3-19 #Blessing : Honor will launch an ultra-high-end flagship Magic series in 2021; Chip shortage could impact Samsung’s mid-range smartphones and its laptop; Intel and the U.S. DARPA have announced a 3-year partnership; etc.

Intel and the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) have announced a 3-year partnership to advance the development of domestically manufactured structured Application Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC) platforms. The Structured Array Hardware for Automatically Realized Applications (SAHARA) partnership enables the design of custom chips that include state-of-the-art security countermeasure technologies.  (Neowin, Intel, DARPA)

Apple would not launch a new 12.9” iPad Pro with a mini-LED display until at least 2Q21, which begins on 1 Apr 2021, according to Digitimes. Epistar has become the exclusive supplier of miniLED chips to be used in 12.9” miniLED-backlit ‌iPad Pro‌, with nearly 50% of the production capacity booked up for the tablet and volume shipments to begin in 2Q21. (Digitimes, MacRumors, IT Home)

Apple’s first entry-level Mac to feature mini-LED display technology will be a new MacBook Air due to launch in 2022, according to TFI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. In contrast, only high-end iPad models will use mini LED displays, and the overall growth momentum may be lower than that of MacBooks. (MacRumors, TF Securities)

Apple will transition the iPad Air to OLED displays in 2H22, while mini-LED display technology will remain exclusive to upcoming higher-end iPad Pro models, according to TF Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. He has indicated that if the ‌iPad‌ adopts an OLED display in 2022, it will be the mid- / low-end ‌iPad Air‌, while the high-end ‌iPad Pro‌ will still use a mini LED display. (MacRumors, GSM Arena, MyFixGuide, TF Securities)

Apple’s new 12.9” mini-LED iPad Pro will enter mass production in the second half of Apr 2021, according to TF Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. They expect EMS to start mass production of mini LED iPads beginning mid to late Apr 2021. The supply bottleneck, TSMT’s yield rate, will increase significantly in 2Q21, and overall supply chain shipment momentum will also increase significantly in 2H21. (MacRumors, TF Securities)

Google has published the second Developer Preview of Android 12. Within the code, several new classes in the SystemUIGoogle app are spotted. One of these classes is called “UdfpsControllerGoogle”, where “Udfps” refers to “under-display fingerprint scanner”. This suggests that a Google Pixel handset with an under-display fingerprint scanner is coming. (Android Headlines, XDA-Developers)

Apple’s patent titled “under-display fingerprint sensing based on off-axis angular light” describes its technology as an “enhanced under-display fingerprint sensing” system that uses “off-axis angular light” to read fingerprints more effectively without increasing the size of the components. (CN Beta, Apple Insider, MacRumors, USPTO)

Rivian, the EV startup backed by Amazon, Cox Automotive and T. Rowe Price, plans to install more than 10,000 chargers by the end of 2023. The company has said that its so-called Rivian Adventure Network will include more than 3,500 DC fast chargers at over 600 sites. (TechCrunch, Teslarati, Rivian, IT Home)

In Feb 2021, London-listed telecom Airtel Africa said it was looking to sell a minority stake in its mobile money business in a bid to raise cash and sell off some assets. The firm has announced that The Rise Fund, the global impact investing platform of investment firm TPG, will invest USD200M in its mobile money arm. The investment will see the mobile money business, Airtel Mobile Commerce BV (AMC BV), valued at USD2.65B. (TechCrunch, Live Mint)

HMC Securities SVP Greg Roh predicts that the chip shortage could also impact Samsung’s mid-range smartphones and its laptops. Samsung’s new Galaxy A models are slated to launch in 2Q21. Samsung will be launching Galaxy Z Flip 2 and Galaxy Z Fold in 3Q21. Samsung Galaxy S21 FE will be launched in 4Q21. There will be a handful of Galaxy M too. (GSM Arena, Bloomberg, SamMobile, CN Beta)

Handel Jones, CEO of IBS, an American electronics industry strategy consulting company, has said that Xiaomi, OPPO and vivo are planning to ship 566M smartphones in 2021. Interestingly, this figure was 362M in 2020. This clearly shows the strong competitiveness of Chinese smartphone manufacturers in the global smartphone ecosystem. (GizChina, 36Kr)

