12-22 #Positive : Samsung allegedly plans to launch a foldable laptop in 2023; OPPO has showcased a series of integrated glass concept products; OnePlus and OPPO have announced a new strategic partnership for the coming years; etc.

OnePlus and OPPO have announced a new strategic partnership for the coming years which will see OPPO invest CNY10B (USD1.43B) in OnePlus over the next 3 years. The new “dual-brand” strategy will see OnePlus as the pioneer brand for flagship smartphones. At the same time, OnePlus products will have a zero net profit margin to help maintain the best features and quality at their respective price point. OnePlus phones and products will be sold exclusively online in China going back to its roots while customers will be able to get repairs at OPPO’s service centers around the country.(Android Headlines, Android Police, GSM Arena, Weibo)

OPPO has announced that it will continue to support its select flagship phones to ensure that they last longer. The company has committed to offering 4 major Android upgrades and 5 years of security updates to these phones starting in 2023. Its new update policy applies to everyone across the globe and is not limited to users in China. The company said that with its new update policy, it “aims to bring longer-lasting and more stable intelligent experiences to global users by continuing to build on ColorOS”.(Neowin, Pocket-Lint, OPPO)

Tianfeng Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has stated that Apple may cancel or delay the iPhone SE 4 plan. He believes that it is possible that Apple will either cancel or delay its current plans for a 2024 release date. (Twitter, Apple Insider, GizChina, My Drivers)

Samsung may not launch the Galaxy A74 in 2023, as Samsung might be looking to simplify its smartphone lineup.(Phone Arena, GSM Arena, GalaxyClub, SamMobile)

Tecno was founded in 2006 as a subsidiary of Transsion Group. The Spark and CAMON smartphone lines were particularly successful, leading Tecno to open nearly 1,000 stores in Sub-Saharan Africa. In 2017, Tecno began expanding globally, entering markets in India, Southeast Asia, the Caribbean, Latin America, and Central and Eastern Europe. Tecno has adopted a strategy called “glocalization”, which involves building a strong R&D ecosystem to deliver international smartphone models that can be customized to meet regional-level needs and demands. These localizations allow Tecno to offer a more personalized and targeted product offering, which has helped drive its growth in emerging markets. Tecno has also focused on building strong local partnerships and distribution networks, which has helped it reach a wider customer base and expand its presence in these markets. Tecno is actively working to become a premium brand in the smartphone market and has been successfully moving up the price bands. Its PHANTOM and CAMON series are helping the company scale up the price-band ladder and appeal to consumers in the premium segment.(Gizmo China, Technosports)

Apple plans to move some MacBook production to Vietnam for the first time in 2023 as Apple continues diversifying its production base. Apple has tapped its top supplier, Foxconn, to start making MacBooks in the Southeast Asian nation as early as around May 2023. Foxconn was granted a license in Jan 2021 to construct a USD270M plant in Vietnam for the express purpose of manufacturing MacBooks and iPads. Apple manufactures 20M-24M MacBooks annually, with production spread between bases in the Chinese cities of Chengdu, in Sichuan province, and Shanghai. The company has been working on plans to move some MacBook manufacturing to Vietnam for nearly 2 years, and has set up a test production line in the country. (Asia Nikkei, MacRumors, Vietnam+, Apple Insider)

Pellicles used in Arf and Krf processes in wafer fabrication are in short supply. This is because more fabless companies in China are rising daily, while overall demand for the commodity has increased as chipmakers aim to develop new semiconductors. In South Korea, only FST manufactures pellicles and the company is expecting its export to increase 50% in 2023 compared to 2021. Pellicles are used to protect the photomasks on the wafer from contamination during lithography. This allows chipmakers to use their photomasks longer and thereby save on cost. FST had mostly been a local supplier providing pellicles for chipmakers based in South Korea. In 2021, export accounted for 30% of its pellicle revenue but 2022 this is expected to increase to 40%. (The Elec)

