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Cortex-A53 is used alone in higher and higher-end devices as the result of increased competition between MediaTek and Qualcomm

Cortex A53 vs A7 performance

We’ve learned a lot during the last one a half years about the superiority of the Cortex-A53 cores for the mass produced SoCs. Some major points about that you see on the right:

My prediction back in Dec 23, 2013 was that The Cortex-A53 as the Cortex-A7 replacement core is succeeding as a sweet-spot IP for various 64-bit high-volume market SoCs to be delivered from H2 CY14 on. Such a prediction is a reality now as no less than 291 smartphones are listed as of today in PDAdb.net, which are using the Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 MSM8916 quad-core SoC based on Cortex-A53. The first such device, the Lenovo A805e Dual SIM TD-LTE was released in July, 2014.

Meanwhile Qualcomm’s downstream rival, MediaTek is moving up fast with its offerings as well. There are 8 devices based on quadcore MT6732M since Dec’14, 27 devices which based on quad-core MT6732 since Nov’14, and even 6 devices based on octa-core MT6753 since Jan’15. Note however that there are 3 such products from the Chinese brand Meizu, and one each from another local brands, Elephone and Cherry Mobile. Only the ZTE model is from a 1st tier global vendor yet.

My prediction was also proven by the fact that interest in that post was the highest on this blog as soon as the respective new SoCs, and commercial devices based on them arrived:

Cortex A53 vs A7 success on my blog and reasons for that -- 22-June-2015

Now even higher end, octa-core smartphones based on Cortex-A53 alone are coming to the market from 1st tier device vendors

June 1, 2015: Asus ZenFone Selfie (ZD551KL)
(launched on the ASUS Zensation Press Event at Computex 2015)


from the product site:

ZenFone Selfie features the industry’s first octa-core, 64-bit processor — Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 615. With its superb performance and superior power-efficiency you’ll shoot sharp photographs at stupefying speed, record and edit Full HD (1080p) video with minimal battery draw, and enjoy using the integrated 4G/LTE to share everything you do at incredible speeds of up to 150Mbit/s!

expected price in India: ₹12,999 ($205)
(Re: “coming in an incredible price” said in the launch video about the earlier ZenFone 2 (ZE551ML) which has the same price, but a 1.8 GHz Intel Atom Z3560 processor, only 5 MP secondary camera etc.)

from the ASUS Presents Zensation at Computex 2015 press release:

ZenFone Selfie is a unique smartphone designed to capture the best possible selfies, quickly and simply. Featuring front and rear 13MP PixelMaster cameras with dual-color, dual LED Real Tone flash, ZenFone Selfie captures beautiful, natural-looking selfies in gloriously high resolution. The rear camera features a large f/2.0 aperture lens and laser auto-focus technology to ensure near-instant focusing for clear, sharp pictures — even in low-light conditions where traditional cameras struggle.
ZenFone Selfie includes the brilliant ZenUI Beautification mode for live digital cosmetics. A few taps is all that’s needed to soften facial features, slim cheeks, and enhance skin tone to add vibrancy, and all in real time — injecting instant verve into any composition. ZenFone Selfie also has Selfie Panorama mode, which exploits ZenFone Selfie’s f/2.2-aperture front lens and 88-degree field of view to capture panoramic selfies of up to 140 degrees. With Selfie Panorama mode enabled, selfies become a party with all friends included — plus the ability to capture panoramic scenery for stunning backdrops.
ZenFone Selfie has a large 5.5-inch screen that fits in a body that’s a similar size to that of most 5-inch smartphones, for a maximized viewing experience in a compact body that fits comfortably in the hand. It has a high-resolution 1920 x 1080 Full HD IPS display with a wide 178-degree viewing angle and staggering 403ppi pixel density that renders every image in eye-delighting detail. ASUS TruVivid technology brings color to life in brilliant clarity, making selfies and other photos look their best. Tough Corning® Gorilla® Glass 4 covers the display to help protect against scratches and drops.
ZenFone Selfie features the industry’s first octa-core, 64-bit processor for the perfect balance of multimedia performance and battery efficiency — the Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 615. This extraordinarily powerful chip equips ZenFone Selfie to provide the very best multimedia and entertainment experiences, carefully balancing high performance with superior power-efficiency.

June 19, 2015 by SamMobile: Samsung’s first smartphones with front-facing LED flash, Galaxy J5 and Galaxy J7, now official

Samsung has announced its first smartphones with a front-facing LED flash; the Galaxy J5 and the Galaxy J7. Specifications of these devices were previously leaked through TENAA, and their UI was revealed through Samsung’s own manuals. Now, they have been officially announced in China, where they would be available starting this week, but there’s no clarity about their international launch.
All the mid-range and high-end smartphones from the company released recently have started featuring high-resolution front-facing cameras, and the same is the case with the Galaxy J7 and the Galaxy J5. To complement their 5-megapixel wide-engle front-facing cameras, they are equipped with a front-facing single-LED flash. Other features include a 13-megapixel primary camera with an aperture of f/1.9, 1.5GB RAM, 16GB internal storage, a microSD card slot, dual-SIM card slot, and LTE connectivity. Both these smartphones run Android 5.1 Lollipop with a new UI that is similar to that of the Galaxy S6 and the S6 edge.

The Galaxy J7 is equipped with a 5.5-inch HD display, a 64-bit octa-core Snapdragon 615 processor, a 3,000 mAh battery, and is priced at  1,798 CNY (~ $289). The Galaxy J5 features a slightly smaller 5-inch HD display, a 64-bit quad-core Snapdragon 410 processor, a 2,600 mAh battery, and is priced at 1,398 CNY (~ $225). Both of them will be available in China in three colors; gold, white, and black.

The Galaxy J5 and J7 are targeted at the youth and compete with devices like the HTC Desire EYE, Sony Xperia C4, and the Asus ZenFone Selfie, all of which have high-resolution front-facing cameras with an LED flash.

May 6, 2015: Sony launches next generation “selfie smartphone” – Xperia™ C4 and Xperia C4 Dual

The selfie phenomenon is about to kick up a notch with the introduction of Xperia™ C4 and Xperia C4 Dual – Sony’s next generation PROselfie smartphones, featuring a best in class 5MP front camera, a Full HD display and superior performance.

“Following the success of Xperia C3, we are proud to introduce Sony’s evolved PROselfie smartphone,” said Tony McNulty, Vice-President, Value Category Business Management at Sony Mobile Communications. “Xperia C4 caters to consumers that want a smartphone that not only takes great photos, but also packs a punch. Benefiting from Sony’s camera expertise, the 5MP front-facing camera with wide-angle lens lets you capture perfect selfies, while its quality display and performance features provide an all-round advanced smartphone experience.”
We all like a high-profile selfie – so go ahead and get snapping:
You can now stage the perfect selfie, getting everything – and everyone – in shot, thanks to the powerful 5MP front camera with 25mm wide-angle lens. Sony’s Exmor RTM for mobile sensor, soft LED flash and HDR features means the pictures will always be stunning, even in those ‘hard to perfect’ low light conditions. Superior auto automatically optimises settings to give you the best possible picture and SteadyShot™ technology compensates for any camera shake.
With 13MP, autofocus and HDR packed in there is no compromise on the rear camera, which delivers great shots for those rare moments you’re not in the picture.
You will also be able to get even more fun out of your smartphone with a suite of creative camera apps such as Style portrait with styles including ‘vampire’ and ‘mystery’ to add a unique edge to your selfie. Moreover, apps such as AR maskgive your selfie a twist by letting you place a different face over your own face or others’ faces while you snap a selfie.
Experience your entertainment in Full HD
Now you can enjoy every picture and every video in detail with Xperia C4’s 5.5” Full HD display. Watching movies on your smartphone is more enjoyable thanks to Sony’s TV technology – such as Mobile BRAVIA® Engine 2 and super vivid-mode – which offers amazing clarity and colour brightness. Enjoy viewing from any angle with IPS technology.
Great video deserves great audio to match, so Xperia C4 features Sony’s audio expertise to deliver crisp and clear audio quality. With or without headphones, you can sit back and enjoy your favourite entertainment in all its glory.
The design of Xperia C4 has also been crafted with precise detail and care to ensure every aspect amplifies the sharp and vivid display. A minimal frame around the scratch-resistant screen enhances both the viewing experience and the smartphone design, while its lightweight build feels comfortable in the hand. Xperia C4 comes in a choice of white, black and a vibrant mint.
Superior performance, with a power-packed battery that just keeps going
Whether you’re running multiple apps, checking Facebook, snapping selfies or listening to the best music – you can do it all at lighting speed thanks to Xperia C4’s impressive Octa-core processor. Powered by an efficient 64-bit Octa-core processor [Mediatek MT6752], Xperia C4 makes it easier than ever to multitask and switch between your favourite apps, without affecting performance. Ultra-fast connectivity with 4G capabilities means it’s quicker than ever to download your favourite audio or video content and surf the web without lag.
The large battery (2,600mAh) provides over eight hours of video viewing time, meaning that the entire first season of Breaking Bad can be binged uninterrupted, while Battery STAMINA Mode 5.0 ensures you have complete control over how your battery is used.
Xperia C4 is compatible with more than 195 Sony NFC-enabled devices including SmartBand Talk (SWR30) and Stereo Bluetooth® Headset (SBH60). You can also customise the smartphone with the protective desk-stand SCR38 Cover or with a full range of original Made for Xperia covers.
Xperia C4 will be available in Single SIM and Dual SIM in select markets from the beginning of June 2015.
For the full product specifications, please visit: http://www.sonymobile.com/global-en/products/phones/xperia-c4/specifications/

price in India: ₹25,499 ($400) and ₹25,899 ($408) for the Dual-SIM version

June 1, 2015: The stakes have been raised even higher by a higher-end octa-core SoC from MediaTek with 2GHz cores which is also 30% more energy efficient because of the first time use of 28HPC+ technology of TSMC
MediaTek Expands its Flagship MediaTek Helio™ Processor Family with the P Series, Offering Premium Performance for Super Slim Designs

P-series the first to use TSMC’s 28nm HPC+ process, which reduces processor power consumption

MediaTek, a leader in power-efficient, System-on-Chip (SoC) mobile device technology solutions, today announces the launch of the MediaTek Helio™ P10, a high-performance, high-value SoC focused on the growing demand for slim form-factor smart phones that provide premium, flagship features. The Helio P10 showcases a 2 GHz, True Octa-core 64-bit Cortex-A53 CPU and a 700MHz, Dual-core 64-bit Mali-T860 GPU. The Helio P10 will be available Q3 2015 and is expected to be in consumer products in late 2015.

The P10 is the first chip in the new Helio P family, a series which aims to integrate into a high-value chipset, premium features such as high-performance modem technology; the world’s first TrueBright ISP engine for ultra-sensitive RWWB; and, MiraVision™ 2.0, for top-tier display experiences. The features available in the P series include several of MediaTek’s premier technologies, such as WorldMode LTE Cat-6, supporting 2×20 carrier aggregation with 300/50Mbps data speed; MediaTek’s advanced task scheduling algorithm, CorePilot®, which optimizes the P10’s heterogeneous computing architecture by sending workloads to the most suitable computing device – CPU, GPU, or both; and, MediaTek’s Visual Processing Application – Non-contact Heart Rate Monitoring, which uses only a smartphone’s video camera to take a heart rate reading and is as accurate as pulse oximeters/portable ECG monitoring devices.
“The P series will provide OEM smartphone makers with greater design flexibility to meet consumer demands for slim form-factors, which provide dynamic multimedia experiences,” said Jeffrey Ju, Senior Vice President of MediaTek. “The P10 enables state-of-the-art mobile computing and multimedia features all while balancing performance and battery life.”
The Helio P10 is the first product to use TSMC’s 28nm HPC+ process, which allows for reduced processor power consumption. With the help of the latest 28HPC+ process and numerous architecture and circuit design optimizations, the Helio P10 can save up to 30% more power (depending of usage scenarios), compared to existing smartphone SoCs manufactured using the 28 HPC process.
 “We are pleased to see MediaTek’s achievement in producing the world’s leading 28HPC+ smartphone chip,” said Dr. BJ Woo, Vice President, Business Development, TSMC. “As an enhanced version of TSMC’s 28HPC process, 28HPC+ promises 15% better speed at fixed power or 50% leakage reduction at the same speed over 28HPC. Through our competitive 28HPC+ technology and process-design collaboration with MediaTek, we believe MediaTek will deliver a series of products which benefit smartphone users across the world.”
As with the entire line of Helio SoCs, the P10 is packed with premium multimedia features. With a concentration on advanced display technologies, premium camera features, and HiFi audio, the P10 delivers leading functionality around the features most used on today’s mobile phones:
  • 21MP premium camera with the world’s first TrueBright ISP engine:
    • Enables ultra-sensitive RWWB sensor to capture twice as much light as traditional RGB sensors in order to retain true color and detail, even in low light. The RWWB sensor also enhances the color resolution, even when compared with RGBW sensors.
    • Other features include a new de-noise/de-mosaic HW, PDAF, video iHDR, dual main camera, less than 200ms shot-to shot delay, and video face beautify.
  • Hi-fidelity, hi-clarity audio achieves 110dB SNR & -95dB THD
  • Full HD display at 60FPS with MediaTek’s suite of MiraVision 2.0 display technologies:
    • UltraDimming – Dimmer background lighting for more comfortable reading, even in low-light situations.
    • BluLight Defender – A built-in blue light filter that saves more power than conventional software applications.
    • Adaptive Picture Quality – Ensures the best picture quality when using different applications. True-to-life colors when in camera preview; vibrant colors when watching videos.
The MediaTek Helio P10 will be released in Q3 2015 and is expected to be available in consumer products in late 2015.

Note that Helio P1 is a significant step in MediaTek’s strategy already outlined in the following posts of mine:
– March 4, 2014MediaTek is repositioning itself with the new MT6732 and MT6752 SoCs for the “super-mid market” just being born, plus new wearable technologies for wPANs and IoT are added for the new premium MT6595 SoC
– March 10, 2015MediaTek’s next 10 years’ strategy for devices, wearables and IoT

MediaTek’s next 10 years’ strategy for devices, wearables and IoT

After what happened last year with MediaTek is repositioning itself with the new MT6732 and MT6752 SoCs for the “super-mid market” just being born, plus new wearable technologies for wPANs and IoT are added for the new premium MT6595 SoC [this same blog, ]. The last 10 years’ strategy was incredible!

MediaTek - The Next 10 years Enablement NOWEnablement is the crucial differentiator for MediaTek’s next 10 years’ strategy, as much as it was for the one in the last 10 years. Therefore it will be presented in details below as follows:

I. Existing Strategic Initiatives

I/1. MediaTek CorePilot™ to get foothold in the tablet market and to conquer the high-end smartphone market (MediaTek Super Mid Logo and MediaTek Helio Logo are detailed here)
I/2. MediaTek’s exclusive display technology quality enhancements
I/3. CorePilot™ 2.0 especially targeted for the extreme performance tablet and smartphone markets

II. Brand New Strategic Initiatives

II/1. CrossMount: “Whatever DLNA can plus a lot more”
II/2. LinkIt™ One Development Platform for wearables and IoT
II/3. LinkIt™ Connect 7681 development platform for WiFi enabled IoT

MWC 2015: MediaTek LinkIt Dev Platforms for Wearables & IoT – Weather Station & Smart Light Demos

MediaTek Labs technical expert Philip Handschin introduces us to two demonstrations based on LinkIt™ development platforms:
-Weather Station uses a LinkIt ONE development board to gather temperature, humidity and pressure data from several sensors. The data is then uploaded to the MediaTek Cloud Sandbox where it’s displayed in graphical form.
-Smart Light uses a LinkIt Connect 7681 development board. It receives instructions over a Wi-Fi connection, from a smartphone app, to control the color of an LED light bulb.

