10-2 #NationalHoliday : Samsung Mobile boss has made two trips to the US to meet major US component makers; Samsung is facing a fine of EUR39M in the Netherlands for allegedly inflating the prices of its TVs; Foxconn will buy an assembly plant owned by U.S. electric vehicle startup Lordstown Motors; etc.

According to Strategy Analytics, the tablet applications processor (AP) market grew 17% to USD737M in 2Q21. Strategy Analytics estimates that Apple, Intel, Qualcomm, MediaTek and Samsung LSI captured the top-5 tablet applications processor (AP) revenue share slots in 2Q21. Apple led the tablet AP market with a 58% revenue share in 2Q21, followed by Intel with 14% and Qualcomm with 10%. (Apple Insider, Strategy Analytics)

Samsung Mobile boss TM Roh has made two trips to the US in 2021 to meet major US component makers to secure more supplies of application processors needed in smartphone production. He has asked major partners to supply Samsung with more application processors but was denied. Samsung is expected to ship 260M-270M  units of smartphones in 2021, down from its earlier estimate of 290M-300M units, due to the chip shortage and production shutdowns in Vietnam from the pandemic. (Android Authority, The Elec)

According to Counterpoint Research, total units of smartphones shipped for 2021 are expected to grow by only 6% annually to 1.41B units; Counterpoint has previously called for 9% annual growth to 1.45B units. Some smartphone OEMs and vendors are reporting they had only received 80% of their requested volumes on key components during 2Q21, and the situation seems to be getting worse as we move through 3Q21. Some smartphone makers are now saying they are only receiving 70% of their requests, creating multiple problems. Counterpoint Research believes 90% of the industry is affected and this will impact the forecast for 2H21. (Android Headlines, Counterpoint Research)

Honor is reportedly to release its first foldable phone before the end of 4Q21. The device is internally known as Magic X. DSCC analyst Ross Young had previously claimed that Honor’s first foldable phone will come with equipped foldable panels supplied by BOE and Visionox. (Gizmo China, GSM Arena, Weibo, Weibo)

The global smartphone Image sensor market in 1H21 clocked a total revenue of USD7B, according to the Strategy Analytics. Sony took the top spot in the smartphone image sensor market with 42% revenue share followed by Samsung System LSI and OmniVision Technologies in 1H21. Strategy Analytics estimates that the top 3 vendors took almost 80% revenue share in the global smartphone image sensor market in 1H21. (Strategy Analytics)

Samsung is reportedly working on a solar charging smartwatch. Samsung’s patent describes the use of solar cells mounted in a watch strap. Each strap section would house a solar cell that provides power to the watch’s battery. Samsung describes using a quantum dot-laden polymer above these solar cells to change the path of light.  (Android Authority, LetsGoDigital)

The Pennsylvania-based Bitcoin mining company Stronghold Digital Mining has recently acquired the Scrubgrass power plant in financial distress. The plant will burn waste coal from Pennsylvania to power the on-site mining hardware in a container next to the plant. The plant currently provides electricity to 1,800 Bitcoin miners and plans to increase production by 2022 to support more than 20,000 miners. (CN Beta, NBC News, Zeus Mining, CNYES)

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has said it would open a USD1.9B program to reimburse mostly rural U.S. telecom carriers for removing network equipment made by Chinese companies deemed national security threats like Huawei and ZTE. In 2020, the FCC designated Huawei and ZTE as national security threats to communications networks – a declaration that barred U.S. firms from tapping an USD8.3B government fund to purchase equipment from the companies. The FCC in Dec 2020 adopted rules requiring carriers with ZTE or Huawei equipment to “rip and replace” that equipment. (Gizmo China, Reuters)

Due to global chip shortages and supply chain crisis, Samsung may have cancelled the Galaxy S21 FE. Samsung has planned to launch the device in mid-Oct 2021, but Samsung has yet to give a specific release date. Previously, it has reported that Galaxy S21 FE encountered difficulties in mass production, and currently only about 10,000 units have been produced. (CN Beta, GSM Arena, Ddaily, Twitter)

According to Sensor Tower, worldwide consumer spending and first-time installs of mobile apps climbed to USD33.6B and USD35.7B, respectively, across Apple’s App Store and Google Play in 3Q21. In 3Q21, consumer spending climbed 15.1% YoY from USD29.2B in 3Q20, about half of the 32% YoY growth seen in 2020. (Apple Insider, Sensor Tower)

