4-15 #BadFlu : Intel has partnered with Arm to build low-power compute SoCs; vivo may be stopped from selling phones in Germany; Samsung’s first foldable tablet to be launched this year; etc.

Intel has revealed that Intel Foundry Services (IFS) has partnered with Arm to build low-power compute SoCs on the Intel 18A process. The Intel 18A process is a plan to introduce five increasingly advanced semiconductor manufacturing process technologies in five years. Developing chips using this process will have plants in both the US and EU manufacturing chips. The partnership will first focus on mobile SoC designs, but could eventually expand into automotive, Internet of Things (IoT), data center, aerospace, and government applications.(Android Authority, Intel, Windows Central, TechNews, IT Home)

Intel has been pulling the plug on most of its non-core businesses, including Intel Optane, Intel network switches, and most lately, Intel 5G modems, now it is selling its server building business (motherboards / racks) to MiTAC, a parent company to Tyan. Intel is giving the right to manufacture and sell products based on Intel’s own designs to MiTAC, an edge-to-cloud IT solutions provider and ODM partner of Intel DSG.(CN Beta, Tom’s Hardware, AnandTech, Digitimes, ServeTheHome)

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) has soften demand expectations leading to cutting its capital expenditure in 2023 to USD32-$36B from USD36.3B in 2022. TSMC has, in recent years, ramped up investments abroad, announcing new chip factories in the U.S. and Japan. The company is slowing down the expansion of a new chip factory in the island’s southern city of Kaohsiung. TSMC making Taiwan its global R&D hub and manufacturing hub has not changed. In addition, TSMC’s production expansion and factory construction slowed down. Among them, the original goal of the 3nm process is to reach a monthly production capacity of 60,000-70,000 pieces per month in mid-2023, but the current monthly production capacity is about 40,000 pieces, and it may reach more than 50,000 pieces in 2H23; the new 28nm factory in Kaohsiung, the new 2nm progress of factory construction has also slowed down. It is reported that TSMC has revised the 2024 orders to equipment manufacturers, and the YoY decline in capital expenditures in 2024 or double-digit percentages. (CN Beta, UDN, C114, WantRich, Reuters, Yahoo)

Samsung reportedly plans to make an important change to how its chipsets are put together in order to make the Exynos 2400 better. Samsung is planning to utilize FoWLP (Fan-out Wafer Level Packaging) for the Exynos 2400. FoWLP refers to the method utilized for enclosing all of the integrated circuits. The package also protects the die and connects the chipset to the motherboard. FoWLP delivers a higher integration level in a smaller package footprint. The input/out I/O is also higher with significantly improved thermal and electrical performance. (Gizmo China, Twitter, SamMobile)

Samsung and AMD are allegedly working together on a new GPU for the Exynos 2500 (tentatively named). It will be based on AMD’s Radeon technology as a part of their extended partnership and will focus on improving optimization. (GSM Arena, Twitter, SamMobile)

Samsung’s first foldable tablet could launch alongside the Galaxy Tab S9 sometime in 2023. The device will be known as the “Galaxy Z Tab”.(Android Headlines, Twitter, Android Police, GSM Arena, SamMobile, Naver)

Samsung Electronics and LG Display have resumed their negotiations for a possible white OLED (W-OLED) supply deal.  The pair are discussing LG Display potentially supplying somewhere between 200,000 to 300,000 units of W-OLED panels as the initial stock. If LG Display begins manufacturing and supplying the panels, Samsung could launch a TV that uses these W-OLED panels in 2024. LG Display may also want the deal more than ever with Samsung as 2022 it recorded close to KRW2T won in operating loss and is expected to record another loss in the 1Q23.(CN Beta, The Elec, Techspot)

Samsung Display is almost certainly expected to use its M12 material set for OLED panels that it will supply to Apple for iPhone 15 series in 2023. Meanwhile, Samsung’s new foldable phones launching later in 2023 are also expected to use the M12 material set again, the same as the Galaxy Z Fold 4 and Galaxy Z Flip 4 of 2022. Samsung Display is also developing a new material set it is calling M13 for customers excluding Apple. The material set is likely to be used on Google’s foldable phones that will launch in 2023. Another material set, dubbed M14, is being also developed for Apple, which is likely for iPhones launching in 2024. The top two models on the iPhone 15 series will use low-temperature polycrystalline oxide (LTPO) thin-film transistor (TFT) OLED panels while the lower two will use low-temperature polycrystalline silicon (LTPS) TFT OLED panels.  (The Elec, The Elec, GSM Arena, SamMobile)