II/4. MediaTek Labs Logo: The best free resources for Wearables and IoT
II/5. MediaTek Ventures Logo: to enable a new generation of world-class companies

III. Stealth Strategic Initiatives (MWC 2015 timeframe)

III/1. SoCs for Android Wear and Android based wearables

Before these details let’s however understand the strategic reasoning for all that!
March 5, 2015: MediaTek CMO Johan Lodenius* at MWC 2015

MediaTek appoints Johan Lodenius as its new Chief Marketing Officer [press release, Dec 20, 2012]

MediaTek's Brand New World - The Big Picture -- MWC2015

MediaTek's Brand New World - Device Evolution -- MWC2015

MediaTek's Brand New World - Business Evolution -- MWC2015MediaTek's Brand New World -- MWC2015

MediaTek - Enabling a Brand New World

Next here is also a historical perspective (as per my blog) on MediaTek progress so far:
– First I would recommend to read the “White-box (Shanzhai) vendors” and “MediaTek as the catalyst of the white-board ecosystem” parts in the Be aware of ZTE et al. and white-box (Shanzhai) vendors: Wake up call now for Nokia, soon for Microsoft, Intel, RIM and even Apple! Feb 21, 2011 post of mine in order to understand the recipe for its last 10 years success ⇒ Johan Lodenius NOW:
MediaTek was the pioneer of manufacturable reference design
– Then it is worth to take a look at the following posts directly related to MediaTek if you want to understand the further evolution of the company’s formula of success :

MediaTek on Experiencing the Cloud

#2 Boosting the MediaTek MT6575 success story with the MT6577 announcement — UPDATED with MT6588/83 coming in Q4 2012 and 8-core MT6599 in 2013 (The MT6588 was later renamed MT6589). On the chart below of the “Global market share held by leading smartphone vendors Q4’09-Q4’14” by Statista it is quite well visible the effect of MT6575 (see from Q3’12 on) as this enabled a huge number of 3d Tier or no-name companies, predominantly from China to enter the smartphone market quickly and extremely competitively (and Nokia’s new strategy to fail as well)
Global market share held by leading smartphone vendors 4Q09-4Q14 by Statista#6 MT6577-based JiaYu G3 with IPS Gorilla glass 2 sreen of 4.5” etc. for $154 (factory direct) in China and $183 internationally (via LightTake)
#13 MediaTek’s ‘smart-feature phone’ effort with likely Nokia tie-up
#16 UPDATE Aug’13: Xiaomi $130 Hongmi superphone END MediaTek MT6589 quad-core Cortex-A7 SoC with HSPA+ and TD-SCDMA is available for Android smartphones and tablets of Q1 delivery
#24 Eight-core MT6592 for superphones and big.LITTLE MT8135 for tablets implemented in 28nm HKMG are coming from MediaTek to further disrupt the operations of Qualcomm and Samsung
#42 MediaTek MT6592-based True Octa-core superphones are on the market to beat Qualcomm Snapdragon 800-based ones UPDATE: from $147+ in Q1 and $132+ in Q2
#67 MediaTek is repositioning itself with the new MT6732 and MT6752 SoCs for the “super-mid market” just being born, plus new wearable technologies for wPANs and IoT are added for the new premium MT6595 SoC
#93 Phablet competition in India: $258 Micromax-MediaTek-2013 against $360 Samsung-Broadcom-2012
#128 MediaTek’s 64-bit ARM Cortex-A53 octa-core SoC MT8752 is launched with 4G/LTE tablets in China
#205 Now in China and coming to India: 4G LTE True Octa-core™premium superphones based on 32-bit MediaTek MT6595 SoC with upto 20% more performance, and upto 20% less power consumption via its CorePilot™ technology
#237 Micromax is in a strategic alliance with operator Aircel and SoC vendor MediaTek for delivery of bundled complete solution offers almost equivalent to cost of the device and providing innovative user experience
#281 ARM Cortex-A17, MediaTek MT6595 (devices: H2’CY14), 50 billion ARM powered chips

As an alternative I can recommend here the February 2, 2015 presentation by Grant Kuo, Managing Director, MediaTek India on the IESA Vision Summit 2015 event in India:

– MediaTek Journey Since 1997
→ Accent on the turnkey handset solution: 200 eng. ⇒ 30-40 eng., time-to-market down to 4 months
→ Resulting in MediaTek share with local brands in India of 70% by 2014
 The Next Big Business after Mobile
 Partnering for New Business Opportunity
 Innovations & Democratization
→ Everyday Genius and Super-Mid Market

I. Existing Strategic Initiatives

I/1. MediaTek CorePilot™ to get foothold in the tablet market and to conquer the high-end smartphone market
(MediaTek Super Mid Logo and MediaTek Helio Logo are detailed here)

July 15, 2013:
Technology Spotlight: Making the big.LITTLE difference

MediaTek 2014 Market PerformanceNo matter where the mobile world takes us, MediaTek is always at the forefront, ensuring that the latest technologies from our partners are optimized for every mobile eventuality.

To maximize the performance and energy efficiency benefits of the ARM big.LITTLE™ architecture, MediaTek has delivered the world’s first mobile system-on-a-chip (SoC) – the MT8135 – with Heterogeneous Multi-Processing (HMP), featuring MediaTek’s CorePilot™ technology.

ARM big.LITTLE™ is the pairing of two high performance CPUs, with two power efficient CPUs, on a single SoC. MediaTek’s CorePilot™ technology uses HMP to dynamically assign software tasks to the most appropriate CPU or combination of CPUs according to the task workload, therefore maximizing the device’s performance and power efficiency.

In our recently produced whitepaper, we discussed the advantages of HMP over alternative forms of big.LITTLE™ architecture, and noted that while – HMP overcomes the limitations of other big.LITTLE™ architectures, MediaTek’s CorePilot™ maximizes the performance and power-saving potential of HMP with interactive power management, adaptive thermal management and advanced scheduler algorithms.

To learn more, please download MediaTek’s CorePilot™ whitepaper.

Leader in HMP

As a founding member of the Heterogeneous System Architecture (HSA) Foundation, MediaTek actively shapes the future of heterogeneous computing.

HSA Foundation is a not-for-profit consortium of SoC and software vendors, OEMs and academia.

July 15, 2013:
MediaTek CorePilot™ Heterogeneous Multi-Processing Technology [whitepaper]

Delivering extreme compute performance with maximum power efficiency

In July 2013, MediaTek delivered the industry’s first mobile system on a chip with Heterogeneous Multi-Processing. The MT8135 chipset for Android tablets features CorePilot technology that maximizes performance and power saving with interactive power management, adaptive thermal management and advanced scheduler algorithms.

Table of Contents

  • ARM big.LITTLE Architecture
  • big.LITTLE Implementation Models
  • Cluster Migration
  • CPU Migration
  • Heterogeneous Multi-Processing
  • MediaTek CorePilot Heterogeneous Multi-Processing Technology
  • Interactive Power Management
  • Adaptive Thermal Management
  • Scheduler Algorithms
  • The MediaTek HMP Scheduler
  • The RT Scheduler
  • Task Scheduling & Performance
  • CPU-Intensive Benchmarks
  • Web Browsing
  • Task Scheduling & Power Efficiency
  • SUMMARY

Oct 29, 2013:
CorePilot Task Scheduling & Performance

Mobile SoCs have a limited power consumption budget.

  • With ARM big.LITTLE, SoC platforms are capable of asymmetric computing where by tasks can be allocated to CPU cores in line with their processing needs.
  • From the three available software models for configuring big.LITTLE SoC platforms, Heterogeneous Multi-Processing offers the best performance.
  • MediaTek CorePilot technology is designed to deliver the maximum compute performance from big.LITTLE mobile SoC platforms with low power consumption.
  • The MediaTek CorePilot MT8135 chipset for Android is the industry’s first Heterogeneous Multi-Processing implementation.
  • MediaTek leads in the heterogeneous computing space and will release further CorePilot innovations in 2014.
(*) The #1 market position in Digital TVs is the result of the acquisition of the MStar Semiconductor in 2012.

Feb 9, 2015 by Bidness Etc:
Qualcomm Inc. (QCOM) To Lose Market Share: UBS

UBS expects Mediatek to gain at Qualcomm’s expense this year

Eric Chen, Sunny Lin, and Samson Hung, analysts at UBS, suggest that Mediatek will control 46% of the 4G smartphone market in China in 2015. Last year the company had a 30% market share. Low-end customers, as well as high-end clients that are switching to Mediatek MT6795 from Snapdragon 800 will help Mediatek advance.

“We believe clients for MT6795 include Sony, LGE, HTC, Xiaomi, Oppo, Meizu, TCL, and Lenovo, among others. With its design win of over 10 models, we anticipate Mediatek will ship 2m units per month in Q215 and 4m units per month in H215. That indicates revenue will reach 14% in Q215 and 21% in H215, up from 3% in Q115,” reads the report.UBS also said that Mediatek will witness a 20% increase in its revenue and report 48% in gross margin in 2015. Earnings are forecasted to grow 21%.

“We forecast MT6752/MT6732 shipments (mainly at MT6752 of US$18-20) to reach 3m units per month in Q215, up from 1.5m units per month in Q115,” read the report*.

My insert here the Sony Xperia E4g [based on MT6732] – Well-priced LTE-Smartphone Hands On at MWC 2015 by Mobilegeeks.de
* From another excerpt of the UBS report: “In the mid-end, UBS believes China’s largest smartphone manufacturers from LenovoGroup (992.HK) to Huawei will switch from Qualcomm’s MSM 8939 [Snapdragon 615] to Mediatek’s MT 6752 because of Qualcomm’s “inferior design.” ” 

Further below in the section I/2. there will be an image enhancement demonstration with an MT6752-based Lenovo A936 smartphone, actually a typical “lower end super-mid” device sold in China since December just for ¥998 ($160) — for 33% lower price than the mid-point for the super-mid market indicated a year ago by MediaTek (see the very first image in this post).

July 15, 2014 by Mobilegeeks.de:
MediaTek 64-bit LTE Octa-Core Smartphone Reference Design “In Shezhen MediaTek showed off their new Smartphone Reference Design for their LTE Octa-Core line up. The MT6595 and MT6795 are both high end processors capable of taking on Qualcomm in terms of benchmarks at a budget price.

July 15, 2014 by Mobilegeeks.de:
MediaTek: How They Came To Take on Qualcomm?

Brief content: When I found out about the MediaTek press conference, I immediately picked up a ticket and planned to spend a few days in one of my favorite cities on earth, Shenzhen. MediaTek is one of the fastet growing companies in mobile. But where exactly did this Taiwanese company come from?
Back in 1997 MediaTek was spun off from United Micro Electronics Corporation which was Taiwan’s first semi conductor company back in 1980 and started out making chipsets for home entertainment centers and optical drives. In 2004 they entered the mobile phone market with a different approach, instead of just selling SoCs they sold complete packages, a chip with an operating system all ready baked on, they were selling reference designs.
This cut entire heavily manned teams out of the process and more importantly reduced barriers for entry, small companies sold phones under their own brand. This is why most people have never heard of MediaTek, they merely enabled the success of others. Particularly in emerging markets like China.
With Feature phones peaking in 2012 and Smartphones finally taking over the top spot in 2013, they had to move on, it took them longer then they should have, regardless, they are here now. MediaTek is applying the same strategy for dominating the Feature Phone market to low and mid range Smartphones. They are already in bed with all the significant emerging market players like ZTE, Huawei & Alcatel. And getting manufacturers on your side works for gaining market share when carriers don’t have much control. Unsubsidized handsets make people purchase more affordable devices.
Despite its enormous success in the category where the next Billion handsets are going to be sold, they have yet to make a name for themselves in the West. Fair enough, being known for cheap handsets will create challengers to entering the high end market. But that hasn’t stopped them from coming out with the world first 4G LTE Octa core processor. And they even set up shop in Qualcomm’s backyard by opening an office in San Deigo. Which is a pretty big statement, especially when you take into consideration that MediaTek is bigger than Broadcom & Nvidia.
But as they push into the US, Qualcomm seeks to gain a foothold in China. So let’s take a closer look at that because this race has less to do with SoC’s than it does with LTE. MediaTek’s Octa-core processor with LTE put Qualcomm on alert because they always had to lead when it came to LTE. I found some stats on Android Authority from Strategy Analytics in Q3 2013 66% of their cellular revenue came from LTE, which MediaTek claimed second place at 12%, and Intel in third with 7%. Qualcomm even has a realtionship with China Mobile to get their LTE devices into the hands of its local market.

Even still, it is a numbers game and if MediaTek’s SoC performance is at the same level as Qualcomm’s mid range SoC offering but at a lower price, it won’t take MediaTek to catch up. But even on a more base level, let me tell you about a meeting that I had in Shenzhen with Gionee I asked about developing on Qualcomm vs MediaTek. They said, MediaTek will get back to you within the hour, Qualcomm will get back to you the next day, and when I mentioned Intel they just laughed.

Consumers might find it frustrating that MediaTek takes a little longer to come out with the latest version of Android, but the reason is that they are doing all the work for their partners. When you’re competing with a company that understand customer service better than anyone else right now, it’s going to be hard not to see them as a real threat.

MediaTek Introduces Industry Leading Tablet SoC, MT8135

TAIWAN, Hsinchu – July 29, 2013 – MediaTek Inc., (2454: TT), a leading fabless semiconductor company for wireless communications and digital multimedia solutions, today announced its breakthrough MT8135 system-on-chip (SoC) for high-end tablets. The quad-core solution incorporates two high-performance ARM Cortex™-A15 and two ultra-efficient ARM Cortex™-A7 processors, and the latest GPU from Imagination Technologies, the PowerVR™ Series6. Complemented by a highly optimized ARM® big.LITTLE™ processing subsystem that allows for heterogeneous multi-processing, the resulting solution is primed to deliver premium user experiences. This includes the ability to seamlessly engage in a range of processor-intensive applications, including heavy web-downloading, hardcore gaming, high-quality video viewing and rigorous multitasking – all while maintaining the utmost power efficiency.

In line with its reputation for creating innovative, market-leading platform solutions, MediaTek has deployed an advanced scheduler algorithm, combined with adaptive thermal and interactive power management to maximize the performance and energy efficiency benefits of the ARM big.LITTLE™ architecture. This technology enables application software to access all of the processors in the big.LITTLE cluster simultaneously for a true heterogeneous experience. As the first company to enable heterogeneous multi-processing on a mobile SoC, MediaTek has uniquely positioned the MT8135 to support the next generation of tablet and mobile device designs.

“ARM big.LITTLE™ technology reduces processor energy consumption by up to 70 percent on common workloads, which is critical in the drive towards all-day battery life for mobile platforms,” said Noel Hurley, vice president, Strategy and Marketing, Processor Division, ARM. “We are pleased to see MediaTek’s MT8135 seizing on the opportunity offered by the big.LITTLE architecture to enable new services on a heterogeneous processing platform.”

“The move towards multi-tasking devices requires increased performance while creating greater power efficiency that can only be achieved through an optimized multi-core system approach. This means that multi-core processing capability is fast becoming a vital feature of mobile SoC solutions. The MT8135 is the first implementation of ARM’s big.LITTLE architecture to offer simultaneous heterogeneous multi-processing.  As such, MediaTek is taking the lead to improve battery life in next-generation tablet and mobile device designs by providing more flexibility to match tasks with the right-size core for better computational, graphical and multimedia performance,” said Mike Demler, Senior Analyst with The Linley Group.

The MT8135 features a MediaTek-developed four-in-one connectivity combination that includes Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS and FM, designed to bring highly integrated wireless technologies and expanded functionality to market-leading multimedia tablets. The MT8135 also supports Wi-Fi certified Miracast™ which makes multimedia content sharing between devices remarkably easier.

In addition, the tablet SoC boasts unprecedented graphics performance enabled by its PowerVR™ Series6 GPU from Imagination Technologies. “We are proud to have partnered with MediaTek on their latest generation of tablet SoCs” says Tony King-Smith, EVP of marketing, Imagination. “PowerVR™ Series6 GPUs build on Imagination’s success in mobile and embedded markets to deliver the industry’s highest performance and efficient solutions for graphics-and-compute GPUs. MediaTek is a key lead partner for Imagination and its PowerVR™ Series6 GPU cores, so we expect the MT8135 to set an important benchmark for high-end gaming, smooth UIs and advanced browser-based graphics-rich applications in smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices. Thanks to our PowerVR™ Series6 GPU, we believe the MT8135 will deliver five-times or more the GPU-compute-performance of the previous generation of tablet processors.”

“At MediaTek, our goal is to enable each user to take maximum advantage of his or her mobile device.  The implementation and availability of the MT8135 brings an enjoyable multitasking experience to life without requiring users to sacrifice on quality or energy. As the leader in multi-core processing solutions, we are constantly optimizing these capabilities to bring them into the mainstream, so as to make them accessible to every user around the world,” said Joe Chen, GM of the Home Entertainment Business Unit at MediaTek.

The MT8135 is the latest SoC in MediaTek’s highly successful line of quad-core processors, which since its launch last December* has given rise to more than 350 projects and over 150 mobile device models across the world. This latest solution, along with its comprehensive accompanying Reference Design, will like their predecessors fast become industry standards, particularly in the high-end tablet space.