According to Counterpoint Research, Honor surpassed Xiaomi in Aug 2021 to become the third-largest smartphone brand in China. Honor’s sales in China grew 18% MoM in Aug 2021, making it one of the fastest growing brands in the country. The Honor 50 series has been an instant success in the mid-segment. Honor is also targeting the premium segment with the Magic series, thus expanding its portfolio across price bands. (Phone Arena, Gizmo China, Counterpoint Research)

Samsung Galaxy M52 5G debuts in India – 6.7” 1080×2400 FHD+ HiD Super AMOLED Plus 120Hz, Qualcomm Snapdragon 778G 5G, rear tri 64MP-12MP ultrawide-5MP macro + front 32MP, 6+128 / 8+128GB, Android 11.0, side fingerprint, 5000mAh 25W, INR29,999 (USD405) / INR31,000 (USD430).  (GSM Arena, Android Authority, Amazon)

Samsung Galaxy F42 5G is announced in India –  6.6” 1080×2400 FHD+ v-notch 90Hz, MediaTek Dimensity 700 5G, rear tri 64MP-5MP ultrawide-2MP depth + front 8MP, 6+128 / 8+128GB, Android 11.0, side fingerprint, 5000mAh 15W, INR20,999 (USD282) / INR22,999 (USD310).  (GSM Arena, Flipkart, Android Authority)

Xiaomi Civi is announced in China – 6.55” 1080×2400 FHD+ HiD curved OLED 120Hz, Qualcomm Snapdragon 778G 5G, rear tri 64MP-8MP ultrawide-2MP macro + front 32MP, 8+128 / 8+256 / 12+256GB, Android 11.0, fingerprint on display, 4500mAh 55W, CNY2,599 (USD402) / CNY2,899 (USD448) / CNY3,199 (USD495).  (GSM Arena, IT Home, Xiaomi, CN Beta)

OPPO F19s is launched in India – 6.43” 1080×2400 FHD+ HiD AMOLED, Qualcomm Snapdragon 662, rear tri 48MP-2MP macro-2MP depth + front 16MP, 6+128GB, Android 11.0, 5000mAh 33W, fingerprint on display, INR20,000 (USD270).  (OPPO, GSM Arena)

OPPO A55 4G is launched in India – 6.51” 720×1600 HD+ HiD TFT, MediaTek Helio G35, rear tri 50MP-2MP macro-2MP depth + front 16MP, 4+64 / 6+128GB, Android 11.0, side fingerprint, 5000mAh 18W, INR15,500 (USD210) / INR17,500 (USD235).  (GSM Arena, OPPO)

POCO C31 is unveiled in India – 6.53” 720×1600 HD+ v-notch, MediaTek Helio G35, rear tri 13MP-2MP macro-2MP depth + front 5MP, 3+32 / 4+64GB, Android 10.0, rear fingerprint, 5000mAh 10W, INR8,499 (USD115) / INR9,499 (USD128).  (GSM Arena, India Times, NDTV, GizGuide)

Redmi Note 10 Lite is launched in India – 6.67” 1080×2400 FHD+ HiD IPS LCD, Qualcomm Snapdragon 720G, rear quad 48MP-8MP ultrawide-5MP macro-2MP depth + front 16MP, 4+64 / 4+128 / 6+128GB, Android 10.0, side fingerprint, 5020mAh 18W, INR14,000 (USD190) / INR16,000 (USD215) / INR17,000 (USD230).  (GSM Arena, Mi.com)

Nreal unveils lightweight Nreal Air AR glasses, which feature a micro-OLED chip, 49 pixels-per-degree (PPD), and a 90Hz refresh rate. The glasses weigh just 2.7 ounces (77 grams). It is capable of projecting up to a (simulated) 201” virtual display, when viewed at a distance of 6m, which is well suited for watching multimedia content. It must be tethered to iOS or Android phone to display content, but act as regular sunglasses otherwise. (Android Authority, VentureBeat)

Facebook has announced that it is working towards the development of the next computing platform, metaverse, that will bring human beings closer than ever irrespective of their physical distance and without being connected to gadgets. According to Facebook, the metaverse is a “set of virtual spaces where you can create and explore with other people who are not in the same physical space as you”. These virtual spaces will allow user to create, shop, learn, play, work, and hang out with friends without being in the same physical space. (Neowin, Facebook)