Samsung’s Galaxy S23 series is expected to arrive with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor globally. However, it looks like the company is doubling down on in-house smartphone silicon thanks to a new development. Samsung has formed a chipset or application processor (AP) development team within the company’s mobile experience (MX) business. This division is responsible for running the company’s smartphone operations. Samsung’s smartphone unit has long relied on the Samsung System LSI division to develop in-house Exynos processors. The most likely reason for a chipset development team to be formed within the mobile division itself would be so it can develop its own smartphone processors for Galaxy handsets. The less likely possibility of the team being created to further optimize Exynos processors for Galaxy phones. (Android Headlines, The Elec, Android Authority)

OPPO has announced its second custom-developed chip after the MariSilicon X dedicated imaging Neural Processing Unit. Тhe MariSilicon Y is a Bluetooth audio system on a chip. MariSilicon Y is one of the first to use the advanced N6RF process technology, which allows for a 50% increase in Bluetooth bandwidth compared to current Bluetooth SoCs. That translates to the ability to transmit 24-bit/192kHz lossless audio over Bluetooth, OPPO says that is a first for the industry.(Android Authority, GSM Arena, Gizmo China, My Drivers)

Alibaba, the Chinese tech giant, cannot buy some of the most advanced chip designs after Arm determined that the US and UK would not approve licences to export the technology to China. Arm concluded that the US and UK would not approve the sale of its latest Neoverse V series because the performance was too high. The move impacts Alibaba’s T-Head chip unit and other Chinese groups. It is the first known time that Arm, owned by Japanese tech investor SoftBank, has decided it could not export its most cutting-edge designs to China. Neoverse V falls under Wassenaar — a multilateral arrangement involving 42 nations designed to stop dual-use technology from being diverted for military use — but Arm would need US and UK export licences to sell the technology. (Neowin, Financial Times, Reuters, The Register)

China has initiated a dispute against the U.S. at the World Trade Organization over Washington’s sweeping semiconductor export curbs. In Oct 2022, the U.S. introduced rules that restricted chips made using American tools from being exported to China, which effectively kneecapped China’s semiconductor industry. The Chinese Ministry of Commerce has confirmed the trade dispute and accused the U.S. of abusing export control measures and obstructing normal international trade in chips. Trade disputes via the WTO can take years to resolve. China has taken the first step known as a request for consultations. The WTO also has provisions in its rules that allow countries to impose restrictions in the interest of national security. This could make it difficult for China to win this particular dispute. (Financial Times, Bloomberg, CNBC, CNN, MOFCOM, Huanqiu)

According to Counterpoint Research, MediaTek shipments will decline in 4Q22 due to order cuts from major Chinese OEMs. Due to ongoing customer inventory adjustments, global macroeconomic conditions, the weak China market. LTE SoCs will decline more than 5G SOCs in 4Q22. Dimensity 9200 in the premium segment will add to shipment in the premium tier. vivo (X90 series) and OPPO (Find Series) are launching with Dimensity 9200 in Q1 2023. The ramp-up for 4Q22 is weak. 1H23 will also remain slow. Qualcomm shipments will decline in 4Q22, mainly due to global macroeconomic conditions, the slowdown in consumer product purchases, and weak demand from Chinese OEMs. Inventory correction has also affected the premium segment.Also, the recently announced partnership between Qualcomm and Samsung for the galaxy s23 family will support the shipments for the premium tier. Snapdragon will have a 100% share of the Samsung Galaxy S23. The gain in Samsung will still not offset the revenues in 1Q23. 1H23 will continue to be weak due to higher inventory and a weak China market. 2H23 will see growth in the market. (Gizmo China, GizChina, Counterpoint Research)

The European Union (EU) plans to carry out a full-scale investigation of Broadcom’s USD61B bid to buy VMware. The  European Commission believes the proposed acquisition may allow Broadcom to “restrict competition” in the markets for network interface cards, fiber channel host-bus adapters and storage adapters. Specifically, the EU is concerned Broadcom may harm competition in those markets by limiting interoperability between rival hardware and VMware’s server virtualization software. It also worries the company could either prevent or degrade access to VMware’s software. (TechCrunch, Engadget, Europa)