* MediaTek Strengthens Global Position with World’s First Quad-Core Cortex-A7 System on a Chip – MT6589 [press release, Dec 12, 2012]

See also: Imagination Welcomes MediaTek’s Innovation in True Heterogeneous Multi-Processing With New SoC Featuring PowerVR Series6 GPU [press release, Aug 28, 2013]

MediaTek Super Mid LogoMediaTek Announces MT6595, World’s First 4G LTE Octa-Core Smartphone SOC with ARM Cortex-A17 and Ultra HD H.265 Codec Support

MediaTek CorePilot™ Heterogeneous Multi-Processing Technology enables outstanding performance with leading energy efficiency

TAIWAN, Hsinchu – 11 February, 2014 – MediaTek today announces the MT6595, a premium mobile solution with the world’s first 4G LTE octa-core smartphone SOC powered by the latest Cortex-A17™ CPUs from ARM®.

The MT6595 employs ARM’s big.LITTLE™ architecture with MediaTek’s CorePilot™ technology to deliver a Heterogeneous Multi-Processing (HMP) platform that unlocks the full power of all eight cores. An advanced scheduler algorithm with adaptive thermal and interactive power management delivers superior multi-tasking performance and excellent sustained performance-per-watt for a premium mobile experience.

Excellent Performance-Per-Watt
  • Four ARM Cortex-A17™, each with significant performance improvement over previous-generation processors, plus four Cortex-A7™ CPUs
  • ARM big.LITTLE™ architecture with full-system coherency performs sophisticated tasks efficiently
  • Integrated Imagination Technologies PowerVR™ Series6 GPU for high-performance graphics
  • Integrated 4G LTE Multi-Mode Modem
  • Rel. 9, Category 4 FDD and TDD LTE with data rates up to 150Mbits/s downlink and 50Mbits/s uplink
  • DC-HSPA+ (42Mbits/s), TD-SCDMA and EDGE for legacy 2G/3G networks
  • 30+ 3GPP RF bands support to meet operator needs worldwide

World-Class Multimedia Subsystems

  • World’s first mobile SOC with integrated, low-power hardware support for the new H.265 Ultra HD (4K2K) video record & playback, in addition to Ultra HD video playback support for H.264 & VP9
  • Supports 24-bit 192 kHz Hi-Fi quality audio codec with high performance digital-to-analogue converter (DAC) to head phone >110dB SNR
  • 20MP camera capability and a high-definition WQXGA (2560 x 1600) display controller
  • MediaTek ClearMotion™ technology eliminates motion jitter and ensures smooth video playback at 60fps on mobile devices
  • MediaTek MiraVision™ technology for DTV-grade picture quality

First MediaTek Mobile Platform Supporting 802.11ac

  • Comprehensive complementary connectivity solution that supports 802.11ac
  • Multi-GNSS positioning systems including GPS, GLONASS, Beidou, Galileo and QZSS
  • Bluetooth LE and ANT+ for ultra-low power connectivity with fitness tracking devices

World’s First Multimode Wireless Charging Receiver IC

  • Multi-standard inductive and resonant wireless charging functionality available
  • Supported by MediaTek’s companion multimode wireless power receiver IC

“MediaTek is focused on delivering a full-range of 4G LTE platforms and the MT6595 will enable our customers to deliver premium products with advanced features to a growing market,” said Jeffrey Ju, General Manager of the MediaTek Smartphone Business Unit.

“Congratulations to MediaTek on being in a leading position to implement the new ARM Cortex-A17 processor in mobile device”, said Noel Hurley, Vice President and Deputy General Manager, ARM Product Division. “MediaTek has a keen understanding of the smartphone market and continues to identify innovative ways to bring a premium mobile experience to the masses.”

The MT6595 platform will be commercially available by the first half of 2014, with devices expected in the second half of the year.

Sept 21, 2014:
MediaTek CorePilot™ Technology

MediaTek Super Mid LogoMediaTek Launches 64-bit True Octa-core™ LTE Smartphone SoC with World’s First 2K Display Support

TAIWAN, Hsinchu – July 15, 2014 – MediaTek today announced MT6795, the 64-bit True Octa-core™ LTE smartphone System on Chip (SoC) with the world’s first 2K display support. This is MediaTek’s flagship smartphone SoC designed to empower high-end device makers to leap into the Android™ 64-bit era.

The MT6795 is currently set to be the first 64-bit, LTE, True Octa-core SoC targeting the premium segment, with speed of up to 2.2GHz, to hit the market. The SoC features MediaTek’s CorePilot™ technology providing world-class multi-processor performance and thermal control, as well as dual-channel LPDDR3 clocked at 933MHz for top-end memory bandwidth in a smartphone.

The high-performance SoC also satisfies the multimedia requirements of even the most demanding users, featuring multimedia subsystems that support many technologies never before possible or seen in a smartphone, including support for 120Hz displays and the capability to create and playback 480 frames per second (fps) 1080p Full HD Super-Slow Motion videos.

With the launch of MT6795, MediaTek is accelerating the global transition to LTE and creating opportunities for device makers to gain first-mover advantage with top-of-the-line devices in the 64-bit Android device market. Coupled with 4G LTE support, MT6795 completes MediaTek’s 64-bit LTE SoC product portfolio: MT6795 for power users, MT6752 for mainstream users and MT6732 for entry level users. This extensive portfolio allows everyone to embrace the improved speed from 4G LTE and parallel computing capability from CorePilot and 64-bit processors.

Key features of MT6795:

  • 64-bit True Octa-core LTE SoC* with clock speed up to 2.2GHz
  • MediaTek CorePilot unlocks the full power of all eight cores
  • Dual-channel LPDDR3 memory clocked at 933MHz
  • 2K on device display (2560×1600)
  • 120Hz mobile display with Response Time Enhancement Technology and MediaTek ClearMotion™
  • 480fps 1080p Full HD Super-Slow Motion video feature
  • Integrated, low-power hardware support for H.265 Ultra HD (4K2K) video record & playback, Ultra HD video playback support for H.264 & VP9, as well as for graphics-intensive games and apps
  • Support for Rel. 9, Category 4 FDD and TDD LTE (150Mbps/50Mbps), as well as modems for 2G/3G networks
  • Support for Wi-Fi 802.11ac/Bluetooth®/FM/GPS/Glonass/Beidou/ANT+
  • Multi-mode wireless charging supported by MediaTek’s companion multi-mode wireless power receiver IC

“MediaTek has once again demonstrated leading engineering capabilities by delivering breakthrough technology and time-to-market advantage that enable limitless opportunities for our partners and end users, while setting the bar even higher for our competition,” said Jeffrey Ju, General Manager of the MediaTek Smartphone Business Unit.  “With a complete and inclusive 64-bit LTE SoC product portfolio, we are firmly on track to lead the industry in delivering premium mobile user experiences for years to come.”

MT6795-powered devices will be commercially available by the end of 2014.

*  Instead of a heterogeneous multi-processing architecture, the MT6795 features eight identical Cortex-A53 cores. 4xA53 + 4xA57 big.LITTLE was unofficially before.
See also: The Cortex-A53 as the Cortex-A7 replacement core is succeeding as a sweet-spot IP for various 64-bit high-volume market SoCs to be delivered from H2 CY14 on [this same blog, Dec 23, 2013]

MediaTek Launches MT6735Mainstream WorldModeSmartphone Platform

By adding CDMA2000, MediaTek accomplishes WorldMode modem capability in a single platform and meets wireless operator requirements globally; putting advanced yet affordable smartphones into the hands of consumers

TAIWAN, Hsinchu – 15 October, 2014 – MediaTek today announced a new 64-bit mobile system on chip (SoC), MT6735, incorporating the modem and RF needs of wireless operators globally.  By offering a unified mobile platform, MediaTek is enabling its customers to develop on the MT6735 and sell mobile devices globally, thereby creating significant R&D cost savings and economies of scale in manufacturing.  The MT6735 builds upon MediaTek’s existing line-up of mainstream LTE platforms by adding the critical WorldMode modem capability.

The MT6735 incorporates four 64-bit ARM® Cortex®-A53 processors, delivering significantly higher performance than Cortex-A7 for a premium mobile computing experience, driving greater choice of smart devices at affordable prices for consumers. As projected, MediaTek sees a continued consolidation of smartphones into a very large mid-range, termed by MediaTek as the “Super-mid market”.

“The MT6735 is a breakthrough product from MediaTek,” said Jeffrey Ju, SVP and General Manager of Wireless Communication at MediaTek. “With CDMA2000, we offer global reach, driving high performance technology into the hands of users everywhere. We also strongly believe that as LTE becomes mainstream in all markets, the processing power must be consistently high to ensure the best possible user experience. That’s why 64-bit CPUs and CorePilotTM technology are standard features across all of our LTE solutions.”

“MediaTek wants to make the world a more inclusive place, where the best, fully-connected user experiences do not mean expensive,” said Johan Lodenius, Chief Marketing Officer for MediaTek. “We are committed to creating powerful devices that accelerate the transformation of the global market and strive to put high-quality technology in the hands of everyone.”

The MT6735 platform includes:

Next-Generation 64-bit Mobile Computing System

  • Quad-core, up to 1.5GHz ARM Cortex-A53 64-bit processors with MediaTek’s leading CorePilot multi-processor control system, providing a performance boost for mainstream mobile devices
  • Mali-T720 GPU with support for the Open GL ES 3.0 and Open CL 1.2 APIs and premium graphics for gaming and UI effects

Advanced Multimedia Features

  • Supports low-power, 1080p, 30fps video playback on the emerging video codec standard H.265 and legacy H.264 and 1080p, 30fps H.264 video recording
  • Integrated 13MP camera image signal processor with support for unique features like PIP (Picture-in-Picture), VIV (Video in Video) and Video Face Beautifier
  • Display support up to HD 1280×720 resolution with MediaTek MiraVision™ technology for DTV-grade picture quality

Integrated 4G LTE WorldModeModem & RF

  • Rel. 9, Category 4 FDD and TDD LTE (150 Mb/s downlink, 50 Mb/s uplink)
  • 3GPP Rel. 8, DC-HSPA+ (42 Mb/s downlink, 11 Mb/s uplink), TD-SCDMA and EDGE are supported for legacy 2G/3G networks
  • CDMA2000 1x/EVDO Rev. A
  • Comprehensive RF support (B1 to B41) and the ability to mix multiple low-, mid-, and high bands for a global roaming solution

Integrated Connectivity Solutions

  • Supports dual-band Wi-Fi to effortlessly connect to a wide array of wireless routers and enable new applications like video sharing over Miracast
  • Bluetooth 4.0, supporting low-power connection to fitness gadgets, wearables and other accessories, such as Bluetooth headsets

MT6735 is sampling to early customers in Q4, 2014, with the first commercial devices to be available in Q2, 2015.

March 4, 2015:
LTE WorldMode with MediaTek MT6735 and MT6753, now ready for the USA market and worldwide!

ARMdevices.net (Charbax): MediaTek now supports worldwide LTE with the 64bit MT6735 quad-core ARM Cortex-A53 and the 64bit MT6753 octa-core ARM Cortex-A53. This is LTE Cat4, they claim to be 10-15% faster in single SIM mode and 20-30% faster with dual-sim support compared to perhaps a Qualcomm LTE Worldmode. They also claim to use less power than competitor for standby, 3G and LTE mode. Many LTE Telcos around the world have already certified support for these new MediaTek LTE parts, with support on Vodafone, Orange, T-Mobile, Three, Deutsche Telekom, China Unicom, China Mobile, Telefonica, Verizon and AT&T. This LTE Worldmode processor is a big deal for MediaTek as it opens up the USA market for them, where MediaTek previously didn’t have much support for American telecoms as MediaTek’s previous 3G and LTE solutions mainly was working outside of the USA.

MediaTek Super Mid LogoMediaTek Releases the MT6753: A WorldMode 64-bit Octa-core Smartphone SoC

Complete with integrated CDMA2000 technology that looks to meet the needs of the high-end smartphone market worldwide 

SPAIN, Barcelona – March 1, 2015 – MediaTek, today announced the release of the MT6753, a 64-bit Octa-core mobile system-on-chip (SoC) with support for WorldMode modem capability. Coupled with the previously announced MT6735 quad-core SoC, the new MT6753 is designed with high performance features for an ever more demanding mid-range market.

Reinforcing MediaTek’s commitment to driving the latest technology to customers across the world, the MT6753 SoC will be offered at a price that creates strong value for customers, especially as it comes with integrated CDMA2000 to ensure compatibility in every market. The eight ARM Cortex-A53 64-bit processors and Mali-T720 GPU helps to ensure customers can meet graphic-heavy multimedia requirements while also maintaining battery efficiency for high-end devices.

“The launch of the MT6753 again demonstrates MediaTek’s desire to offer more power and choice to our 4G LTE product line, while also giving customers worldwide greater diversity and flexibility in their product layouts”, said Jeffrey Ju, Senior Vice President at MediaTek.

The MT6753, which is compatible with the previously announced MT6735 for entry smartphones, also enables handset makers to reduce time to market, simplify product development and manage product differentiation in a more cost effective way. MT6753 is sampling to customers now, with the first commercial devices to be available in Q2, 2015.

Key Features of MT6753 include:

Next-Generation 64-bit Mobile Computing System

  • Octa-core, up to 1.5GHz ARM Cortex-A53 64-bit processors with MediaTek’s leading CorePilot multi-processor technology, providing a perfect balance of performance and power for mainstream mobile devices
  • Mali-T720 GPU with support for the Open GL ES 3.0 and Open CL 1.2 APIs and premium graphics for gaming and UI effects

Advanced Multimedia Features

  • Supports low-power, 1080p, 30fps video playback on the emerging video codec standard H.265 and legacy H.264 and 1080p, 30fps H.264 video recording
  • Integrated 16MP camera image signal processor with support for unique features like PIP (Picture-in-Picture), VIV (Video in Video) and Video Face Beautifier
  • Display support up to HD 1920×1080 60fps resolution with MediaTek MiraVision™ technology for DTV-grade picture quality

Integrated 4G LTE WorldModeModem & RF

  • Rel. 9, Category 4 FDD and TDD LTE (150 Mb/s downlink, 50 Mb/s uplink)
  • 3GPP Rel. 8, DC-HSPA+ (42 Mb/s downlink, 11 Mb/s uplink), TD-SCDMA and EDGE are supported for legacy 2G/3G networks
  • CDMA2000 1x/EVDO Rev. A
  • Comprehensive RF support (B1 to B41) and the ability to mix multiple low-, mid-, and high bands for a global roaming solution

Integrated Connectivity Solutions

  • Supports dual-band Wi-Fi to effortlessly connect to a wide array of wireless routers and enable new applications like video sharing over Miracast
  • Bluetooth 4.0, supporting low-power connection to fitness gadgets, wearables and other accessories, such as Bluetooth headsets

January 2015: MediaTek leaked smartphone roadmap (note the MT67xx scheduled for 4Q 2015 and using 20nm technology, as well that the new smartphone SoCs, except the very entry 3G with Cortex-A7, are based on Cortex-A53 cores while still using 28nm)
See also: The Cortex-A53 as the Cortex-A7 replacement core is succeeding as a sweet-spot IP for various 64-bit high-volume market SoCs to be delivered from H2 CY14 on [this same blog, Dec 23, 2013]

MediaTek leaked smartphone SoC roadmap -- Jan-2015
The availability dates shown above are for the first commercial devices!