According to TF Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the supply chain is anticipated to start mass production of Apple’s metalens in 2024, which is expected to replace the iPad’s plastic lens of the Face ID Tx. TSMC and VisEra are critical process suppliers for Apple’s metalens. Metalens offers the advantages of lower cost and reduced height vs. existing plastic lenses. Technically speaking, after Face ID Tx, metalens could replace current plastic lens applications in Face ID Rx or ToF Tx/Rx in the short term. Factoring in the manufacturing process and algorithm progress, the earliest metalens could replace the lowest-end plastic lenses in existing cameras would be between 2028 and 2030. Metalens will not have any foreseeable impacts on the trend of existing plastic lens specification upgrades (e.g., upgrade from 7P to 8P, periscope, etc.). However, investors should be aware that over the next few years, metalens will gradually replace existing plastic lenses in 3D sensing applications. Goertek is currently the global leader in metalens module and lamination/bonding mass production technology. If Apple can drive the trend of metalens applications, Goertek will be among the primary beneficiaries of this trend. (Apple Insider, Medium, Twitter)

Mobile phone brands will most likely continue to develop mobile cameras in 2023. The 50MP Sony IMX890 is reportedly not the only telephoto solution with a huge bottom and gloomy light. This is based on the mobile phone cameras that are already available in the market. It is rumoured that the periscope telephoto lens solutions with a large bottom, large pixels, and ultra-high pixels may be a standard kit on the next flagship models of many mobile phone brands. Further rumours suggest that producers may employ Samsung’s HPX sensor to make a telephoto lens. In Oct 2022, Samsung released this sensor. Its setup is comparable to Samsung’s earlier HP3. The sensor size is 1/1.4”, and the pixel size is 0.56 m. It has a 200MP maximum for photographs. It can also immediately output 50MP images after combining four pixels. Moreover, the Samsung HPX may attain greater light levels at night, thanks to its bigger pixel size. Samsung HPX supports 8K 30-frame video recording. (GizChina, My Drivers)

Apple has announced a major acceleration of its work to expand recycled materials across its products, including a new 2025 target to use 100% recycled cobalt in all Apple-designed batteries. Additionally, by 2025, magnets in Apple devices will use entirely recycled rare earth elements, and all Apple-designed printed circuit boards will use 100% recycled tin soldering and 100% recycled gold plating.(Android Headlines, Apple Insider, Apple)

Tesla has announced it would start construction on a new Megapack facility in Shanghai later 2023. Once the plant is complete sometime before 2H24, it will be capable of producing 10,000 Megapacks annually. Each container-sized battery can store enough energy to power about 3,600 homes for one hour. Tesla plans to sell the Megapacks it makes in China globally. The company has built Megapack installations in a few locations around the world, including Texas and South Australia.(Engadget, Twitter, CN Beta, Bloomberg)

Samsung Electro-Mechanics (SEMCO) is developing components for small solid-state batteries. SEMCO CEO Chang Duck-hyun has indicated that the company had the technology to make solid oxide at high temperatures thanks to its experience manufacturing multi layer ceramic capacitors (MLCC). SEMCO is preparing components for small solid-state battery or green energy applications based on this technology. SEMCO will announce these products when its technology develops enough to make a prototype.(The Elec, SamMobile)

The solid state buttons are rumored “definitely coming to Apple’s iPhone 15 Pro”. Apple has “already ordered the parts”. Both phones are tipped to include solid-state power / lock and volume rocker buttons. Even the mute switcher is going away, and will be replaced by an ‘action button’, which will be a solid-state one. (Android Headlines, Twitter, WCCFtech)

TF Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo’s survey indicates that due to unresolved technical issues before mass production, both Apple’s high-end iPhone 15 Pro models (Pro & Pro Max) will abandon the closely-watched solid-state button design and revert to the traditional physical button design. The new solid-state button design is expected to increase suppliers’ revenues and profits; thus, this change is particularly unfavorable for Cirrus Logic (exclusive Controller IC supplier) and AAC Technologies (Taptic Engine supplier). Luxshare ICT, another Taptic Engine supplier for solid-state buttons, will likely be less affected by this change due to its significantly larger operating scale vs. AAC Technologies. (Android Headlines, Twitter, Twitter, 9to5Mac, Medium)