LG Display (LGD) is expected to launch large OLED panels with micro lens array technology which will improve brightness and power consumption. LGD first unveiled a 77″ 8K OLED panel with the technology and deuterium applied in May 2022. Micro lens array (MLA) bends the light’s trajectory using lenses to increase luminance efficiency. This allows light that would usually bounce inside the panel to head toward the viewer, increasing the overall brightness of the panel. LGD, in 2021, began applying deuterium on its OLED panels to increase their brightness from 800nit to over 1,000nit. The company brands these panels as OLED.EX. (The Elec)

Apple plans to introduce new 13” MacBook Air, 11” iPad Pro, and 12.9” iPad Pro models with OLED displays in 2024, according to DSCC CEO Ross Young. Apple currently features OLED displays on the Apple Watch and recent iPhone models. These displays are expected to use low-temperature polycrystalline oxide (LTPO) technology to offer a variable refresh rate between 1Hz to 120Hz. (My Drivers, NDTV, Digital Trends, MacRumors)

While Samsung’s 3Q22 foldable smartphone shipments were within 1% of expectations and Samsung dominated a record 3Q22 foldable smartphone market with an 85% share and 5.2M units on a sell-in basis, it lost its momentum in 4Q22 with its foldable smartphone shipments expected to fall 50% QoQ and 36% YoY to 2.6M units with additional QoQ declines expected in 1Q23 and 2Q23 and another YoY decline in 1Q23. Samsung’s share is only expected to fall to 82% in 4Q22, but the overall foldable smartphone market is expected to drop 48% QoQ and 25% YoY to 3.2M units, its first ever decline on a YoY basis. Samsung’s share is expected to fall further in 1Q23 and 2Q23 and fall below 50% in 2Q23 on traditional seasonal weakness on the lack of new products while its competitors launch new devices. (DSCC, Twitter)

Samsung Display has reportedly changed its priority in the development of Gen-8 IT OLED panels. The company is planning to postpone investments into full-cut, vertical deposition method it had been co-developing for over a year with Japan’s Ulvac. Samsung Display will instead start investments into half-cut, horizontal deposition method it has been developing Canon Tokki. This is because the latter method has already been commercialized and is being developed with the aim to supply OLED panels for tablets to Apple. Apple is planning to launch iPads with OLED panels. Samsung Display has been developing full-cut, vertical deposition machines with Ulvac to manufacture OLED panels with a single stack, or just one RGB emission layer, to supply the panels to Asus and other PC makers. On the other hand, the project with Canon Tokki which is developing a half-cut, horizontal deposition machine to make two stack tandem OLED panels, where there are two RGB emission layers. Apple had asked its display makers to develop two stack tandem OLED panels. (Apple Insider, The Elec)

Samsung allegedly plans to launch a foldable laptop in 2023. The device will allegedly be called the Galaxy Book Fold 17 because it will feature a 17” display. Samsung Display is developing a 17.3” foldable OLED display to supply to its sister firm Samsung Electronics. HP could also soon join the likes of Lenovo and ASUS in the foldable laptop segment. The latter will reportedly use a 17” foldable panel from LG Display, which supplied the 13.3” display for the world’s first foldable laptop, the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold. BOE and Sharp also recently started making foldable laptop panels. All of these display manufacturers are likely hoping for this new market to boom in the coming years. (Android Headlines, The Elec, GizChina)

LG Innotek has developed two types of high-performance hybrid lenses for autonomous driving that use plastic to reduce the lens size and enhance price competitiveness. The camera lens for self-driving installed in a camera module is a key component of autonomous driving solutions to assist in driving and recognize drivers’ movements and is directly related to passenger safety. The two types of hybrid lenses are driver monitoring systems (DMSs) and advanced driver support systems (ADASs), which are 20 to 30% thinner than glass-only products and can maintain constant performance regardless of temperature as well as accuracy in recognizing objects. LG Innotek described itself as the first company to apply plastic to ADAS lenses for increased performance in a hybrid lens.(The Elec, KED Global, Business Insider, PR Newswire)