MediaTek rebranding the high-end smartphone SoC family into MediaTek Helio Logo(starting with the MT6795 now denominated as Helio X10), after the Greek word for sun, “helios”:

March 12, 2015:
MediaTek Helio explained by CMO Johan Lodenius at MWC 2015

MediaTek rebranding the high-end smartphone SoC family into Helio

March 5, 2015:
MediaTek SVP Jeffrey Ju introducing the new Helio branding for premium (P) and extreme (X) performance segments of the smartphone SoCs at MWC 2015


I/2. Then continues with the presentation of MediaTek’s exclusive display technology quality enhancements (click on the links to watch the related brief videos):
MiraVision picture quality enhancement
SmartScreen as “the best viewing experience across extreme lighting conditions”
120Hz LCD display technology for a whole new experience (vs. the current 60Hz used by everyone)
– Super-SlowMotion, meaning 1/16 speed 480fps video playback (world’s first)
Instant Focus, meaning phase-detection autofocus (PDAF) technology on mobile devices cameras
– preliminary information on the new high-end Helio SoC with the new Cortex-A72 relying on 20nm technology, MiraVision Plus and their 3d genaration modem in 2nd half of 2015 (so it is quite likely the MT67xx mentioned in the above roadmap)

Note that 3d party companies are providing additional imaging enhancements to the device manufacturers, like the ones demonstrated by ArcSoft for the Lenovo Golden Warrior Note 8 TD-LTE (A936) at MWC 2015. Designed with Chinese (TD) and global market capabilities in mind, and available there from Dec’14 for ¥998 ($160) it is based on the MT6752 octacore which is providing the ARM Mali™-T760 GPU. ArcSoft is exploiting the GPU Compute capabilities for the additional imaging features shown in the video below:


I/3. CorePilot™ 2.0 especially targeted for the extreme performance tablet and smartphone markets

MediaTek To Redefine the Android Tablet Industry with world-first ARM® Cortex®-A72-based tablet SoC – MT8173

Revolutionary new 64-bit ARM processor ramps up tablet performance and battery life for heavy content Android users

SPAIN, Barcelona – March 1, 2015 – MediaTek today announced the first tablet system-on-chip (SoC) in a family that features an ARM® Cortex®-A72 processor, the industry’s highest-performing mobile CPU. The Quad-core MT8173 is designed to maximize the benefits of the new processor and greatly increase tablet performance, while extending battery life to ensure a premium tablet experience. The MT8173 meets the growing demand for 4K Ultra HD content and graphic-heavy gaming by everyday mobile computing device users.

The MT8173 is designed with a 64-bit Multi-core big.LITTLE architecture that combines two Cortex-A72 CPUs and two Cortex-A53 CPUs, extending performance and power efficiency further. MT8173 boasts a six-fold  increase in performance compared to the MT8125 released in 2013. MT8173 offers up to 2.4GHz performance, supporting OpenCL with the deployment of MediaTek Corepilot® 2.0, and enables heterogeneous computing between the CPU and GPU. The SoC also ensures the ultimate in display clarity and motion fluency on 120Hz display, promising smooth scrolling with crystal clarity as compared to a normal 60Hz display.

“MT8173 highlights the significant shift in how mobile devices, such as Android tablets, are used and, with the combination of ARM’s latest technology, we are delivering a platform that answers the growing demand for improved mobile multimedia performance and power usage.  By presenting CPU specs that outperform any other device currently on the market, we are bringing PC-like performance to tablet form factor, reinforcing MediaTek’s continued commitment to deliver premium technology to everyone across the globe.” said Joe Chen, Senior Vice President of MediaTek.

“MediaTek has been a strong adopter of ARM big.LITTLE processing architecture, extending it with CorePilot, to deliver extreme performance, while maintaining power efficiency,” said Noel Hurley, General Manager, CPU group, ARM. “Decisively and quickly incorporating the second-generation of our 64-bit technology into a market-ready product, underscores the partnership between ARM and MediaTek.”

The MT8173 platform features:

True Heterogeneous 64-bit Multi-Core big.LITTLE architecture up to 2.4GHz

  • Features ARM Cortex®-A72 and ARM Cortex®-A53 64-bit CPU
  • Big cores and LITTLE cores can run at full speed at the same time for peak performance requirement
  • Performance of up to 2.4GHz

Imagination PowerVR GX6250 GPU

  • Supports OpenGL ES 3.1, OpenCL for future applications
  • Delivers 350Mtri/s and 2.8 Gpix/s performance
  • Provides uncompromised user experience for WQXGA display at 60fps

Comprehensive Multimedia Features

  • 120Hz mobile display
  • Ultra HD 30fps H.264/HEVC(10-bit)/VP9 hardware video playback
  • WQXGA display support with TV-grade picture quality enhancement
  • HDMI and Miracast support for multi-screen applications
  • 20MP camera ISP with video face beautify and LOMO effects

Security hardware accelerator

  • Supports Widevine Level 1, Miracast with HDCP
  • HDCP 2.2 for premium video to 4k TV display

MT8173 is available for customers now, and will be featured in the first commercial tablets in second half of this year. MT8173 is being demonstrated at 2015 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain at MediaTek’s booth – Hall 6, Stand 6E21 

MediaTek CorePilot 2.0 technology

March 5, 2015:
MediaTek CTO Kevin Jou on CorePilot 2.0 at MWC 2015


Then continues with the presentation of the new:
– MT8173 with the world’s first Cortex-A72 in the “big” role
– worldmode modem technology with LTE category 6

CrossMount technology as the “not yet another DLNA solution, as it does whatever DLNA can plus a lot more


II. Brand New Strategic Initiatives

Feb 27, 2015:
II/1. CrossMount
Unite your devices: Open up new possibilities

Technology makes it easy to share the things we love, but only when we use it in a certain way.

Making a video call just needs a smartphone with a camera, for instance, but what if you want to talk using the big screen on your HDTV? And what happens when you want to watch video from your set-top IPTV box on your tablet when you’re lying in bed — and use your smartwatch as a remote control?

With technology playing an increasingly important part in our lives, these are the kind of problems we can expect to face every day. And they’re the kind of problems MediaTek solves with CrossMount.

MediaTek CrossMount is a new standard for sharing hardware and software resources between a whole host of consumer electronics.

Based on the UPnP protocol, CrossMount connects compatible devices wirelessly, using either a home Wi-Fi network or a Wi-Fi Direct connection, to allow one to seamlessly access the features of another.

So you can start watching streaming video on the living room TV, for example, then switch it to your tablet when you move to another room, or use your TV’s speakers for a hands-free phone call with your smartphone. The possibilities are endless.

The CrossMount Alliance for MediaTek partners, customers and developers makes developing CrossMount applications as easy as possible, many brands and developers are already on board.

CrossMount will be available in late 2015 for MediaTek-based Android devices

MediaTek Introduces a New Convergence Standard for Cross-device Sharing with CrossMount

Fast and easy sharing of content, hardware and software resources enable multiple devices to combine and act together as a single, more powerful device

SPAIN, Barcelona – March 1, 2015– MediaTek today announced CrossMount – a new technology that simplifies hardware and software resource sharing between different consumer devices. Designed to be a new standard in cross-device convergence, the CrossMount framework ensures any compatible device can seamlessly use and share hardware or software resources authorized by the user. CrossMount is an open and simple-to-implement technology for the wide ecosystem of MediaTek customers and partners that opens the possibilities for multiple devices effectively working as one or sharing applications and hardware resources.

CrossMount defines its service mounting standard based on UPnP protocol, and can be implemented primarily in Android and Linux as well as other platforms. CrossMount works through simple discovery, pairing, authorization and use between devices of both hardware and software resources across smartphones, tablets and TVs. Communication between devices is achieved directly between devices via home gateways (Wireless LAN) or peer to peer (Wi-Fi Direct). Discovery and sharing are granted through an easy software implementation that allows all Wi-Fi capable devices to share resources without the need for cloud servers.

“Consumers have adopted a wide array of Internet-connected devices at home, in schools and workplaces, CrossMount sets the new standard for easy cross-device interaction and resource sharing.  We are particularly keen to open up this innovation to our wide ecosystem of customers and partners around the world, unleashing their imagination to create new immersive experiences that further enrich peoples’ lives” said, Joe Chen, Senior Vice President, MediaTek.

With CrossMount enabled devices, for example, viewers can simply pair their TV sound to their smartphone earphones or use their smartphone microphone as a voice controller to search content on their smart TV.  This is a breakthrough in user experience as the CrossMount standard means several devices can act as one together rather than simply share content.

“CrossMount is a lot more than mirroring from phone to TV – as has already been developed within the industry”, added Joe Chen. “CrossMount goes the extra mile with hardware and software capability sharing between smart devices, thereby creating many useful and more complex use cases, such as mounting a smartphone camera to a TV and enabling the TV for video conferencing session.”

To further drive the adoption of CrossMount as an industry standard, MediaTek is establishing the CrossMount Alliance to bring its wide ecosystem of partners and customers together and explore new possibilities to drive the technology forward. CrossMount will be open for developers to further expand the ability for innovative and new applications to be created, potentially changing the way we use and share devices and content. Chang-hong, Hisense, Lenovo and TCL are the first MediaTek customers to support CrossMount.

CrossMount will be made available to MediaTek customers and partners in the third quarter for Android-based smartphone, tablet and TV products, with devices expected on the market by end of this year.


II/2. LinkIt™ One Development Platform for wearables and IoT

March 20, 2015: MediaTek Labs – IoT Lab at 4YFN Barcelona

See how MediaTek Labs supported the winning team, Playdrop, who took advantage of the MediaTek LinkIt™ ONE development board to build an innovative water monitoring and control system prototype. Playdrop was just one of the competitors at IoT Lab, where developers from all over the world formed new teams and had less than two days to ideate, create business cases and working prototypes for the Internet of Things (IoT).
You can also hear from VP of MediaTek Labs, Marc Naddell, about how our development platforms will be supporting more developers on their journey into Wearables and IoT devices.

To find out more about MediaTek Labs & our offerings:
LinkIt ONE development platform: http://labs.mediatek.com/one
MediaTek Cloud Sandbox: http://labs.mediatek.com/sandbox
Get the tools you need to build your own Wearables and IoT devices, register now:http://labs.mediatek.com/register

Feb 18, 2015: What is MediaTek LinkIt™ ONE Development Platform?

MediaTek LinkIt™ ONE development platform enables you to design and prototype Wearables and Internet of Things (IoT) devices, using hardware and an API that are similar to those offered for Arduino boards.

The platform is based around the world’s smallest commercial System-on-Chip (SoC) for Wearables, MediaTek Aster (MT2502). This SoC works with MediaTek’s energy efficient Wi-Fi and GNSS companion chipsets also. This means you can easily create devices that connect to other smart devices or directly to cloud applications and services.

To make it easy to prototype Wearables and IoT devices and their applications, the platform delivers:

  • The LinkIt ONE Software Development Kit (SDK) for the creation of apps for LinkIt ONE devices. This SDK integrates with the Arduino software to deliver an API and development process that will be instantly familiar.
  • The LinkIt ONE Hardware Development Kit (HDK) for prototyping devices. Based on a MediaTek hardware reference design, the HDK delivers the LinkIt ONE development board from Seeed Studio.

Key features of LinkIt ONE development platform:

  • Optimized performance and power consumption to offer consumers appealing, functional Wearables and IoT devices
  • Based on MediaTek Aster (MT2502) SoC, offering comprehensive communications and media options, with support for GSM, GPRS, Bluetooth 2.1 and 4.0, SD Cards, and MP3/AAC Audio, as well as Wi-Fi and GNSS (hardware dependent)
  • Delivers an API, to access key features of the Aster SoC, that is similar to that for Arduino; enabling existing Arduino apps to be quickly ported and new apps created with ease
  • LinkIt ONE developer board from partner Seeed Studio with similar pin-out to the Arduino UNO enabling a wide range of peripheral and circuits to be connected to the board
  • LinkIt ONE SDK (for Arduino) offering instant familiarity to Arduino developers and a easy to learn toolset for beginners

LinkIt ONE SDK                                                      LinkIt ONE HDK

MediaTek LinkIt™ ONE Development Platform

LinkIt ONE architecture

Running on top of the Aster (MT2502) and, where used, its companion GNSS and Wi-Fi chipsets, the LinkIt ONE developer platform is based on an RTOS kernel. On top of this kernel is a set of drivers, middleware and protocol stacks that expose the features of the chipsets to a Framework. A run-time Environment then provides services to the Arduino porting layer that delivers the LinkIt ONE API for Arduino. The API is used to develop Arduino Sketches with the LinkIt ONE SDK (for Arduino).

MediaTek LinkIt ONE architecture*MT3332 (GPS) and MT5931 (WiFi) are optional

Hardware core: Aster (MT2502)

The hardware core for LinkIt ONE development platform is MediaTek Aster (MT2502). This chipset also works with our Wi-Fi and GNSS chips, offering high performance and low power consumption to Wearables and IoT devices.

MediaTek Aster (MT2502)Aster’s highly integrated System-on-Chip (SoC) design avoids the need for multiple chips, meaning smaller devices and reduced costs for device creators, as well as eliminating the need for compatibility tests.

With Aster, it’s now easier and cheaper for device manufacturers and the maker community to produce desirable, functional wearable products.

Key features

  • The smallest commercial System-on-Chip (5.4mm*6.2mm) currently on the market
  • CPU core: ARM7 EJ-S 260MHz
  • Memory: 4MB RAM, 4MB Flash
  • PAN: Dual Bluetooth 2.1 (SPP) and 4.0 (GATT)
  • WAN: GSM and GPRS modem
  • Power: PMU and charger functions, low power mode with sensor hub function
  • Multimedia: Audio (list formats), video (list formats), camera (list formats/resolutions)
  • Interfaces: External ports for LCD, camera, I2C, SPI, UART, GPIO, and more

MediaTek Aster (MT2502) vs the competition

Get started with the LinkIt ONE development platform

Nov 12, 2014: MediaTek Labs – LinkIt workshop presentation


MediaTek Labs technical expert Pablo (Yuhsian) Sun provides an overview of the LinkIt Development Platform, in this presentation recorded at XDA:DevCon. Pablo describes what LinkIt is and discusses why its capabilities — such as support for Wi-Fi, SMS, Groove peripherals, and more — make it the ideal, cost effective tool for prototyping wearable and IoT devices. He also covers the LinkIt ONE board, offering an in-depth look at its hardware, introduced the APIs, and shows you how software is developed with Ardunio and the LinkIt SDK. Link to additional resources are also provided. If you haven’t used the LinkIt development platform, this video provides you with all the basics to get started.

MediaTek Launches LinkIt™ Platform for Wearables and Internet of Things

TAIWAN, Hsinchu – June 3, 2014 – MediaTek today announced LinkIt™, a development platform built to accelerate the wearable and Internet of Things (IoT) markets. LinkIt integrates the MediaTek’s Aster System on Chip (SoC), the smallest wearable SoC currently on the market. The MediaTek Aster SoC is designed to enable the developer community to create a broad range of affordable wearable and IoT products and solutions, for the billions of consumers in the rising Super-mid market to realize their potential as Everyday Geniuses.

Key features of MediaTek Aster and LinkIt:

  • MediaTek Aster, the smallest SoC in a package size of 5.4×6.2mm specifically designed for wearable devices.
  • LinkIt integrates the MediaTek’s Aster SoC and is a developer platform supported by reference designs that enable creation of various form factors, functionalities, and internet connected services.
  • Synergies between microprocessor unit and communication modules, facilitating development and saving time in new device creation.
  • Modularity in software architecture provides developers with high degree of flexibility.
  • Supports over-the-air (OTA) updates for apps, algorithms and drivers which enable “push and install” software stack (named MediaTek Capsule) from phones or computers to devices built with MediaTek Aster.
  • Plug-in software development kit (SDK) for Arduino and VisualStudio. Support for Eclipse is planned for Q4 this year.
  • Hardware Development Kit (HDK) based on LinkIt board by third party.

“MediaTek is now in a unique position to assume leadership by accelerating development for wearables and IoT, thanks to our LinkIt platform,” said J.C. Hsu, General Manager of New Business Development at MediaTek.  “We are enabling an ecosystem of device makers, application developers and service providers to create innovations and new solutions for the Super-mid market.”

Eric Li, Vice President, China’s Internet giant said, “Baidu provides a wealth of services for its users on our Internet portal, and our offerings will enable MediaTek-powered devices to do much more than they already can. The IoT is inter-connecting devices, and we’re connecting people with information via such devices. Our partnership with MediaTek will bring both of us closer to our respective goals.”

Gonzague de Vallois, Senior Vice President of Gameloft, another one of MediaTek’s ecosystem partners, said, “The wearable devices era is a fascinating one for a game developer. Proliferation of devices equipped with all sorts of different sensors and measured information from human body are creating possibilities for us to develop games that are played differently and in ways that were never imagined before. We are pleased to be a partner of MediaTek, who is enabling the wearable devices future for us to continuously bring innovative games to gamers around the world.”

The launch of LinkIt is a part of MediaTek’s wider initiative for the developer community called MediaTek Labs™ which will officially launch later this year. MediaTek Labs will stimulate and support the creation of wearable devices and IoT applications based on the LinkIt platform. Developers and device makers who are interested in joining the MediaTek Labs program are invited to email labs-registration@mediatek.com to receive a notification once the program launches. For more information and ongoing updates, please go to http://labs.mediatek.com.

