making it more accurate at estimating the location of something. (Pocket-Lint, Engadget, TechCrunch)

According to Nikkei Asia, Apple plans to produce up to 96M iPhones for 1H21, a nearly 30% year-on-year increase. Apple has reportedly asked suppliers to build some 95M~96M iPhones, including the latest iPhone 12 range and the older iPhone 11 and iPhone SE. The tentative full-year forecast that Apple shared with its suppliers suggests it plans to build up to 230M iPhones in 2021. (Apple Insider, Nikkei Asia)

Murata Manufacturing, the world’s biggest maker of ceramic capacitors for Apple and other smartphone brands, expects demand for 5G wireless devices to surpass 500M handsets in the coming fiscal year, building on a rush to replace Huawei in the global consumer arena. (Apple Insider, Bloomberg)

Xiaomi Mi 10i 5G is announced in India – 6.67” 1080×2400 FHD+ HiD IPS 120Hz, Qualcomm Snapdragon 750G, rear quad 108MP-8MP ultrawide-2MP macro-2MP depth + front 16MP, 6+64 / 6+128 / 8+128GB, Android 11.0, side fingerprint, 4820mAh 33W, INR20,999 (USD287) / INR21,999 (USD301) / INR23,999 (USD328).  (Android Central, GSM Arena)

Samsung Galaxy M02s is announced in Nepal (and soon in India) – 6.517” 720×1560 HD+ v-notch TFT, Qualcomm Snapdragon 450, rear tri 13MP-2MP macro-2MP depth + front 5MP, 4+64GB, Android 10.0, no fingerprint scanner, 5000mAh 10W, NPR15,999 (USD137), India to be expected priced at INR9,999. (Gizmo China, Samsung, NDTV91Mobiles)

Redmi Note 9T is announced in Europe – 6.53” 1080×2340 FHD+ HiD 90Hz IPS, MediaTek Dimensity 800U 5G, rear tri 48MP-8MP ultrawide-2MP macro + front 13MP, 4+64 / 4+128GB, Android 10.0, side fingerprint scanner, 5000mAh 18W (9.2mm thick), EUR230 / EUR270. (GSM Arena, My Drivers)

realme V15 5G is announced in China – 6.4” 1080×2400 FHD+ HiD Super AMOLED, MediaTek Dimensity 800U, rear tri 64MP-8M ultrawide-2MP macro + front 16MP, 6+128 / 8+128GB, Android 11.0, fingerprint on display, 4310mAh 50W, CNY1,499 (USD230) / CNY1,999 (USD307). (GizChina, Gizmo China, GSM Arena)

Owing to the stay-at-home economy brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, not only did yearly notebook computer shipment surpass 200M units for the first time ever, but the 22.5% YoY growth was also the highest on record, according to TrendForce . However, in comparison with 2Q20, during which production lines resumed operations, and notebook demand saw an uptick, the current global market is plagued by the ever-intensifying pandemic, with various countries instating border control and lockdown measures, making it impossible at the moment to accurately forecast the state of the notebook market in 2H21. Nevertheless, TrendForce currently expects global notebook shipment for 2021 to reach 217M units, an 8.6% increase YoY. (TrendForce, TrendForce, GizChina)

Bose has announced a new pair of wireless earbuds, Bose Sport Open Earbuds, designed with an audio enclosure that does not touch or cover ears when worn. The earbuds feature Bluetooth 5.1 and incorporate Bose’s OpenAudio technology that allows to listen to music while the audio enclosure sits above instead of over, in or on the ear canal. It is priced at USD199.95. (CN Beta, Bose, Neowin)

Earin has unveiled its third-generation A-3 earbuds, priced at USD199. The A-3 buds have an IPX52 water resistance rating (they can withstand a sustained spray of water but are not fully waterproof) and deliver 5 hours of battery life with five extra charges from their charging case. They have 14mm drivers, Bluetooth 5.0 and Qualcomm QCC5121 chipset. (CN Beta, Earin, Engadget, CNET, Android Authority)

According to Digitimes, Apple is about to enter the second phase of its augmented reality (AR) glasses prototype development. It suggests that “Apple Glass” is progressing toward a commercial release. (Digitimes, Apple Insider, CN Beta)

TikTok has added a new AR video effect for users with Apple’s LiDAR-equipped iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max, blending digital images into videos. TikTok has launched what it calls the first of a series of “innovative effects” for users with the iPhone 12 Pro or iPhone 12 Pro Max. Using the LiDAR sensor in those phones, TikTok mixes AR-based objects and text into a real-world view. (Apple Insider, CN Beta, TechCrunch)

Samsung has announced its flagship TV lineup that will be launched later 2021 across the globe. The headlining products are the all-new display 8K (QN900A) and 4K (QN90A) models that utilize the Neo QLED display technology. Neo QLED is supposedly the evolution of QLED with Quantum Mini LED as the light source, which is said to be 1/40 the height of a conventional LED and has thin micro layers filled with many more LEDs. (Sammy Hub, Samsung, CNET)

Autonomous-car company Waymo says it will stop using the term “self-driving”. Alphabet-owned Waymo says that from 2021 it will refer to its driving technology as “fully autonomous”. (CN Beta, Digital Trends, Waymo)

In Sept 2020, General Motors (GM) and Honda have formed a North America alliance. GM will build 2 electric cars for Honda in the near future. GM will build a new Honda EV in Mexico while an Acura EV will find a manufacturing home in the US. (CN Beta, CNET, Auto News)

According to data from Changan Automobile, the compay sold 200,616 vehicles in Dec 2020, an increase of 3.6% YoY. After 9 consecutive months of YoY growth, it sold 2,003,663 vehicles in Jan-Dec, a 14% increase YoY. (My Drivers, East Money, Sohu)

AMP Robotics, a pioneer in artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics for the waste industry, has raised USD55M in corporate equity in a Series B financing. AMP will use this latest funding to scale its business operations to meet the robust market demand for its technology and develop innovative new AI product applications that integrate into materials recovery facilities to increase recycling rates for its customers.  (CN Beta, VentureBeat, Business Wire)

Malaysia’s Putra University has built drones with the bio-composite material that have a higher strength-to-weight ratio compared to ones comprising synthetic fibers, adding that using the fiber also allows for cheaper and lighter unmanned flying machines. The current prototype drone can fly as high as 1,000m (3,280 feet) and stay airborne for around 20 minutes before requiring a recharge. (Engadget, Reuters, Digital Trends, Gizmo China, Sohu)

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