Samsung is facing a fine of EUR39M in the Netherlands for allegedly inflating the prices of its TVs. The Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets (ACM) has determined that the Korean company unfairly influenced the prices that online retailers charged for its TV sets. This practice went on for 6 years from Jan 2013 through Dec 2018. (Android Headlines, ACM)

Amazon has announced a new Echo Show 15, which features a 15.6” display and a camera, and is designed to be mounted on a wall or propped up semi-permanently on a stand. Amazon is creating new Alexa-style widgets which users can customise all-across the new expansive display, such as sticky notes, live video picture-in-picture via Netflix, Prime, or Sling, weather, and more. It is priced at USD250.   (Pocket Lint, Liliputing, Amazon)

Honda is officially confirming plans for a hybrid-electric aircraft for longer-range, inter-city transportation. Honda has unveiled its eVTOL concept, along with details of an avatar robot and new space technologies. Honda has said the aircraft will feature a gas turbine hybrid power unit to enable transportation between cities, not just within them. (Engadget, Honda, evtol, TechCrunch)

Swedish electric motorcycle manufacturer Cake has announced the close of a USD60M Series B that the company will use to help set up manufacturing facilities in Europe, North America and Asia, as well as scale up its retail capabilities. (TechCrunch, Autobala)

General MotorsBrightDrop continues take aim at last-mile commercial and cargo delivery market segments. BrightDrop would add a second delivery vehicle to its line-up, with Verizon as its first slated customer. In addition, GM said it had completed the first production builds of its flagship EV600 van. FedEx will begin receiving its vehicles (it placed an order for 500) before the end of 2021. (TechCrunch, The Verge, CNBC)

The California Department of Motor Vehicles gave General Motors-backed Cruise and Alphabet-owned Waymo the green light to start charging for autonomous services offered to the public. Cruise has received a “driverless deployment permit”, which means it can receive compensation for services provided without a safety operator in the front seat. Waymo’s “drivered deployment permit” allows the operator to also charge money while operating an AV, but with a driver in the front seat. (TechCrunch, Market Watch)

Ola Electric’s valuation has reached USD3B (about INR22,272 crore) on after it has raised over USD200M (about INR1,484.7 crore) from Falcon Edge, SoftBank and others. The funding will strengthen Ola’s ‘mission electric’ that urges industry and consumers to commit to electric and ensure that no petrol two-wheelers be sold in India after 2025. (TechCrunch, Live Mint, Indian Express)

Foxconn will buy an assembly plant owned by U.S. electric vehicle startup Lordstown Motors for USD230M and take over production of a new pickup truck. Hon Hai Precision Industry will manufacture Lordstown Motors’ Endurance full-size pickup truck at its Lordstown facility and it will also support Foxconn’s partner and customer, start-up automaker Fisker. (Gizmo China, NY Times, The Verge, Reuters, Sina, Yicai)

Toyota Motor will release the C+walk, a standing-type model in the new C+walk walking-area mobility series. The C+walk  is an easy to operate, three-wheeled standing-type BEV. It features a low, flat base just 150mm high for easy boarding and alighting. It is designed so that it is comfortable to use in walking areas. (Engadget, Toyota)

Amazon is launching Astro, its first household robot, powered by its Alexa smart home technology. It can be remote-controlled when not at home, to check on pets, people, or home security. It can also patrol a home automatically and send owners a notification if it detects something unusual. Amazon has said it was more than “Alexa with wheels” and had been programmed with a range of movements and expressions to give it personality. (Liliputing, CNET, Amazon, BBC)

Google has announced it will be applying AI advancements, including a new technology called Multitask Unified Model (MUM) to improve Google Search. The company has demonstrated new features, including those that leverage MUM, to better connect web searchers to the content they are looking for, while also making web search feel more natural and intuitive. One of the features being launched is called “Things to know”, which will focus on making it easier for people to understand new topics they’re searching for.  (TechCrunch, Google, The Verge)

Capital Float, an Amazon-backed startup that offers its buy now, pay later service on many popular online platforms in India, including that of the e-commerce firm, has raised USD50M in a new investment following a strong growth in recent quarters. Capital Float reaches customers through partnerships with other firms. Their customers can make their purchases via a loan at the time of check out. (TechCrunch, India Times)

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