Oct 30, 2014:
LinkIt ONE Plus Version from SeedStudio (http://www.seeedstudio.com/depot/LinkIt-ONE-p-2017.html)


Jan 3, 2015:
II/3. What is MediaTek LinkIt™ Connect 7681 development platform?

There is an increasing trend towards connecting every imaginable electrical or electronic device found in the home. For many of these applications developers simply want to add the ability to remotely control a device — turn on a table lamp, adjust the temperature setting of an air-conditioner or unlock a door. This is where the MediaTek MT7681 comes in.

MediaTek MT7681

MediaTek MT7681 is a compact Wi-Fi System-on-Chip (SoC) for IoT devices with embedded TCP/IP stack. By adding the MT7681 to an IoT device it can connect to other smart devices or to cloud applications and services. Connectivity on the MT7681 is achieved using Wi-Fi in either Wi-Fi station or access point (AP) mode.

In Wi-Fi station mode, MT7681 connects to a wireless AP and can then communicate with web services or cloud servers. A typical use of this option would be to enable a user to control the heating in their home from a home automation website.

To simplify the connection of an MT7681 chip to a wireless AP in Wi-Fi station mode, the MediaTek Smart Connection APIs are provided. These APIs enable a smart device app to remotely provision a MT7681 chip with AP details (SSID, authentication mode and password).

In AP mode, an MT7681 chip acts as an AP, enabling other wireless devices to connect to it directly. Using this mode, for example, the developer of a smart light bulb could offer users a smartphone application that enables bulbs to be controlled from within the home.

To control the device an MT7681 is incorporated into, the chip provides five GPIO pins and one UART port. In addition PWM is supported in software, for applications such as LED dimming.

MediaTek LinkIt Connect 7681 development platform

To enable developers and makers to take advantage of the features of the MT7681, MediaTek Labs offers the MediaTek LinkIt Connect 7681 development platform, consisting of an SDK, HDK and related documentation.

For software development MediaTek LinkIt Connect 7681 SDK is provided for Microsoft Windows and Ubuntu Linux. Based on the Andes Development Kit, the SDK enables developers to create firmware to control an IoT device in response to instructions received wirelessly.

For IoT device prototyping, the LinkIt Connect 7681 development board is provided. The development board consists of a LinkIt Connect 7681 module, micro-USB port and pins for each of the I/O interfaces of the MT7681 chip. This enables you to quickly connect external hardware and peripherals to create device prototypes. The LinkIt Connect 7681 module, which measures just 15x18mm, is designed to easily mount on a PCB as part of production versions of an IoT device.

Key Features of MT7681

  • Wi-Fi station and access point (AP) modes
  • 802.11 b/g/n (in station mode) and 802.11 b/g (in AP mode)
  • Smart connection APIs to easily create Android or iOS apps to provision a device with wireless AP settings
  • TCP/IP stack
  • Firmware upgrade over UART, APIs for FOTA implementation
  • Software PWM emulation for LED dimming
  • Firmware upgrade over UART, APIs for FOTA implementation

Jan 15, 2015:
II/4. Join MediaTek Labs

MediaTek Labs Logo: The best free resources for Wearables and IoT

Get the tools and resources you and your company need to go from idea to prototype to product.

Register now to get access to:

  • MediaTek SDKs
  • MediaTek hardware reference designs
  • Comment posting in our active developer forum
  • Private messaging with other MediaTek Labs members
  • Our solutions catalog, where you can share your project privately with MediaTek to unlock our support and matchmaking services

MediaTek Labs gives you the help you need to develop innovative hardware and software based on MediaTek products. From smart light bulbs, to the next-generation fitness tracker and the exciting world of the smartwatch, you can make your journey with our help.

As a registered Labs member you’ll be able to put your project in front of our business development team, who’ll help you find the partners you need to get you on the road to success. We’re here to help guide you through the exciting possibilities offered by the next wave in developer opportunities: Wearables and IoT.

MediaTek Labs is free to join:

Register today!

About MediaTek Labs

MediaTek is a young and entrepreneurial company that has grown quickly into a market leader. We identify with creative and driven pioneers in the maker and developer communities, and recognize the benefits of building an ecosystem that fosters your talents and your efforts to innovate.

MediaTek Labs is the developer hub for all our products. It builds on our track record for delivering industry-leading reference designs that offer the shortest time-to-market for our extensive customer and partner base.

MediaTek Launches Labs Developer Program to Jumpstart Wearable and IoT Device Creation

Unveils LinkIt™ platform; simplifies the development of hardware and software for developers, designers and makers

TAIWAN, Hsinchu — Sept 22, 2014 — MediaTek today launched MediaTek Labs (http://labs.mediatek.com), a global initiative that allows developers of any background or skill level to create wearable and Internet of Things (IoT) devices. The new program provides developers, makers and service providers with software development kits (SDKs), hardware development kits (HDKs), and technical documentation, as well as technical and business support.

“With the launch of MediaTek Labs we’re opening up a new world of possibilities for everyone — from hobbyists and students through to professional developers and designers — to unleash their creativity and innovation,” says Marc Naddell, vice president of MediaTek Labs. “We believe that the innovation enabled by MediaTek Labs will drive the next wave of consumer gadgets and apps that will connect billions of things and people around the world.”

The Labs developer program also features the LinkIt™ Development Platform, which is based on theMediaTek Aster (MT2502) chipset. The LinkIt development Platform is the one of the best connected platforms, offering excellent integration for the package size and doing away with the need for additional connectivity hardware.  LinkIt makes creating prototype wearable and IoT devices easy and cost effective by leveraging MediaTek’s proven reference design development model. The LinkIt platform consists of the following components:

  • System-on-Chip (SoC)MediaTek Aster (MT2502), the world’s smallest commercial SoC for Wearables, and companion Wi-Fi (MT5931) and GPS (MT3332) chipsets offering powerful, battery efficient technology.
  • LinkIt OS — an advanced yet compact operating system that enables control software and takes full advantage of the features of the Aster SoC, companion chipsets, and a wide range of sensors and peripheral hardware.
  • Hardware Development Kit (HDK) — Launching first with LinkIt ONE, a co-design project with Seeed Studio, the HDK will make it easy to add sensors, peripherals, and Arduino Shields to LinkIt ONE and create fully featured device prototypes.
  • Software Development Kit (SDK) — Makers can easily migrate existing Arduino code to LinkIt ONE using the APIs provided. In addition, they get a range of APIs to make use of the LinkIt communication features: GSM, GPRS, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi.

To ensure developers can make the most of the LinkIt offering, the MediaTek Labs website includes a range of additional services, including:

  • Comprehensive business and technology overviews
  • A Solutions Catalog where developers can share information on their devices, applications, and services and become accessible for matchmaking to MediaTek’s customers and partners
  • Support services, including comprehensive FAQ, discussion forums that are monitored by MediaTek technical experts, and — for developers with solutions under development in the Solutions Catalog — free technical support.

“While makers still use their traditional industrial components for new connected IoT devices, with the LinkIt ONE hardware kit as part of MediaTek LinkIt Developer Platform, we’re excited to help Makers bring prototypes to market faster and more easily,” says Eric Pan, founder and chief executive officer of Seeed Studio.

Makers, designers and developers can sign up to MediaTek Labs today and download the full range of tools and documentation at http://labs.mediatek.com.

Mar 2, 2015:
MediaTek Labs Partner Connect

Taking any Wearables or IoT project beyond the prototype stage can be a daunting prospect, whether you’re a small startup or an established company making its first foray into new devices.

To make the path to market easier, MediaTek Labs Partner Connect will help find you the partners you need to make your idea a reality. The program includes some of the world’s best EMS, OEM and ODM companies, as well as distributors of MediaTek products and suppliers of device components. But the real benefit comes from our MediaTek Labs experts, who will work with you to match your requirements with the right partner or partners.

Getting started is simple. Once you have registered your company on MediaTek Labs, submit your Wearables or IoT project to our confidential device Devices Catalog. And it doesn’t matter where you are in the development process — perhaps you have an early prototype running on a LinkIt development board or have full CAD and BOM for your product — our experts can help. Simply select the “Seeking Partner” option when you submit your device for review by MediaTek Labs and, once approved, one of our partner managers will review your requirements and get to work finding the right partners for you.

Designers and developers

Our design partners can assist with specific expertise in electrical engineering, mechanical engineering and computer aided design (CAD), industrial design, regulatory compliance testing, software and more. Whether you’re looking for specific expertise to assist with a single aspect of your project or want a turnkey solution that delivers the vision of your prototype directly to manufacturing, these partners can help.

Manufacturers

From the late stages of development, where you need batches of production prototypes, through low volume pilot runs for consumer testing and marketing, to full production these partners can help. From your designs they’re able to turn your Wearables or IoT idea into a commercial consumer or enterprise product. They’ll do this employing the latest in manufacturing technology, from flexible facilities that can adapt to your needs as you find success in the market.

MediaTek distributors

If you have your own manufacturing facilities or partner and are looking to source MediaTek chipset modules in volumes beyond retail, these partners will be able to help you. In addition to providing for your volume requirements, they’ll also provide additional technical information and support to ensure you make optimal use of MediaTek chipsets in your product and manufacturing process.

Component suppliers

This group of partners will be able to assist you from prototype to production: from selecting the components for your pre-production prototypes through to production run quantities of specific components. Batteries, sensors, screens and much more can be supplied by these partners, from evaluation batches to production quantities delivered to your manufacturing facility or manufacturing partner.

MediaTek Labs Launches New Partner Program to Help Bring Wearables and IoT Devices to Market Faster

MediaTek Labs Partner Connect provides matchmaking for developers and partners in support of MediaTek LinkIt™

SPAIN, Barcelona March02, 2015 – As part of its global developer initiative, MediaTek today announced MediaTek Labs Partner Connect at this year’s Mobile World Congress. The new supply chain partner program will help developers of Wearables and IoT devices design and launch their products based on MediaTek LinkIt by matching them with members of MediaTek’s extensive network of partners.

Today’s launch complements existing development platform offerings from MediaTek Labs and aims to reduce time to market for developers of new Wearables and IoT devices:

  • MediaTek LinkIt is a portfolio of development platforms – currently consisting of MediaTek LinkIt ONE and MediaTek LinkIt Connect 7681– for Wearables and IoT, offering a broad range of connectivity options and the software and hardware development kits (SDKs, HDKs from Seeed Studio and Modules from AcSiP) needed for makers to create their own devices powered by MediaTek chipsets.
  • MediaTek Cloud Sandbox (also launched today) is a complimentary cloud-based IoT platform and playground to store, display and remotely access IoT device data during prototyping.
  • MediaTek Labs Partner Connect will assist registered developers of MediaTek Labs in finding appropriate supply chain partners to help with design, development and manufacturing, sourcing of MediaTek chipset based modules and other key components. MediaTek ODM partners have available off-the-shelf reference designs to rapidly serve developers with different design capabilities.

“Taking any Wearables or IoT project beyond the prototype stage can be a daunting prospect, whether you’re a small startup or an established company making its first foray into new devices”, said Marc Naddell, VP of MediaTek Labs. “To make the path to market easier, MediaTek Labs Partner Connect will help developers find the partners they need to make their ideas a reality”.

To gain access to Partner Connect matchmaking services, Labs member companies submit their Wearables or IoT projects to the Labs confidential Device Solutions Catalog and select the “Seeking Partner” option. MediaTek Labs will then help evaluate the business case and technical feasibility of the device, and, once vetted and approved, a partner manager will get to work finding the right partners in MediaTek’s network.

MediaTek Labs Partner Connect is the latest initiative to expand the company’s 17-year legacy of working closely across a wide ecosystem of TV, phone, tablet, navigation, router, gaming and multimedia customers. Over the years, MediaTek has provided efficient, turnkey solutions that give these clients a cost-effective and rapid time to market for their new devices and has taken many start-ups from humble beginnings to established, global enterprises. Now MediaTek is extending partner network to developers and makers in the Wearables and IoT space through MediaTek Labs Partner Connect.

To hear more about MediaTek Labs and see live demos of its unique offerings for developers, visit MediaTek’s booth at Mobile World Congress – Hall 6, Stand 6E21. To learn more about MediaTek Labs Partner Connect, visit http://labs.mediatek.com/partners.

Mar 2, 2015:
Introduction to MediaTek Cloud Sandbox

When prototyping Wearables and IoT devices, you may want to collect, sort and visualize the data captured by your prototype. You may also want to test how your device could be controlled remotely and make these features available to testers and collaborators.

To save you from having to find and pay for cloud services, MediaTek Cloud Sandbox offers you a free service that you can use to quickly prototype your planned cloud implementation.

Using a RESTful API you collect data from your devices, which you can view in a powerful web-based dashboard. The dashboard offers a range of display and graphing options. Then you can control your Wearables and IoT devices by issuing commands from the dashboard. In addition, a complementary smartphone app lets you review collected data and control your devices from anywhere.

Key Features

  • Define Wearables and IoT prototype device data and other properties
  • Define data types such as geo-location, temperature, humidity and more
  • Create multiple devices from one profile
  • Push and Pull data between a device and the sandbox using a RESTful API
  • Remotely control devices using states, such as switch-state and more
  • Visualize data graphically
  • Receive notifications when data are collected or changed
  • Manage and control remotely, using the complementary mobile app
  • Create reports about prototypes and collected data
  • Perform FOTA firmware updates
  • Control access to data and devices with granular security control
  • Includes full API reference, FAQ and set of tutorials

Access MediaTek Cloud Sandbox

MediaTek Labs Helps Simplify Wearables and IoT Development with Free Cloud Service

MediaTek Cloud Sandbox accelerates device prototyping by offering developers a complimentary cloud service to host prototype-device data

SPAIN, Barcelona – March 2, 2015 – MediaTek Labs, today announced general availability of its new Cloud Sandbox data platform to better help developers bring their ideas to life for the Internet of Things (IoT). The new service, which is free to all registered MediaTek Labs members globally, offers convenient storage of and access to data from wearable and IoT devices during prototyping.

“MediaTek recognizes the importance of a cloud-based IoT platform and playground to service developers and makers who are prototyping wearable or IoT devices”, said Marc Naddell, VP of MediaTek Labs. “With this complimentary offering from MediaTek Labs, IoT developers no longer need to set up and manage their own web server or source third-party cloud platform services. Instead they can focus on their IoT device prototyping and value proposition, accelerating the time from solution ideation to prototype and proof-of-concept”.

A considerable challenge for developers in the early stages of device creation is not only the management of large amounts of data but also a convenient and simple way to visualize the data and demo prototypes to collaborators. MediaTek Cloud Sandbox helps solve this with a variety of invaluable features , including:

  • Data storage and visual charting
  • Data monitoring with notifications
  • Device remote control
  • Firmware upgrades over-the-air (FOTA)
  • RESTful API support, TCP socket connection
  • Web or mobile app based access

MediaTek Cloud Sandbox (MCS) will be on display in MediaTek’s booth at Mobile World Congress – Hall 6, Stand 6E21 – with three compelling demonstrations, including:

  1. Wine Brewer – A MediaTek LinkIt™ ONE development board implementation that won first prize in ITRI Mobilehero 2014 competition in Taiwan.
  2. Weather Station – A LinkIt ONE development board implementation that gathers and pushes real-time temperature, humidity and pressure data to MCS, and is able to have its fan controlled from MCS and the MCS companion mobile app.
  3. MediaTek LinkIt Connect 7681 demo – A LinkIt Connect 7681 development board implementation and its companion mobile app to demonstrate real-time LED color control.

MediaTek Labs was launched in September 2014 and continues to provide developers, makers and service providers with SDKs, HDKs and documentation, as well as technical and business support. To learn more about MediaTek Cloud Sandbox and get access , visit http://labs.mediatek.com/mcs .


MediaTek Ventures Logo
II/5. MediaTek Ventures launches to enable a new generation of world-class companies

MediaTek Allocates US$300m to Invest in New Business Opportunities

SPAIN, Barcelona March1, 2015 – MediaTek, today announced the launch of MediaTek Ventures – a new strategic investment arm within the company.  Headquartered in Hsinchu, Taiwan, MediaTek Ventures will initially invest in startups in Greater China, Europe, Japan and North America, with a US$300m reserve.