District Court of Mannheim in Germany has reached a decision regarding Nokia and vivo. The court ruled that, as negotiations regarding licensing fees had failed, vivo will be forced to cease selling smartphones in Germany if they include technology patented by Nokia. vivo and Nokia had a deal through 2021, but the license was not renewed. vivo addresses the decision, confirming that it is prepared to stop selling its phones in Germany “if necessary”. The company plans to appeal the decision and “review other options”. (Android Central, vivo, GSM Arena, 9to5Google)

McAfee has announced the extension of its nine-year partnership with Samsung to protect consumers’ personal data and information from online threats. Through this partnership, Samsung smartphones, including the new Galaxy S23 Ultra, Galaxy S23+ and Galaxy S23, as well as the Galaxy Book3 series, now come pre-installed with antivirus protection powered by McAfee. In addition to smartphones, the partnership expands to better protect Samsung tablets and PCs.(Android Headlines, McAfee)

China’s smartphone shipments fell 16% YoY in 2022 to less than 280M units, the lowest in nearly a decade, according to Counterpoint Research. But still, the Chinese market made up 22.6% of global shipments, much higher than second-placed India’s 12.4%. With China dropping pandemic-related curbs and announcing a 5% GDP growth target for 2023, the economy and consumer confidence should gradually recover. China’s smartphone market is expected to see its first positive growth in 2023 after 2016. China’s smartphone sales revenue in 2022 only fell 11.7% from 2016, though the shipments were down 41.5% in the same period. China’s smartphone ASP has been increasing every year since 2014. The ≥USD500 (nearly CNY 4,000 retail price) segment accounted for more than 26% of total sales in China in 2022, up from 11% in 2016 when the market recorded its highest shipments. (Apple Insider, Counterpoint Research)

Apple assembled more than USD7B of iPhones in India fiscal year 2022, tripling production in the world’s fastest-growing smartphone arena after accelerating a move beyond China. The US company now makes almost 7% of its iPhones in India through expanding partners from Foxconn Technology Group to Pegatron. That is a significant leap for India, which accounted for an estimated 1% of the world’s iPhones in 2021. Of the total production, Apple exported USD5B of iPhones in the year ended Mar 2023, nearly 4 times as much as the previous period. Apple will likely try to manufacture the next iPhones in India at the same time as in China, sometime in the fall of 2023.(Apple Insider, Bloomberg, Caixing Global)

Ukraine’s National Agency for the Prevention of Corruption listed Xiaomi as an international sponsor of war. The decision was made because Xiaomi continued operating in Russia and “is still the leader in smartphone sales in the terrorist state”. Not happy with this assessment, Xiaomi has issued its own statement explaining that its products are for civilian and commercial use, but not for war. The company said that it believes consumers anywhere in the world have a right to access communications tools and information on the internet. (Neowin, Ukraine, Xiaomi)

Microsoft has agreed to pay in excess of USD3M to settle a potential civil liability for a believed 1,339 sanction violations that saw it sell products and services to individuals and companies in countries like Russia. The more than 1,300 cases took place between July 2012 and April 2019 and saw Microsoft allegedly selling software licenses, activated software licenses, and related services from its US and Ireland servers to “Specially Designated Nationals” and blocked users in Cuba, Iran, Syria, Russia, and the Crimea region of Ukraine.(Android Headlines, OFAC, WSJ, Gizmo China, TechRadar)

Apple Is reportedly in talks with suppliers to make MacBooks in Thailand as the company continues to expand its manufacturing footprint outside of China amid geopolitical uncertainties. The company has also been mass producing its Apple Watch in Thailand for more than a year. The Apple suppliers involved in the talks already have manufacturing complexes in Thailand for other clients and are discussing possible assembly and production of components and modules for MacBooks. Apple plans to begin mass producing MacBooks in Vietnam in 1H23. (CN Beta, Apple Insider, Asia Nikkei, Bangkok Post, Live Mint)

Based on SetApp’s survey with 701 developers, 60% of the surveyed Apple Mac developers are interested in distributing their iOS apps through third-party app stores, given the opportunity. Key motivations — growing the number of users and adding a revenue stream. Almost 1⁄3 of the surveyed Mac developers distribute their apps solely outside the Mac App Store. 39% of respondents have already implemented ChatGPT in their development flow, while another 41% are working on that. 44% of respondents have already implemented AI/ML models in their apps, and 28% are working on it. 87% of developers put effort into making their apps accessible, with visual impairments getting the most focus. (Apple Insider, SetApp, 9to5Mac)

