5-16 #Weekends : IBM has indicated a current chip shortage impacting production of smartphones could last for another 2 years; The partnership of Huawei and Leica reportedly terminate soon; Samsung has contributed new code commits related to F2FS to Google Fuchsia OS; etc.

MediaTek’s sufficient capacity support from TSMC’s 6 / 7nm is attributed to its market share gains in 2021. Its next flagship 5G SoCs, under TSMC’s 4 / 5nm during 1H22, will enter the top-end merchant market. Counterpoint does not expect foundry supply for AP / SoC in 2022 to be a major concern after capacity expansion and yield improvement. The competition in 5G AP/SoCs will further intensify, as Qualcomm seems more aggressive on wafer orders to maintain its leading position. By 2025, 60% of global smartphone AP/  SoCs will adopt foundry nodes at 5nm and below, one of the major driving forces of capacity expansion in TSMC and Samsung Foundry. (CN Beta, Laoyaoba, Counterpoint Research)

IBM president Jim Whitehurst has indicated a current chip shortage impacting production of smartphones could last for another 2 years, with the company readying alternative steps to meet demand. He has further added that it would take time for the industry to add the necessary capacity to ease the current shortage, noting the impact spanned the broader consumer electronics sector in addition to smartphones. (Laoyaoba, BBC, Mobile World Live)

TSMC, National Taiwan University and MIT have jointly developed a new semiconductor material, bismuth, claiming to greatly reduce resistance and increase transmission current, which will help break the limits of Moore’s Law in the future and meet the challenges of semiconductor processes below 1nm. (Laoyaoba, ETToday, Business Next, Nature)

Xiaomi has filed a patent that describes a smartphone using a cylindrical body with a pull-out screen, a bottom-firing speaker, and a triple rear camera array. The design patent suggests a future smartphone could literally double as a smart speaker. Xiaomi also packs a roll-out display that unfurls from the cylinder when needed. (Android Authority, LetsGoDigital, Sina, My Drivers)

The partnership of Huawei and Leica reportedly terminate soon. Leica is allegedly looking for a new smartphone OEM partner and Xiaomi, Honor and Sharp are likely candidates. (GSM Arena, Twitter, CN Beta)

Currently in development at Japan’s Shibaura Institute of Technology, the experimental system incorporates a central Ricoh Theta S panoramic camera, along with two conventional HD cameras located to either side. The Ricoh utilizes two 180º lenses – one on the front and one on the back – the output of which is digitally stitched together to give it a 360º field of view. The other two cameras complement the Ricoh by being pointed in opposite directions, so one is facing approximately the same direction as the Ricoh’s front lens, while the other is pointing the same direction as the rear lens. (CN Beta, New Atlas, IEEE)

Xiaomi has filed a patent describing a smartphone with a retractable rotary camera. The corresponding block will rise above the body and rotate 180º, ending up in the front part. The patent shows a camera with three components, including a large center piece. (GizChina, LetsGoDigital, QQ)

SK Innovation has said it expects sales generated from electric vehicle (EV) batteries to exceed KRW3T in 2021, doubling the figure for 2020. The company is expecting battery sales to surge as production capacity continues to grow. SK Innovation’s Chinese factories in Yancheng and Huizhou went into operation in the first quarter of this year and the company is constructing two plants in the U.S. state of Georgia and in Hungary. The SK unit stated it will make aggressive investments to achieve its goal of 85gigawatt-hours of annual production capacity by 2023 and 125 gigawatt-hours of production capacity by 2025. (Laoyaoba, Pulse News, Korea Economy Daily)

Samsung has applied to EUIPO (European Union Intellectual Property Office) and UKIPO (United Kingdom Intellectual Property Office) for the “Activated Fan Mode” trademark. Samsung is expected to use internal cooling fans in future Galaxy phones to bring new cooling solutions. In addition, the user can manually activate the fan mode to bring a more powerful heat dissipation effect. (CN Beta, LetsGoDigital, RPRNA, Sammy Fans)

According to PitchBook, a data-analysis firm, SpaceX’s latest funding round, completed in Apr 2021, valued it at USD74B, up from USD46B in Aug 2020. CB Insights, a firm of analysts, ranks SpaceX the 3rd-most-valuable startup in the world. (The Economist article)

According to Strategy Analytics, 5G business smartphone shipments will grow at a CAGR of 28% over the 2021-2026 forecast period. High positive growth is expected in China, India, Australia, South Korea, UK, France, Germany, and the US, as 5G begins to ramp in these countries in 2021. Worldwide BYOD 5G smartphone shipments will increase by 187% YoY, and corporate-liable shipments will increase by 649% YoY from 2020. (Strategy Analytics, Laoyaoba)