MediaTek Ventures will actively invest into innovative startups in semiconductor-system-and devices, Internet infrastructure, services and IoT, with the goal of creating a collaborative ecosystem around MediaTek’s corporate objectives in communication, computing, online media and analytics.  Investments will include all stages of funding with a disciplinary approach focused on value creation.  Through MediaTek Ventures, the company is seeking to extend its 17 year heritage of innovation to the broader electronics value-chain, diversify product solutions, and monetize opportunities with the next generation of entrepreneurs.

“We will not constrain ourselves to any single region in pursuit of innovation and excellence. Through MediaTek Ventures, a new generation of world-class companies will be empowered. We are excited to enable entrepreneurs and start-ups in achieving their dreams and fostering companies that have the potential to create value to end-users around the world and solve the world’s biggest problems”, said David Ku, Chief Financial Officer, MediaTek.

Further details on the company’s investment strategy and roadmaps will be made available in the second half of 2015.

Entities interested in investment by MediaTek should send proposals to: ventures@mediatek.com. For more information, please visit www.mediatekventures.com.

March 5, 2015: MediaTek CFO David Ku on MediaTek Ventures at MWC 2015

MediaTek Ventures - Mission and current investment amount

MediaTek Investment Focus

MediaTek Cross-Platform Synergy and User Experience

MediaTek Geographic Focus

III. Stealth Strategic Initiatives (MWC 2015 timeframe)

III/1. SoC for Android Wear and Android based standalone wearables

Note that this initiative is also for the standalone Android based wearables (i.e. working with no reliance on an Android based smarthone) as shown by the new production line of MediaTek’s lead and pilot partner Burg Wearables: Android 4.4 based Smart 3G & WiFi WatchPhones of 55g weight (and up), 10mm depth (and up) [this same blog, March 15, 2015]

Charbax: Best of MWC: MediaTek MT2601 Smartwatch and Smart Glass!!

MediaTek launches their MT2601 Android Wear ready (soon) Smartwatch platform, and also they show off their Kopin micro LCD Smart Glass solution on MediaTek Aster MT2502. In my opinion, these are the best looking Smartwatch and Smartglass at Mobile World Congress 2015. The Smartwatch that MediaTek is showing is designed by GoerTek and it runs Android 4.4 for now but Android 5.0 with Android Wear UI is coming soon for the MT2601 platform according to MediaTek. MediaTek MT2502 is running an ARM11 core to run the MediaTek LinkIt OS while MediaTek MT2601 is a dual-core ARM Cortex-A7 to run a full Android Lollipop with Android Wear soon supported! This is perhaps the optimal low cost Smartwatch and Smart Glass solution for the market, finally available from MediaTek, with soon to come Lollipop thus Android Wear supported.

Specs of the GoerTek MediaTek MT2601 Smartwatch:
– 1.5” circular TFT LCD 320×320
– IPX7 waterproofing
– BT/BLE, Wi-Fi, GPS, 3G cellular supported
– Android 4.4 OS (Lollipop Android Wear soon!)
– PPG heart-rate sensing
– Built-in microphone and speaker

Remark: This GoerTek smartwatch uses the same MediaTek technology than the WatchPhones from Burg Wearables. The software technology is however quite better on the latter ones.

MediaTek Introduces MT2601 in Support of Google’s Android Wear Software

Higher energy efficiency and reduced component count of MT2601 in relation to competition translate into significant cost, size and usage time benefits

Las Vegas – Jan. 6, 2015 – MediaTek, a leading fabless semiconductor company for wireless communications and digital multimedia solutions, today announced its MT2601 System on Chip (SoC) for wearable devices based on Google’s Android Wear software. By enabling Android Wear on MT2601, MediaTek is offering a comprehensive platform solution for device makers to implement their own hardware and software, and introduces a multitude of possibilities in Android Wear devices for the fast-growing consumer class globally.

The MT2601 packs a robust set of features in its small size with 41.5 percent fewer components and lower current consumption when compared with other chipsets in the market. Its design advantages translate into lower bill of materials (BoM) costs, smaller printed circuit board (PCB) size and longer battery life, which in turn yield fashionable wearable devices with long usage times and affordable prices.

The MT2601 includes 1.2 GHz dual-core ARM Cortex-A7, ARM Mali-400 MP GPU, and supports qHD display resolution. The MT2601 interfaces with a whole host of external sensors and the wireless connectivity SoC MT6630 for Bluetooth – all in a PCBA footprint of less than 480 mm2. This small PCB size meets the design requirements of the widest variety of wearable devices in sports and fitness, location tracking, and various other categories. MediaTek is a strong supporter of Android Wear and will continue to evolve MT2601 to align with the Android Wear road map.

“The MT2601 has an incredibly small die size and is highly optimized for cost and power performance. The platform solution, comprised of MT2601 integrated with Android Wear software, will fuel the maker revolution and empower the application developer community worldwide to create a broad range of innovative applications and services,” said J.C. Hsu, General Manager of New Business Development at MediaTek.

The MT2601 is in mass production now and ready for inclusion in Android Wear devices.

Mediatek Announces MT6630, World’s First Five-in-One Combo Wireless Connectivity SOC for Mobile Devices

TAIWAN, Hsinchu – 25 February, 2014 – Mediatek today announced MT6630, the world’s first five-in-one combo wireless system-on-a-chip (SOC) to support full featured smartphones, tablets and other premium mobile devices.

The MT6630 dramatically reduces the component count and eBOM while improving ease-of-design for manufacturers by eliminating external low noise amplifiers (LNAs) and integrating the Wi-Fi 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz power amplifiers (PAs), Bluetooth PA, and transmit-receive (T/R) switch into a PCBA footprint less than 65 mm2.

Key features

  • Dual-band single-stream 802.11a/b/g/n/ac with 20/40/80MHz channel bandwidth
  • 802.11v time of flight protocol support and management engines to enable higher accuracy of indoor positioning via Wi-Fi
  • Advanced support for Wi-Fi Direct Services and Miracast™ optimization for easier pairing, increased robustness, advanced use-cases and lower power
  • Bluetooth 4.1 with Classic, High-Speed and Low-Energy support, and ANT+ for compatibility with the latest fitness tracking, health monitoring and point of information devices and applications
  • Concurrent tri-band reception of GPS, GLONASS, Beidou, Galileo and QZSS with industry leading sensitivity, low power, positioning accuracy, and the longest prediction engine
  • FM transceiver with RDS/RBDS
  • Integrated engines and algorithms for full concurrent operation and co-existence, including industry-leading throughput during LTE transmission

MT6630 delivers full concurrent operation of all 5 systems operating at maximum compute intensity with no degradation compared to single-system operation while offloading the mobile device CPU for design ease and extended battery life.

As a focus on low power and digital home convergence, the MT6630 uses a configurable PA architecture to save current at commonly used power levels, including those used for Miracast™ Wi-Fi Direct services. MT6630 implements advanced co-existence techniques, including for LTE to deliver industry-leading throughputs. MT6630 also supports Wi-Fi diversity for premium smartphones and tablets to improve antenna angle sensitivity and handheld scenarios.

“MT6630 makes it simple for manufacturers to bring mobile devices to market with sophisticated wireless features, lower power and uncompromised performance,” said SR Tsai, General Manager of MediaTek’s Connectivity Business Unit. “MT6630 furthers MediaTek’s focus to deliver the best experiences across the digital home and mobile applications by using its unique leadership position in digital TV host processors, smartphone platforms, and connectivity.”

The small-footprint design is available in 5 x 5mm WLCSP (Wafer Level Chip Scale Package) or a 7 x 7mm QFN (Quad Flat No-Leads) and requires only 44 components, which is around half that of other integrated wireless solutions.

Mediatek MT6630 is sampling now and complements the recently announced MT6595 octa-core SOC with LTE for premium mobile devices. The first commercially available devices to use MT6630 are expected in the second half of 2014.

Then there is a MediaTek Protea platform for Android based wearables:

For mobile networking the optional parts of the Protea have the following characteristics:
– 2G Quad Band GSM (900/1800/850/1900)
– 3G Mono Band WCDMA (2100 or 1900) GPRS, EDGE, HSDAP, HSDAP+


Potential generic tags when clustered (selected ones are in blue):

#1 CLUSTER:
strategy: 671,000,000
business development“: 164,000,000
time to market“:  70,200,000
ecosystem: 53,200,000
marketing strategy“: 34,500,000
business strategy“: 25,800,000
rebranding: 6,750,000
strategy development“: 5,720,000
market strategy“: 1,430,000
developer program“: 751,000
strategic investment“: 609,000
corporate objectives” 526,000
partner ecosystem“: 397,000
design partners“: 439,000
supply chain partners“: 331,000
investment focus“: 364,000
reduce time to market“: 305,000
business development strategy“: 417,000
strategy development process“: 268,000
ecosystem partners“: 177,000
innovative startups“: 159,000
enable entrepreneurs“: 39,300
semiconductor market“: 244,000
smartphone strategy“: 77,700
strategic reasoning” 58,200
semiconductor vendors“: 49,000
SoC market“: 28,800
chip strategy“: 17,000
SoC vendors“: 11,300
“semiconductor strategy”: 9,280
“SoC strategy”: 4,330
“fabless strategy”: 3,840
“MediaTek strategy”: 616

#2 CLUSTER:
SoC: 238,000,000
quad-core“: 60,700,000
octa-core“: 2,660,000
smartphone chip“: 207,000
mobile SoC“: 63,400
smartphone SoC“: 43,700
SoC family“: 35,500
tablet SoC“: 23,500
SoC market“: 28,700
smartphone SoC market“: 14,200
SoC vendors“: 11,300
system on a chip“: 733,000
system on chip“: 625,000
fabless semiconductor“: 323,000
“fabless semiconductor vendors”: 4,890

#3 CLUSTER:
smartphone market“: 964,000
“phone market”: 632,000
“high-end”: 159,000,000
high-end market“: 425,000
LTE-Smartphone“: 605,000
“high-end phone”: 221,000
high-end smartphone“: 444,000
high-end smartphone market“: 67,900
“premium phone”: 356,000
premium smartphone“: 348,000
“premium smartphones”: 94,400
premium market“: 467,000
superphone: 435,000
superphones: 264,000
“superphone market”: 4,640
super-mid“: 177,000
“super-mid market”: 5610
“super mid-range”: 5570
mid-range“: 61,000,000
mid-range smartphone“: 400,000
“mid-range smartphones”: 153,000
“mid-range market”: 89,500
mid range smartphones: 2,460,000
best mid range android phone: 15,800,000
android phone“: 30,200,000
android smartphone“: 13,800,000

#4 CLUSTER:
tablets: 578,000,000
Android tablet“: 22,200,000
Android tablets“: 15,100,000
tablet market“: 919,000
premium tablet“: 152,000
high-end tablet“: 111,000
tablet chips“: 26,000
“high-end tablet market”: 8,450
“premium tablet market”: 8,050

#5 CLUSTER:
64-bit“: 135,000,000
forefront of technology“: 8,740,000
“64-bit computing”: 411,000
extreme performance“: 630,000
CPU+GPU“: 1,010,000
heterogeneous computing“: 312,000
“Heterogeneous System Architecture”: 60,100
“Heterogeneous Multi-Processing”: 42,800
“heterogeneous computing with OpenCL”: 15,400
big.LITTLE“: 863,000
“ARM big.LITTLE”: 95,800
“big.LITTLE Architecture”: 22,400
“big.LITTLE computing”: 18,400
“big.LITTLE cluster”: 16,600
multi-core processing“: 153,000
GPU compute“: 92,300
display technology“: 1,070,000
HDTV: 84,200,000
“power efficiency”: 819,000
premium mobile computing“: 762,000
“premium mobile computing experience”: 17,800
LTE: 170,000,000
“LTE World Mode”: 3,220
“LTE WorldMode”: 2,280
“LTE with CDMA”: 3,660
integrated CDMA2000“: 13,400
development platform“: 928,000
reference design“: 940,000
cloud computing“: 114,000,000

E-Ink Innovations and new commercial products at IFA 2014

E-Ink Innovations @ IFA 2014 [lesen.net YouTube channel, Sept 5, 2014]

New commercial products:

  1. Sony
  2. Alcatel E-Ink Cover [SmartCover] –> E-Card (or TCL Phone Cover)

1. Sony

Sony expands SmartWear Experience range with two new additions for Lifelog – SmartBand Talk and SmartWatch 3 [Sony Mobile press release, Sept 3, 2014]

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    • SmartWear Experience is Sony’s vision for smart, wearable technology founded on three principles: lifelogging, flexible style and intelligent notifications
    • SmartBand Talk is a powerful lifelogger, bringing call handling and voice control from your wrist, with an always-on curved 1.4” e-paper display
    • SmartWatch 3 is the first smartwatch specifically designed for the latest Android Wear updates
    • Desktop web interface, and open API for Lifelog app later in 2014, bringing new experiences and further opportunity for personalisation
    • Announcement of Roxy collaboration for limited edition SmartBand SWR10 styles

Sony Mobile today announced the addition of two new products to its SmartWear Experience range, Sony SmartBand Talk and SmartWatch 3. Both talk to the popular Lifelog, the accompanying app designed to help you understand more about the way to live and move, so you can improve and enrich your life.

SmartWear from Sony – waterproof* wearable technology [Sony Experia YouTube channel, Sept 3, 2014]

Looking for innovative wearable tech? SmartBand, SmartBand Talk, and SmartWatch 3 are waterproof* and wearable 24/7. Log your life, smash your fitness goals, and automatically track activities. The sleek and durable designs in a range of contemporary colours mean you stay stylish – wherever you are, whatever the weather.

SmartWatch 3 from Sony – The stylish way to handle music, calls and life logging.

The time has come to wear Android technology on your wrist. A beautiful stainless steel silver core unit lies within the changeable wrist straps, so SmartWatch 3 changes as often as your wardrobe does. Experience real time life logging and the power to handle messages and calls even when your hands are full. With waterproof* durability, SmartWatch 3 will even work come rain or shine. It’s here, it’s waiting and it’s all in the details.

Keep up with your life with the Lifelog Android app from Sony

Connect your Sony SmartWear to the innovative Lifelog app on your Xperia smartphone, then automatically track your activities day and night. Whether you’re walking, running, or even climbing stairs, Lifelog tracks your movements, communications, entertainment and physical activity then lets you look back on the day to see where you went and how you got there – including pictures you took and music you listened to. Why track only steps and calories when you can log your whole day?

SmartBand Talk – waterproof* wearable technology from Sony

SmartBand Talk from Sony doesn’t just make great arm candy, it can also handle calls, activity tracking, and voice commands. Why settle for good tech, when you have have great tech?

Sony Smartband Talk – innovative wearable technology and call handling

Experience the innovative freedom of wearable waterproof technology with Sony Smartband Talk. Equipped with intelligent Lifelog technology that tracks your activity 24/7, a smart E-Ink display and voice control straight from your wrist. Take calls on the run, view appointments at a glance and listen to your favourite music, hands-free.

“Life is a journey, and journeys are made up of stories and experiences that define you – this is the underlying principle for Lifelog, the Android app at the heart of our SmartWear Experience. We’re going beyond mere fitness tracking and number crunching, to help you log and preserve those emotional moments that matter” said Kunimasa Suzuki, President and CEO, Sony Mobile Communications. ”As a pioneer of smart and wearable technology, SmartBand Talk, SmartWatch 3 and Lifelog don’t merely affirm Sony’s leadership in the space, but as the innovators who dare to be different – bringing the world choice; products and services no else can, or will.”

SmartBand Talk – a powerful lifelogging wearable, with intuitive features

SmartBand Talk is a powerful lifelogger, built for users who live life to the fullest.

With its built-in microphone and speaker, SmartBand Talk comes equipped with a short call function so you can talk into it and hear your caller, with HD Voice support – perfect for when you’re on the move or your phone is out of reach. Through Sony’s integrated Voice Control1technology, you can also assign your own sounds to life bookmarks and use your voice to carry out specific smartphone operations.

SmartBand Talk’s curved, always-on 1.4” e-paper display is a fresh creative approach, based on consumer feedback. It’s low-power but highly visible and clear; you can monitor Lifelog activity, view notifications and the time at a glance.

New built-in accelerometer and altimeter sensor technology feels how you move – and how much – to provide an accurate overview of your daily physical activity; whether it be walking, running or climbing. You can see how active you were and how you have been communicating, as it pulls all of your information from your smartphone and then enables you to view it on its  e-paper display screen, wherever and whenever you like.

As you’d expect, SmartBand Talk is waterproof2 (IP68 rated), and launch styles will include Black and White, with extra vibrant colours available later in the year – so something for everyone, whether blending in with your work clothes or a fun accessory to a casual outfit, allowing you to express your individual style.

