2-9 #Homes : Renesas to acquire Dialog; O-Film and Wingtech have signed acquisition intention agreement; Half of the products realme launch in India in 2021 will be 5G-enabled; etc.

Dialog Semiconductor, the U.K. chip designer whose clients include Apple, has said it is in advanced discussions to sell the company to Japan’s Renesas Electronics for about EUR4.9B (USD5.9B). (CN Beta, Yahoo, Bloomberg, Bloomberg Quint, Sina)

Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation (SMIC) will set up its SN1 12” (300mm) wafer production line and it will be joined by Huali Microelectronics, who also plans to establish a 12” line. SMIC’s SN1 plant is also located in Pudong, and it will focus on developing advanced process technology nodes below 14nm. Through the plant, the chipmaker hopes to produce 35,000 units-per-month, and the facility requires a USD12B investment. The chipmaker is moving ahead with its plans to manufacture 7nm chips. (CN Beta, WCCFtech, Sina)

UMC has indicated that semiconductor demand continues to be strong, and the production capacity of mature 8” and 12” have become tighter, and the scale of capacity shortage has exceeded the increase in capacity. This imbalance of supply and demand will lead to structural changes in the semiconductor market, and the phenomenon of short supply may continue until 2023. It is reported that the delivery period of semiconductor equipment has been 14~18 months, and the investment capacity has been planned to 2023. (CN Beta, China Times, CTEE)

O-Film and Wingtech have announced that the two parties have signed an “Acquisition Intention Agreement” and intend to acquire in cash the relevant business assets of O-Film and the supply of cameras to specific overseas customers. Through this acquisition, Wingtech will strategically expand its communications product integration business to upstream electronic components and build customer service capabilities across the industry chain. (CN Beta, Laoyaoba, Apple Daily)

OnePlus is reportedly collaborating withthe century-old Hasselblad Camera for OnePlus 9 Pro mobile imaging system. (Pocket-Lint, GizChina, IT Home, Sina)

According to IDC, the proportion of smartphone shipments equipped with biometric solutions in the Chinese market has increased from 85.08% in 2017 to 94.18% in 2020. In 2020, the Chinese market equipped with 3D face recognition smartphones accounted for 12.12% of the shipments, an increase of 2.80pct YoY. In 2020, the Chinese market equipped with fingerprint recognition (excluding models with 3D+ fingerprints) accounted for the shipment of smartphones 82.06% (of which front fingerprint accounted for 0.75%, rear fingerprint recognition for 20.06%, side fingerprint accounted for 26.47%, and under-screen fingerprint accounted for 34.78%), an increase of 3.88pct YoY. (Huatai Securities report)

Thanks to the increase in the level of autonomous driving, the number of demand for on-board cameras, ultrasonic & millimeter wave radars, and lidars continues to increase, which in turn drives the rapid increase in market size. Key modules such as ultrasonic radar, millimeter-wave radar, and cameras in the Chinese market are mainly provided by foreign Tier 1 companies. Lidar is still in its early stages of development, and domestic companies such as Hesai Technology and Robosense are entering the industrial chain of domestic automakers. (CITIC Securities report)

According to data from China Industry Information Network, global millimeter-wave radars are mainly provided by overseas suppliers such as Bosch, Continental, and Hella, with market share in 2018 was 19%, 16% and 12%, respectively. Domestic autonomous vehicle millimeter-wave radar products are still in the development stage. 24GHz is currently the mainstream, and 77GHz is in its infancy. Hasco has achieved mass production of 24GHz millimeter-wave radar and small-scale mass production of 77GHz radar products; Desay SV 24GHz radar has been equipped with XPeng, Chery and other vehicles, and 77GHz radar has received mass production orders. (CITIC Securities report)

According to Sigmaintell, Apple’s total production of iPhone in 2020 has increased to about 244M units. In 2021, the total production is expected to be about 251M units.  (Sigmaintell report)