Samsung Electronics has announced the development of its 16-gigabit (Gb) DDR5 DRAM built using the industry’s first 12nm-class process technology, as well as the completion of product evaluation for compatibility with AMD. This technological leap was made possible through the use of a new high-κ material that increases cell capacitance and proprietary design technology that improves critical circuit characteristics. Combined with advanced, multi-layer extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography, the new DRAM features the industry’s highest die density, which enables a 20% gain in wafer productivity. Leveraging the latest DDR5 standard, Samsung’s 12nm-class DRAM will help unlock speeds of up to 7.2 gigabits per second (Gbps). This translates into processing two 30 gigabyte (GB) UHD movies in just one second.(Neowin, GSM Arena, Samsung)

Google could be interested in developing a bracelet and ring as controllers for its AR glasses. The bracelet could be used to swipe and tap different UI elements while the ring could utilize some form of optic sensor technology. Google is exploring bracelet as a potential option, giving users the ability to swipe and tap the wearable to control their AR frames. The bracelet would then return a vibration as feedback as the user uses it. The other side of this is the potential for Google to introduce a ring as a controllable device for its glasses.(9to5Google, Android Central)

The European Union (EU) has proposed a new regulation to make batteries more sustainable and reusable. This new regulation covers the entire life cycle of a battery, including material extraction, industrial production, and disposal. The EU has reached a provisional agreement to revamp its regulation on batteries to make them easier to remove and replace and to provide consumers with more information about the batteries they buy through labels and QR codes. These new regulations will apply to portable batteries, SLI batteries (used to start vehicles), light means of transport (LMT) batteries (used to power electric scooters and bikes), electric vehicle (EV) batteries, and industrial batteries. Manufacturers will have 3.5 years to design appliances with portable batteries that allow users to easily remove and replace them. (GizChina, Europa, Android Headlines)

Over the past few years, big wireless network operators all over the globe have spent billions of dollars building speedy 5G networks. Yet so far most have little to show for their efforts. And some analysts are beginning to worry that things are just going to get worse. (My Drivers, Light Reading, C114, Lightshed, Linkedin, Tefficient)

As part of Microsoft’s Airband Initiative, which aims to bring affordable internet access to rural communities, Microsoft and Viasat are partnering to expand internet access to 10M people living in underserved areas of the world. Viasat is the leading provider of satellite broadband services, with a global network of satellites that can deliver high-speed internet to even the most remote locations. According to Microsoft, the partnership will bring internet access to 5M people in Egypt, Senegal, Angola, Nigeria, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, as well as another 5M people in Guatemala, Mexico, and the US. (Android Headlines, Microsoft)

Delta Air Lines reportedly plans to offer free WiFi to all its passengers as soon as 2023. Delta will start rolling out free WiFi “on a significant portion of its airplanes” before expanding the service to more of its fleet later 2023. Once the program is available for all passengers, it will likely require a SkyMiles loyalty number to get online. (Engadget, WSJ, The Verge)

OPPO has showcased a series of integrated glass concept products, including mobile phones, watches, and earphone batteries, as well as conceptual products that use a higher glass ratio to build the body. OPPO refers to it as “Integrated glass” or “All-glass unibody”. The OPPO integrated glass concept mobile phone is made of glass on the back cover, and it extends all the way to the side to wrap the entire body. The silver background color with rounded lines brings out the luster like flowing metal liquid. There is only one protrusion in the whole machine that should be the power button. There is no volume button, and there is no transmission port at the bottom of the fuselage, and the no-hole design is used directly.(GizChina, Notebook Check, ePrice, Sohu, 163.com)

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