SmartWatch 3 – Sony’s latest generation “smartwatch”, powered by Android Wear

After leading the market since 2007, SmartWatch 3 is Sony’s latest generation SmartWatch, but the first specifically designed for the latest Android Wear updates in close collaboration with Google. This partnership matches Sony’s leadership in smart, wearable products with Google’s software and platform expertise to create a unique wearable experience founded on both hardware and software innovation.

Android Wear organizes your information, suggests what you need, and shows it to you before you even ask. You can get messages from your friends, appointment notifications, and weather updates at a glance. It could be flight information, tips based on your interests or messages of any kind, so user input is seldom necessary. But if you need to interact with Android Wear, voice is easiest way.

Even without your Android smartphone, SmartWatch 3 is a fun and useful accessory with impressive standalone functionality. The built-in microphone, and Accelerometer, Compass, Gyro and GPS sensor technology means more accurate, more powerful lifelogging.

SmartWatch 3 offers significant step ups from SmartWatch 2, including a 1.6” 320×320 TFT LCD Transflective display for visibility in bright sunlight, set within a stainless steel back panel, for a premium look and feel. It is of course waterproof, rated IP683 – and charges via a standard microUSB port.

It has a built-in 4GB local memory, that means you can sync playlists, and simply connect with a Bluetooth headset to listen. You can do this before a run, leaving the smartphone at home and still have great music offline – you can also track that run with GPS and Lifelog.

It will be available in Classic (Black) and Sport (Lime) editions, with extra colour straps available in Pink and White after launch.

Lifelog – a personal Android application, that captures and tells your story

Downloadable from the Google Play Store, Lifelog is a fun Android app built to enable you to set and achieve goals, bookmark memorable moments, and revisit memories any time, so that you get to know yourself better.

SmartBand Talk and SmartWatch 3 both enable and present lifelogging activity and data on the wrist, but also connect to the application on your Android smartphone via Bluetooth® and NFC, once you connect to your Sony Entertainment Network3 account.

Sony is previewing a new web interface login for Lifelog, accessible from the Sony Mobile website later this year, designed to give users even more visibility and control over their lifestyle data. And, during 2014, Sony will open up the API for partners to integrate services with Lifelog or build completely fresh experiences.

Sony outlined that together with accessories brand Proporta, it would soon share SmartBand SWR10 collections featuring licensed designs from leading labels, Ted Baker and Barbour.

Sony also introduced a new collaboration with famous and popular lifestyle brand – Roxy, the female surf, snowboard, clothing and accessories brand – to bring limited edition SmartWear styles to market later this year.

SmartBand Talk and SmartWatch 3 – the fashionable new additions to Sony’s SmartWear Experience range will launch later in Autumn 2014.

Notes
SmartBand Talk     SmartWatch 3     SmartWear


2. Alcatel E-Ink Cover [SmartCover] –> E-Card (or TCL Phone Cover)

From ALCATEL ONETOUCH unveils the [6” phablet] HERO – their headline act at IFA 2013 [press release, Sept 4, 2013]

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Extend your display with the E Ink Cover. Read newspapers and magazines on a second screen with this fresh digital experience. The technology enables users to read as if physical ink and paper on their mobile device with the stable image and wider viewing angle.

E Ink SmartCover [prototype] for Alcatel One Touch Hero [ARMdevices.net YouTube channel, Sept 16, 2013]

The Alcatel One Touch Hero has a E Ink display cover which can display system functions and can act as a second screen for reading ebooks. The E Ink cover attaches to the device using a docking pin on the side of the device. The E Ink screen by displaying content rather than having the LCD do it you save power. The final version of the cover will have the ability to magnetically clip to the back. The E Ink cover at this time only supports the built in e-reader app but 3rd support should come in the future. The One touch hero has a 6″ full hd screen with pen support, the MT6589T 1.5Ghz Quad-core processor, 8gb and 16gb options with Micro SD expansion, 2gb of ram, and 3400mah battery.

From ALCATEL ONETOUCH unveils the HERO 2 [press release, Sept 4, 2014]

HERO 2: the centre of a smart ecosystem built to users’ needs

With a host of companion devices, HERO 2 adapts to every need. It is the centre of an ecosystem of creative connected devices that users can carry, put on their desk or connect to their TV. An array of MagicFlip covers provide customised capabilities: MagicFlip DJ for music, MagicFlip LED lights up with information about missed calls, alerts or the time.

With the compact companion device Sidekick 2, users can remotely control TV, music and more. It also acts as an extension to users’ phones, allowing them to access messages, contact lists and more. The portable E-Card allows users to read notes, maps, e-books with the comfort of paper. The SmartBook functions as a smartphone in laptop form, while TVLink connects the HERO 2 to larger screens wirelessly.

With these features, accessories and companion devices, ALCATEL ONETOUCH ensures a truly versatile experience through connectivity to multiple screens. Everyone can invent their own personalized HERO 2, and unleash their unique creativity.

The HERO 2 will be available on the market in September 2014.

Reading comics with E-Card [Michael Zhou YouTube channel, July 2, 2014]

E-Card is a reading companion with E Ink display. It’s a convenient and eyestrain free pocket reading device. It’s easy to read content stored on your mobile phone via bluetooth. And also support Notifications(Incoming call, SMS, E-Mail, Alarm), weather and push images. The following is the demonstration of reading comics via E-Card.

Chinese smartphone brands to conquer the global market?

The smartphone market in China became saturated between Q3’12 and Q4’13 as per the below chart from Analysys International (EnfoDesk):

image

Note that this chart corresponds to Chinese writing traditions, i.e. in Q2’11 16.81 million smartphones and 51.01 million feature phones were sold, while in Q4’13 97.63 million smartphones and 9.2 million feature phones. Source: 易观分析:2013年第4季度中国手机销量增速放缓,智能手机市场呈现饱和态势 (Analysys analysis: China mobile phone sales growth slowed in the fourth quarter of 2013, the smart phone market is saturated) [EnfoDesk, March 11, 2014]

Chinese Handset Vendors Will Account for Over 50% of Mobile Handset Sales in 2015 [ABI Research press release, March 10, 2014]

ABI Research reports that Chinese handset vendors will account for over 50% of mobile handsets in 2015. Chinese vendors already accounted for 38% of mobile handset shipments in 2013 and the ongoing shift in growth to low cost handsets, especially smartphones, will increase their market share.

Greater China has long dominated the mobile handset manufacturing supply chain, but now its OEMs are beginning to dominate sales at the expense of the traditional handset OEMs, including even Samsung.

Many of the Chinese OEMs have focused almost exclusively on the huge Chinese market, with little activity beyond its borders, but this is set to change. Huawei (6th in worldwide market share for 2013) and ZTE (5th) have already made an impact on the world stage, but other Chinese handset OEMs like Lenovo—the Motorola acquisition is a clear statement of intent—and Xiaomi are set to join them.

Chinese vendors already take up five of the top ten places in terms of worldwide market share, despite three of them only really shipping into China. The Chinese vendors highlight the changing shape of the mobile handset market, as the Chinese manufacturing ecosystem, specifically reference designs, enable the next wave of smartphone growth in low cost emerging markets and amongst price conscious consumers everywhere,” said Nick Spencer, senior practice director, mobile devices.

“South East Asia has already experienced this trend, but ABI Research expects to see the impact of these Chinese vendors increasing in all emerging markets and even advanced markets, especially on prepay,” added Spencer.

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The New Phone Giants: Indian And Chinese Manufacturers’ Fast Rise To Threaten Apple And Samsung [Business Insider India, March 15, 2014]

The top Indian and Chinese smartphone manufacturers are classically disruptive. They produce products that are “good enough,” at a fraction of the cost of comparable models from premium brands. These ultra low-cost devices are the key to nudging consumers in massively untapped markets like India and Indonesia onto smartphones.

And these companies are starting to aim higher – producing 4G LTE smartphones that have the same processing power as Samsung and Apple premium devices.

They’re also far more innovative than they’re given credit for in terms of their strategy, supply chain management, and hardware.

In a new report from BI Intelligence, we explain why global consumer Internet and mobile companies will increasingly need to work with companies like Xiaomi and Micromax – not to mention Lenovo, Huawei, ZTE, Coolpad, Karbonn, and others – if they don’t want to miss out on mobile’s next growth phase in emerging markets

  • Major local manufacturers now account for two-fifths of China’s smartphone market, and one-fourth of India’s. Xiaomi already sells four of the top 10 best-selling Android devices in China, and operates one of the top five app stores.
  • Combined, the top five manufacturers in China and the top two in India – the “Local 7” in the chart above – are now shipping about 65 million smartphones every quarter, more than Apple, and coming close to drawing even with Samsung.
  • These local manufacturers wield influence in various ways. They run their own successful app stores, mobile operating systems, and mobile services. They also hold the keys to which apps are preloaded on their phones. When BlackBerry wanted to take its BBM messaging service for Android into India, it signed a deal with Micromax.
  • The local manufacturers are not provincial outfits producing knock-offs, as some might be inclined to assume. But their main competitive tool, for now, remains price. Local manufacturers in China and India match the features of more expensive devices and manage to produce comparable hardware at a fraction of the price. A Micromax handset comparable to Apple’s iPhone 5C costs less than one-fourth as much.
  • Xiaomi has used a four-point strategy in its three-year rise to produce four of the most popular phone models in China. We discuss all four aspects, including tight inventory management and crowdsourcing product development feedback.
  • These manufacturers will continue to expand overseas, in search of new growth opportunities. Micromax is in Nepal, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka. Xiaomi has its eyes on Malaysia and Brazil. Huawei is already in the U.S. For example, it sells a 4G LTE handset on MetroPCS.

Smartphone Prices Race to the Bottom as Emerging Markets Outside of China Come into the Spotlight for Future Growth, According to IDC [press release, Feb 24, 2014]

Singapore and London, February 24, 2014 – Emerging markets have become the center of attention when talking about present and future smartphone growth. According to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, in 2013 the worldwide smartphone market surpassed 1 billion units shipped, up from 752 million in 2012. This boom has been mainly powered by the China market, which has tripled in size over the last three years. China accounted for one out of every three smartphones shipped around the world in 2013, equaling 351 million units.

Recently the surge in growth has started to slow as smartphones already account for over 80% of China’s total phone sales. The next half billion new smartphone customers will increasingly come mainly from poorer emerging markets, notably India and in Africa.

“The China boom is now slowing,” said Melissa Chau, Senior Research Manager for mobile devices at IDC Asia/Pacific. “China is becoming like more mature markets in North America and Western Europe, where smartphone sales growth is slackening off.”

Emerging markets in Asia/Pacific outside of China, together with the Middle East and Africa, Central and Eastern Europe, and Latin America, account for four fifths of the global feature phone market, according to IDC data. “This is a very big market opportunity,” said Simon Baker, Program Manager for mobile phones at IDC CEMA. “Some 660 million feature phones were shipped last year, which could add two thirds to the size of the current global smartphone market.”

India will be key to future smartphone growth as it represents more than a quarter of the global feature phone market. “Growth in the India market doesn’t rely on high-end devices like the iPhone, but in low-cost Android phones. Nearly half of the smartphones shipped in India in 2013 cost less than US$120,” said Kiranjeet Kaur, Senior Market Analyst for mobile phones at IDC Asia/Pacific.

“Converting feature phone sales to smartphone sales implies a relentless push towards low cost,” added Baker. IDC research shows nearly half the mobile handsets sold across the world have retail prices of less than US$100 without sales tax. Two thirds of those have prices of less than US$50.

“The opportunity gets larger the lower the price falls,” continued Baker. “If you take retail prices without sales tax, in 2013 nearly three quarters of the US$100-125 price tier was already accounted for by smartphones. Within US$75-100 the proportion was down to just over half, and between $50-75 it was not much more than a third.”

Many smartphone vendors have begun gearing up for this next wave of cost pressure. Samsung is increasingly switching production to Vietnam, where manufacturing costs currently undercut mainland China. Even Hon Hai, one of the largest contract manufacturers for handsets in China, has announced plans for a plant in Indonesia to furnish a lower production cost base.

In addition to the table below, an interactive graphic showing worldwide sub-$100 feature phone shipments by region is available here. The chart is intended for public use in online news articles and social media. Instructions on how to embed this graphic can be found by viewing this press release on IDC.com.

Worldwide Sub-$100 Feature Phone Shipments by Region, 2013

Region

Shipments (M Units)

India

212.3

Middle East & Africa

150.0

Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan, China, and India)

140.7

Latin America

76.4

PRC

68.1

Central & Eastern Europe

43.6

Western Europe

39.8

North America

13.9

Total

744.9

Source: IDC Worldwide Mobile Phone Tracker, February 24, 2014

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Analysys International: Xiaomi Ranked Among Top Five in Q4, 2013 [March 11, 2014]

The statistics from EnfoDesk, the Survey of China Mobile Terminals Market in Q4, 2013, newly released by Analysys International, shows that the market share of Samsung, Lenovo, Huawei, Coolpad and Xiaomi ranked the top five of China smartphone in Q4, 2013. The market share of Samsung shrink slightly over the previous quarter, but it still accounted for 15.07 percent of smartphone market and maintain the leading position.

The release of Apple‘s new product has brought efficiency in Q4, and its market share slightly rebounded. Owning to the release of MI3 (Xiaomi), the market share of Xiaomi up 3.85 percentage points compared to the previous quarter. MI3 still should be bought from booking and the booking is relatively frequent. Meanwhile, the purchase restriction of MI2(Xiaomi) and Red MI(Xiaomi) has been relaxed, coupled with the strategic cooperation between Xiaomi and mobile operators, making it easier to buy custom models as well as contributing to the  enlargement of Xiaomi’s market share. It can be expected that Xiaomi will put more energy into the complement of its retail capabilities and continue to increase their market share.

From: UMENG Insight Report – China Mobile Internet 2013 Overview [UMENG, March 12, 2014]

– The number of active smart devices in China exceeded 700 Million by the end of 2013.
– The five fastest growing mobile apps categories (excluding games) are : news, health & fitness, social networking, business, and navigation. These areas will bring new opportunities for developers in 2014.
– Socializing your apps is the key to success for developers. Currently among the top 1,000 apps (apps and games) in the Chinese market, 55% of them provide links to Chinese social networking services (e.g. Sina Weibo, Wechat, QQ, Renren) The amount of app content sharing to social network platforms per mobile Internet user per day has tripled in the last 6 months.
– Social network sharing in game has become incredibly popular on all social networking platforms, 48% of in app sharing traffic to social networks are from games.
– High-end devices (pricing above 500US$) have a significant market share in China, contributing 27% of total devices. These users have dynamic needs on mobile apps . The users of below 150US$ phones prefer casual games for their entertainment requirements.
– The year of 2013 became known as the first year Chinese developers took IP seriously with many developers licensing IP from rights holders. By the end of 2013, among the Top 100 games, 20% license 3rd party IP.
– Over the course of 2013 the percentage of iOS jailbroken devices in the Chinese Mainland fell by 17% to 13% of all devices. Domestic users are becoming more hesitant to jailbreak their devices.

700 Million active smart devices in China

  • By the end of 2013, the number of active smart devices in China had exceeded 700,000,000, including smart phones and tablets.       
  • In the 4th quarter 59% of new devices were bought by smartphone users upgrading their existing hardware. The remaining new devices where bought by users buying their first smartphone. As smartphone use becomes more commonplace in China new sales are increasingly driven by existing users upgrading, rather than from users purchasing their first smartphone.               

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The market for budget Android phones is strong in China with 57% of devices under 330 USD price range. However over a quarter of users are using high-end smart phones costing over 500USD, 80% of these are iPhones.

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Fragmented Android device market

  • In the 4th quarter of 2013, Samsung and XiaoMi (a local brand) prove to be the most popular Android brands as between them they manufacture all of the top 10 active Android devices.
  • However the Android market is still highly fragmented with hundreds of different handsets on the market. Samsung who manufacture many devices in all price ranges control 24% of the device market, while the domestic manufactures are battling it out with the international brands to extend their market share.

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  • In 2013, changes to device connectivity saw a large growth in WiFi connectivity, from 38% at the beginning of  the year to 52% at year end. Mobile Internet infrastructure has become better in China. However Chinese users are still price sensitive to mobile data tariff.       

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  • Glossary:   
    Active Device: active device refers to device which has activated at least one app covered by Umeng platform in the stipulated time frame. All  the “devices” in the report refers to “active devices”, not the actual shipment.