Weak demand, excess inventory, and a worsening macroeconomic climate were all contributing factors for the precipitous drop in shipments of traditional PCs during 1Q23. Global shipments numbered 56.9M, marking a contraction of 29.0% compared to the same quarter in 2022, according to IDC. Shipment volume in 1Q23 was noticeably lower than the 59.2M units shipped in 1Q19 and 60.6M in 1Q18. The pause in growth and demand is also giving the supply chain some room to make changes as many factories begin to explore production options outside China. Meanwhile, PC makers are also rejigging their plans for the remainder of the year 2022 and have begun to pull in orders for Chromebooks due to an expected increase in licensing costs later 2023. (IDC, CN Beta, GSM Arena)

The 1Q23 brought further turmoil to the global PC market, with total shipments of desktops and notebooks declining 33% to 54M units, representing the fourth consecutive quarter of double-digit annual declines. The weak holiday season toward the end of 2022 extended into the new year as demand for PC remained muted and the channel pushed forward with inventory clearance as a key priority. Of the product categories, notebook shipments suffered a large decline, falling 34% YoY to 41.8M units. Desktop shipments performed slightly better, undergoing a 28% decline to 12.1M units. Canalys expects 1Q23 to represent the largest shipment decline for the worldwide PC market in 2023, with recovery to begin in 2H23 and gather momentum in 2024.  (CN Beta, Canalys)

Google is looking to further expand the ARCore capability to 14 new phones, including the Honor 70, Infinix MobileZero 5G 2023, Moto G72, OPPO A96 5G, OPPO Reno7 Z 5G, realme GT 2 Pro, realme GT Neo 3, Rralme GT Neo 3 150W, Sharp AQUOS Sense7, Sharp AQUOS Sense7 Plus, Vivo I2017, Xiaomi Poco M4 Pro, Xiaomi Redmi Note 11S, and ZTE Nubia RedMagic 7 Pro. Thus bringing the total number of Android phones with ARCore support to over 250.(Android Headlines, Google)

Apple still plans to launch augmented reality “Apple Glasses” by 2026 or 2027 at the earliest, provided it can finalize new metalens technology in the interim, according to TF Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. According to Kuo, metalens covers are set to enter mass production in 2024 for use in Apple’s Face ID system for iPad Pro, then iPhone in 2025 or 2026. If development goes as planned, they would eventually be used in Apple’s AR glasses, which will enter production in 2026 or 2027 at the earliest. (MacRumors, Medium)

Chinese ride-hailing giant Didi Global has recently revealed its innovative robotaxi concept car, the “Didi Neuron”. This futuristic vehicle aims to enhance the passenger experience with robotic arms that can help carry luggage and retrieve items like water bottles. The goal is to have these autonomous vehicles operational and integrated into Didi’s network by 2025. The Didi Neuron concept car removes the need for a driver’s seat, providing more space for passengers. Its most distinctive feature, the robotic arms, highlights Didi’s dedication to offering innovative and convenient services. The company also unveiled a lidar sensor and a car computing device.(IT Home, 36Kr, Gizmo China, Reuters)

Tesla CEO Elon Musk is reportedly planning to take on his erstwhile ally OpenAI, and is currently attempting to collect the money and people necessary to do so. Musk has hired former DeepMind employee Igor Babuschkin and a handful of other engineers to begin work, and is contacting his large network of investors and persons of immense wealth to see who will fund it. (CN Beta, Financial Times, Bloomberg, TechCrunch, Reuters)


Bizmodeline is claiming that Apple Pay infringed upon its patent. It is an intellectual property company that owned more than 1,500 patents at the end of 2022. According to the company, the payment method of Apple Pay infringes upon its patent applied for in 2005. According to the patent, a user’s mobile phone is brought close to a payment terminal, and then a token code for one-time verification is generated on the phone. This code is sent to the payment terminal by near-field communication (NFC), a card issuer’s server receives the token code via its payment network for verification, and then the payment is processed based on the verification result. Bizmodeline is claiming that the method of Apply Pay is almost identical to the content of their patent, including claims.(Apple Insider, Business Korea)

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