Morgan’s supply chain analyst William Yang has recently cut his production estimates of Apple iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 mini by 9M and 11M units, respectively. He has hiked production of iPhone 12 Pro Max by 11M units. Even with the poor sales, Apple is still expected to release 4 new phones later 2021. Apple might have to come up some “optimizations” to improve the performance and thus the sales of a smaller-screened iPhone model for 2021. (Phone Arena, My Drivers)

In India, the smartphone market finished 2020 with nearly 145M units, a decline of just 2% year-on-year from 148M units in 2019, after a strong recovery in 2H20. It marks the second largest smartphone market’s first full year decline in history. Political headwind between China and India is having little to no impact on the momentum vendors like Xiaomi, OPPO and vivo gathered in 2020. Chinese vendors collectively contributed to about 77% of total shipments in 2020, against 72% in 2019, with the share likely to continue moving north as the nation prepares itself for the onset of 5G. (Canalys, GSM Arena, GizChina)

Founder and CEO of Xiaomi, Lei Jun has revealed that Xiaomi invested USD10B in research and development in 2019. Xiaomi’s expenditure will rise by 30-40% reaching USD13B-14B in 2021. (IT Home, GizChina)

Xiaomi has become the third-largest smartphone brand in the world. it is the first smartphone brand in ten markets, which includes India as one of the most notable ones. Moreover, it achieved at least the third position in 36 markets. (GizChina, GSM Arena, Twitter)

realme India CEO Madhav Sheth has revealed that half of the products realme launch in India in 2021 will be 5G-enabled and that all smartphones launched above INR20,000 from the brand will be 5G capable. (GSM Arena, Indian Express)

TikTok has announced an “expanded global alliance” with Universal Music Group (UMG) to let TikTok users create videos with music background from UMG’s music library. (Pocket-Lint, Neowin, TikTok)

The worldwide tablet market had an outstanding 4Q20 with 19.5% YoY growth and shipments totaling 52.2M units, according to IDC. Impacted by the pandemic, the tablet market reached shipment levels not seen since 4Q17 when the total was 49.9M. Detachable tablets have broadened their presence in the market as the emphasis on productivity, flexibility, and ease of use is now greater than ever before and sales for this category were often in direct competition with notebooks. Shipments for detachable tablets grew 27.9% during the quarter as both Microsoft and Apple helped push the form factor with their respective products. (GizChina, IDC)

Apple has reportedly held talks with Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors about building an electric vehicle, though the discussions paused recently. Apple has also been discussing similar plans with other auto manufacturers. (Digital Trends, Bloomberg)

Since 2020, NIO has received a total of CNY41.5B (USD4.68B) in equity / bond financing; Li Xiang has received a total of CNY20.7B (USD2B) in equity financing; XPeng has received approximately CNY30.4B (USD4.7B) equity financing. Tesla has received USD12.34B in equity financing. CITIC Securities believes that since 2020, the 4 companies have received a total of about USD23.72B in financing, which will greatly accelerate the rapid development of the autonomous driving/smart electric industry chain. (CITIC Securities report)

Tesla has built factories in the United States, China, Germany. The company has a total of 5 plants around the world, namely Fremont in California, Tilburg in the Netherlands, Shanghai in China, Berlin in Germany, and Austin in Texas. CITIC Securities predicts that the company’s output in 2025 is expected to reach 2.25M vehicles. (CITIC Securities report)

According to the plans for future models of Chinese and global car companies, dozens of smart car models will be launched in the market in 2021-2022. In the future, with the further increase in the penetration rate of the smart car industry chain, vehicle competition will further accelerate, which will also stimulate demand and investment opportunities in related links of the industry chain. (CITIC Securities report)

Investment bank Wedbush analyst Daniel Ives predicts that there is a 85+% that Apple will announce an EV partnership / collaboration in the next 3-6 months. Volkswagens (VW) or Hyundai are reportedly the top 2 choices. (Apple Insider, CN Beta)

Tesla has announced that it has invested around USD1.5B in Bitcoin. The company is also expected to start accepting payment for its cars and other products through Bitcoins in the near future. (Gizmo China, CNBC, Bloomberg, TechCrunch, SEC)

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