Honor CEO Zhao Ming has indicated that the best way to respect Huawei is for Honor to develop better. Honor will launch an ultra-high-end flagship Magic series in 2021. In addition to innovative technologies, some of Honor’s product plans have introduced top designers in the industry, especially the Honor Magic series, which will be very attractive and competitive. The new Magic flagship product is under development and will be available in 2021. In the future, Honor Magic will surpass the Huawei Mate series and P series. (GSM Arena, MyFixGuide, CN Beta)

Samsung Galaxy A52 / A52 5G are announced in Europe, features rear quad 64MP OIS-12MP ultrawide-5MP macro-5MP depth + front 32MP, Android 11.0, fingerprint on display, IP67 rated, 4500mAh 25W: A52 – 6.5” 1080×2400 FHD+ Super AMOLED HiD 90Hz, Qualcomm Snapdragon 720G, 4+128 / 6+128 / 8+128 / 8+256GB, starts at EUR349. A52 5G – 6.5” 1080×2400 FHD+ Super AMOLED HiD 120Hz, Qualcomm Snapdragon 750G 5G, 6+128 / 8+256GB, starts at EUR429. (Gizmo China, GSM Arena)

Samsung Galaxy A72 is announced in Europe – 6.7” 1080×2400 FHD+ Super AMOLED HiD 90Hz, Qualcomm Snapdragon 720G, rear quad 64MP OIS-8MP telephoto 3x optical zoom OIS-12MP ultrawide-5MP macro + front 32MP, 6+128 / 8+256GB, Android 11.0, fingerprint on display, 5000mAh 25W, start at EUR449. (Gizmo China, GSM Arena, Samsung)

Facebook has announced the idea of ​​a smart band that can control Facebook’s upcoming augmented reality (AR) glasses. This smart band can use sensors to receive electric nerve signals on the wrist to interpret complex hand movements. Therefore, it will allow the wearer to interact with the virtual world projected through AR glasses through subtle finger movements. (GizChina, CN Beta, Facebook)

Sony has revealed a new set of Playstation 5 controllers that will be compatible with its next-generation of Playstation VR. The controllers share many features with Sony’s DualSense, including haptic feedback and adaptive triggers. The VR controller is tracked by the new VR headset through a tracking ring across the bottom of the controller. The controllers feature finger touch detection. The controller “can detect your fingers without any pressing in the areas where users place their thumb, index, or middle fingers”. (Digital Trends, Playstation, GSM Arena, Sina)

TF Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has indicated that Apple’s widely rumored augmented reality (AR) headset is expected to sport eye tracking hardware as a means of user input. The headset will use a specialized transmitter and receiver to detect eye movements, blinks and related physical information. The analyst believes eye tracking will soon be the most important human-machine interface technology for AR and VR wearables. (TF Securities, CN Beta, Apple Insider)

Creo has unveiled its BioBulb platform that allows businesses to create appealing indoor plant walls with automated water and nutrient systems. The system uses AI to create a smart, green living system that allows nature to grow in environments with scarce resources, such as inside office building lobbies. (VentureBeat, PR Newswire)

There are currently a number of companies aiming to roll out electric delivery vans – including Rivian, Ford and Canoo – but Michigan-based Electric Last Mile is looking to make its Urban Delivery van the first Class 1 commercial EV to hit the US market. The company is looking to turn 45,000 non-binding pre-orders into solid commitments by announcing production plans. (CN Beta, Electrek, New Atlas)

Shelf Engine, a Seattle-based startup cofounded in 2015, aims to make a change by tapping AI to help stores increase profits while reducing product waste. The company has announced that it raised USD41M in series B funding, bringing its total raised to USD58M as its platform expands beyond 85 customers and over 2,000 stores nationwide. Using machine learning, Shelf Engine forecasts demand for highly perishable foods, reducing waste and out-of-stocks. (VentureBeat, Geek Wire, PR Newswire)

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