Apple mobile device management provider Jamf has purchased nine-year-old cloud security startup Wandera for USD400M. Wandera is a “zero trust” cloud security company. By making the acquisition, Jamf CEO Dean Hager has said it will continue to “fill the gap between what users want and what the enterprise requires”. (Apple Insider, Jamf, CN Beta)

Google has been working on a new open-source operating system called Fuchsia OS since 2016. It is not based on Android. It has now been found that Samsung has contributed new code commits related to F2FS (Flash-Friendly File System). It is an alternative system built by Samsung for managing files on a storage device (eMMC and SSD).  (CN Beta, Sam Mobile, Fuchsia, IT Home)

With remote and hybrid work options and e-learning continuing worldwide, demand for Notebook PCs is at its highest, driving 81% YoY shipment growth, according to Strategy Analytics. Work-from-home demand and the notebook PC upgrade cycle were the main driving factors for commercial demand, while the consumer segment contributed with strong e-learning and gaming activity from home in 1Q21. All of this occurred despite supply chain shortages, meaning that there is still pent-up demand going forward in 2021. (Strategy Analytics)

Apple’s new iPad Pro with M1 SoC is launching around mid-May 2021 in key markets such as the US. In other markets, it may take a little longer. The demand for M1-based iPads will be very high but with Apple’s warning about chip shortages in 2H21, Counterpoint Research estimates the share of M-series-based iPads to remain at close to 1 in 10 iPads shipped in 2021. For 2H21 and 2022, they estimate that almost 1 in 5 iPads shipped will sport an M-series SoC. (CN Beta, Counterpoint Research)

HTC has unveiled new Vive Pro 2, an update adding a host of small but worthwhile improvements. The biggest change is the new display, which now offers 5K resolution (or 2448×2448 pixels per eye), 120Hz refresh rate, and a 120º field of view. The headset is priced at USD749 / GBP659 / EUR739. Bundled with Base Station 2.0 and controllers, it is priced at USD1,399 / GBP1,299 / EUR1,399. (CN Beta, HTC, RoadtoVR, The Verge)

HTC is launching standable VR headset VIVE Focus 3, adding a 5K screen, a 120º field of view, and a swappable battery. The headset uses one 2448×2448 panel for each eye with a 90Hz refresh rate. Powering the headset is Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2, paired with 8GB of RAM.  It is priced at USD1,300. (CN Beta, HTC, RoadtoVR, The Verge)

Samsung has filed a patent with new augmented reality (AR) glasses. The new design has two circular lenses on the front and a vertical strip above them, which is where the sensors and other components could be present. (CN Beta, 91Mobiles)

Vizio has revealed that in 1Q21, profits from its Platform+ business — the part that sells viewer data and advertising space via the SmartCast platform — were USD38.4M. Its device business (the part that sells TVs, sound bars and the like) had a gross profit of USD48.2M in the same period, up from USD32.5M in 2020. (Engadget, Vizio)

Lucid Motors, the company behind the ultra-luxury Lucid Air EV, is now entering the home stretch when it comes to formally commencing the deliveries of its electric vehicle. As per report filed by Churchill Capital Corp. IV with the SEC, Lucid Motors has now built 74 pre-production Lucid Air units. (CN Beta, Fool, WCCFtech, SEC)

According to GP Bullhound, fintech M&A sets a Q1 record, with USD71B in value in 1Q21 versus USD25.6B in 1Q20. (GP Bullhound report)

Banking sector dominates with 85 brands accounting for 22% of total brand value in ranking, with ICBC once again crowned China’s most valuable brand. Tech has most brands represented with 86 featuring. Huawei remains sector’s most valuable brand despite negotiating international sanctions. Chinese brands show resilience in face of international crisis – total value of top 500 remains stable – standing at USD1.94T in 2021. (Brand Finance report)

Polestar enters strategic partnership with blockchain provider Circulor. Polestar and Circulor have set a progressive scope and ambition that aims to entail a range of raw materials, focusing on those with identified risks in either environmental and/or human rights, such as nickel, mica, manganese, graphite and lithium, amongst others. (CN Beta, Polestar, Automotive World)

Nano Technologies, a startup that lets workers in Vietnam access their earned wages immediately through an app called VUI, has raised USD3M in seed funding. (TechCrunch, VIR, Bloomberg)

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