  • Data Source:   
    Analysis data in the report is based on over 210,000 Android and iOS apps from the Umeng platform. All data was collected from January to December 2013.

From: More than 247 million mobile handsets shipped in India during CY 2013, a Y-o-Y growth of 11.6%; over 70 million mobile handsets shipped in 4Q 2013 alone [CyberMedia Research press release, Feb 26, 2014]

According to CMR’s India Monthly Mobile Handsets Market Review, CY 2013, February 2014 release, India recorded 247.2 million mobile handset shipments for CY (January-December) 2013. During the same period, 41.1 million smartphones were shipped in the country.

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India Smartphones Market

The India smartphones market during 2H 2013 saw a rise in shipments by 60.3% over 1H 2013, taking the overall contribution of smartphones to 16.6% for the full year. Further, 65.8% of the total smartphones shipped in the country were 3G smartphones during CY 2013.

image

Commenting on these results, Tarun Pathak, Lead Analyst, Devices, CMR Telecoms Practicesaid, “CY 2013 was primarily the year of smartphones for the India market, particularly for local handset vendors. A first for the India market was a marginal decline in featurephone shipments on a year-on-year basis. This trend is likely to continue with more vendors focusing on entry level smartphone offerings aimed at the consumer segment.”

“Nearly 70 vendors operated in the highly competitive India smartphones market in CY 2013, with ‘Tier One’ brands like Apple, Samsung, Nokia, Sony, HTC, LG and Blackberry capturing close to 53% of the total smartphones market, followed by India brands capturing close to 43% of total smartphone shipments. The remaining market of roughly 4% smartphone shipments was captured by China OEM brands, where we expect a few more players to enter the India market directly, instead of continuing as ODM partners to Indian brands”, Tarun added.

Rapid Growth In Smartphones Offset The Slump Witnessed In Feature Phone Sales In 4Q13, Says IDC [press release, Feb 26, 2014]

India was one of the fastest growing countries worldwide in terms of smartphone adoption in 2013. According to the International Data Corporation (IDC) in 2013 the smartphone market surpassed 44 million units shipped, up from 16.2 million in 2012.  This surge has been mainly powered by home grown vendors which have shown a tremendous and consistent growth over the past 4 quarters of 2013.

The overall phone market stood at close to 257 million units in CY 2013 – an 18% increase from 218 million units in CY2012.

CY2013 also witnessed a remarkable migration of the user base from feature phones to smartphones primarily due to the narrowing price gaps between these product categories.

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Q413 Perspective:

The India smartphone market grew by 181% year over year (YoY) in the fourth quarter of 2013 (4Q13).  According to International Data Corporation’s (IDC) APEJ Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, vendors shipped a total of 15.06 million smartphones in 4Q13 compared to 5.35 million units in the same period of 2012. 4Q13 grew by almost 18% Quarter-on-Quarter.

The shipment contribution of 5.0inch-6.99inch screen size smartphones (phablets) in 4Q2013 was noted to be around 20% in the overall market. The category grew by 6% in 4Q13 in terms of sheer volume over 3Q13.

The overall mobile phone market (Feature Phones and Smartphones) stood at 67.83 million units, a 16% growth YoY and a meager 2% growth quarter over quarter (QoQ).The share of feature phones slid further to make 78% of the total market in 4Q13, with the market showing a decline of 2% in 4Q13 over 3Q13.

image

The fourth quarter of 2013 witnessed a spike in the smartphone shipments by smaller homegrown vendors like LAVA, Intex which have shown tremendous growth in the past couple of quarters.

“The growth in the smartphone market is being propelled by the launch of low-end, cost competitive devices by international and local vendors which are further narrowing the price gaps that exist between feature phones and smartphones”, said Manasi Yadav, Senior Market Analyst with IDC India.

“The international vendors have understood the importance of creating a diverse portfolio of devices at varied price points and are striving to launch cost competitive devices that cater to every segment in the target audience ” comments Kiran Kumar, Research Manager with IDC India.

Top Five Smartphone Vendor Highlights

Samsung: Samsung maintained its leadership spot with about 38% in terms of market share. Its smartphone shipments grew by close to 37% from 3Q 2013 to 4Q2013. The fourth quarter saw quite a few new launches across price points by Samsung – however the low-end Galaxy portfolio in smartphones contribute to 50% in terms of shipment volumes

Micromax: Micromax held on to its second spot with about 16% in terms of market share in 4Q2013. Some of the top selling models were the entry level smartphones like A35 Bolt and A67. The Canvas range of devices has also done well in terms of volume contribution owing to the marketing campaigns launched around them.

Karbonn: The market share for Karbonn in 4Q2013 was close to 10%, some of the top selling models for this brand were A1+ and A51.

Sony: Sony managed to make a comeback in the top-5 smartphone vendor list in 4Q13 and garnered a market share of 5%. The top selling models included Xperia M Dual and Xperia C handsets, which are targeted at mid-tier price range.

Lava : Lava managed to hold onto the number 5 spot in the top-5 smartphone vendor list. The continued traction around the XOLO and IRIS range of devices helped the vendor garner a market share of 4.7% in 4Q13. Some of the top selling models include the newly launched XOLO A500 S and the existing models like IRIS 402 and IRIS 349.

image

IDC India Forecast:

IDC anticipates the growth in Smartphone segment to outpace the overall handset market growth for the foreseeable future. The end-user shift towards mid-to-high screen size products will be amplified by the declining prices and availability of feature-rich localized product offerings. Vendors who are able to differentiate their offerings at affordable prices will maintain a competitive edge and secure a strong position in the mobile phone market in CY 2014.

From: Gartner Says Annual Smartphone Sales Surpassed Sales of Feature Phones for the First Time in 2013 [press release, Feb 13, 2014]

Worldwide Smartphone Sales to End Users by Vendor in 2013 (Thousands of Units)

Company
2013
Units
2013 Market Share (%)
2012
Units
2012 Market Share (%)
Samsung
299,794.9
31.0
205,767.1
30.3
Apple
150,785.9
15.6
130,133.2
19.1
Huawei
46,609.4
4.8
27,168.7
4.0
LG Electronics
46,431.8
4.8
25,814.1
3.8
Lenovo
43,904.5
4.5
21,698.5
3.2
Others
380,249.3
39.3
269,526.6
39.6
Total
967,775.8
100.0
680,108.2
100.0
Source: Gartner (February 2014)
Worldwide Smartphone Sales to End Users by Vendor in 4Q13 (Thousands of Units)

Company
4Q13
Units
4Q13 Market Share (%)
4Q12
Units
4Q12 Market Share (%)
Samsung
83,317.2
29.5
64,496.3
31.1
Apple
50,224.4
17.8
43,457.4
20.9
Huawei
16,057.1
5.7
8,666.4
4.2
Lenovo
12,892.2
4.6
7,904.2
3.8
LG Electronics
12,822.9
4.5
8,038.8
3.9
Others
106,937.9
37.9
75,099.3
36.2
Total
282,251.7
100.0
207,662.4
100.0
Source: Gartner (February 2014)
Top Smartphone Vendor Analysis
Samsung: While Samsung’s smartphone share was up in 2013 it slightly fell by 1.6 percentage points in the fourth quarter of 2013. This was mainly due to a saturated high-end smartphone market in developed regions. It remains critical for Samsung to continue to build on its technology leadership at the high end. Samsung will also need to build a clearer value proposition around its midrange smartphones, defining simpler user interfaces, pushing the right features as well as seizing the opportunity of bringing innovations to stand out beyond price in this growing segment.
Apple: Strong sales of the iPhone 5s and continued strong demand for the 4s in emerging markets helped Apple see record sales of 50.2 million smartphones in the fourth quarter of 2013.
“However, Apple’s share in smartphone declined both in the fourth quarter of 2013 and in 2013, but growth in sales helped to raise share in the overall mobile phone market,” said Mr. Gupta. “With Apple adding NTT DOCOMO in Japan for the first time in September 2013 and signing a deal with China Mobile during the quarter, we are already seeing an increased growth in the Japanese market and we should see the impact of the last deal in the first quarter of 2014.”
Huawei: Huawei smartphone sales grew 85.3 percent in the fourth quarter of 2013 to maintain the No. 3 spot year over year. Huawei has moved quickly to align its organization to focus on the global market. Huawei’s overseas expansion delivered strong results in the fourth quarter of 2013, with growth in the Middle East and Africa, Asia/Pacific, Latin America and Europe.
Lenovo: Lenovo saw smartphone sales in 2013 increase by 102.3 percent and by 63.1 percent in the fourth quarter of 2013. Lenovo’s Motorola acquisition from Google will give Lenovo an opportunity to expand within the Americas.
“The acquisition will also provide Lenovo with patent protection and allow it to expand rapidly across the global market,” said Mr. Gupta. “We believe this deal is not just about entering into the U.S., but more about stepping out of China.” 
Gartner expects smartphones to continue to drive overall sales in 2014 and an increasing number of manufacturers will realign their portfolios to focus on the low-cost smartphone sector. Sales of high-end smartphones will slow as increasing sales of low- and mid-price smartphones in high-growth emerging markets will shift the product mix to lower-end devices. This will lead to a decline in average selling price and a slowdown in revenue growth.
In the smartphone OS market, Android’s share grew 12 percentage points to reach 78.4 percent in 2013 (see below). The Android platform will continue to benefit from this, with sales of Android phones in 2014 approaching the billion mark.
Worldwide Smartphone Sales to End Users by Operating System in 2013 (Thousands of Units)

Operating System
2013 Units
2013 Market Share (%)
2012 Units
2012 Market Share (%)
Android
758,719.9
78.4
451,621.0
66.4
iOS
150,785.9
15.6
130,133.2
19.1
Microsoft
30,842.9
3.2
16,940.7
2.5
BlackBerry
18,605.9
1.9
34,210.3
5.0
Other OS
8,821.2
0.9
47,203.0
6.9
Total
967,775.8
100.0
680,108.2
100.0
Source: Gartner (February 2014)

2014 will be the last year of making sufficient changes for Microsoft’s smartphone and tablet strategies, and those changes should be radical if the company wants to succeed with its devices and services strategy

For the company’s most recent “ONE Microsoft” strategy see:
Microsoft reorg for delivering/supporting high-value experiences/activities [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, July 11, 2013]
How the device play will unfold in the new Microsoft organization? [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, July 14, 2013]
Update: There are extremely worrying signs on the horizon as per Jan 27, 2014:
MediaTek MT6592-based True Octa-core superphones are on the market to beat Qualcomm Snapdragon 800-based ones UPDATE: from $147+ in Q1 and $132+ in Q2
End of the Nokia “magic” hurting European and Asian consumers while mobile carriers are uncertain about the future under the Microsoft brand
End of Update
As 2014 will be the last year of “free ride” in the smartphone and tablet spaces for ARM-based competitors of Intel – at least what Intel is insisting again [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, Jan 17, 2014] it is time to summarize the ARM-based opportunities for 2014 (note that Intel’s goal in the tablet space is only 40 million units, both Android and Windows):

imageCompare everything to 2014 global notebook demand forecast [DIGITIMES Research, Dec 5, 2013] which estimates that global notebook shipments in 2014 will reach around 160 million units, down from a peak of over 200 million in 2011, but the drop in 2014 will be lower than the on-year drop in 2013, with new market developments, new product opportunities, and changes in the major players’ strategies all playing critical roles in the IT industry’s future trends.

Digitimes Research: Global smartphone shipments to top 1.24 billion units in 2014 [Jan 14, 2014]
Global smartphone shipments are expected to top 1.24 billion units in 2014, with Samsung Electronics, Apple, LG Electronics, Sony Mobile Communications, Lenovo, Huawei [according to the company: 52 million units in 2013 vs 60 million target] , Microsoft, ZTE, Coolpad and TCL serving as top-10 vendors, according to Digitimes Research.
Apple may see its shipments double in 2014 largely due to increased shipments to China and Japan as it will benefit from its cooperation with the largest telecom operators in the two countries, said Digitimes Research.
The growth rate for Samsung will be limited in 2014 as its sales in the US, China and Japan will be depressed by growing popularity of iPhones.
China-based Lenovo, Huawei and Coolpad are expected to step up their efforts to boost sales in overseas markets after being enlisted among the top-10 vendors due to higher shipment volumes in the home market in China.
However, TCL and ZTE will continue to ship smartphones to overseas markets mainly, but will also strengthen sales in China, with domestic sales to account for less than 50% of their total shipments in 2014, commented Digitimes Research.
This article is an excerpt from a Digitimes Research Special Report (2014 global smartphone market forecast).
Digitimes Research: China smartphone-use application processor shipments edge up 2.4% in 4Q13 [Jan 15, 2014]
Shipments of application processors for smartphone applications to China grew 2.4% sequentially and 20.8% on year in the fourth quarter of 2013, according to data compiled by Digitimes Research.
MediaTek saw its AP shipments decline 3.9% sequentially in the fourth quarter due to inventory checks at clients and a high growth recorded in the previous quarter.
However, it was a 20% sequential shipment decline suffered by Qualcomm the fourth quarter that weakened the growth momentum of the application processor sector, said Digitimes Research.
Meanwhile, MediaTek has been shifting its focus to the high-margin segment, instead of seeking high shipment growth. China-based Spreadtrum Communications was hit with high inventory of TD-SCDMA chips and slow sales of its dual- and quad-core solutions, Digitimes Research indicated.
Qualcomm also saw its performance weaken in the fourth quarter as its QRD (Qualcomm reference design) chips were less competitive than those offered by rivals in terms of product features.
This article is an excerpt from a Chinese-language Digitimes Research report. Click here if you are interested in receiving more information about the content and price of a translated version of the full report.
Digitimes Research estimates that in 2014 global tablet shipments will reach 289 million units [Dec 31, 2013]
China white-box makers add extra value to tablets as cost reduction is no longer possible [DIGITIMES Research, Jan 16, 2014]
China white-box players have not been able to lower their Wi-Fi-based tablets’ prices since the third quarter of 2013 because there is no room for further reductions in their BOM costs.
The average BOM cost for a white-box tablet – most of which adopted a dual-core processors – stood at about US$25 as of the fourth quarter of 2013. Dual-core processor pricing could not drop any further, as their average prices came to about US$4, only less than US$1 higher than that of a single-core one.
Memory and 7-inch TN LCD panels are the two key components that account for major shares of white-box tablet BOM costs. However, most panel suppliers have been only willing to upgrade specifications instead of dropping their quotes, and therefore, white-box players have been left with upgrading their devices with better panels without an option of reducing the panel cost.
While cost reduction is no longer a feasible way to attract consumers, many white-box players have turned to push tablets with phone functions to increase their devices’ functionalities and value. The devices also provide higher gross margins for vendors.
Digitimes Research estimates that currently, 80% of white-box tablets are available in countries other than China, because white-box tablets with phone functions have seen rising demand in Russia and other markets in Eastern Europe and Southeast Asia since the second half of 2013.
China white-box players’ partnerships with regional brand vendors in emerging markets have also helped raise local consumers’ demand for tablets with phone functions.
In the first half of 2013, most white-box tablets with phone functions adopted China-based Allwinner Technology’s solution which combined an entry-level single-core processor with a discrete baseband module. However, many white-box device makers have turned to MediaTek solutions for their tablets since the second half of 2013 after the Taiwan-based chipmaker also integrated a baseband chip into its tablet processor solution.
MediaTek’s solution is more expensive, but its support for product development and hardware design has given it an upper hand over competitions. Meanwhile, independent design houses (IDHs), which provide white-box players with product design services, also started to design tablets using MediaTek’s smartphone processors in the second half of 2013, which prompted white-box players to adopt MediaTek’s solutions.
Digitimes Research estimates that tablets with phone functions will account for 40% of 7-inch white-box tablet shipments in 2014, up from 20% in 2013.
image

In 2014, smartphones are expected to continue penetrating rapidly into emerging markets such as Russia, India, Indonesia and Latin America, while China’s smartphone shipments will see weakened on-year growth in the year, but still enormous volume. Within the top-10 smartphone vendors in 2013, four of them are from China and in 2014 more China-based vendors are expected to enter the top 10.
Three China-based handset vendors increase component deliveries [DIGITIMES, Dec 11, 2014]
China-based handset vendors Xiaomi Technology, Gionee and Hisense have been taking increasing deliveries of panels and touch panels from suppliers in preparation for launching new models during the peak period before the 2014 Lunar New Year at the end of January, according to Taiwan-based supply chain makers.
Other China-based vendors including Lenovo, Huawei Device and Oppo have begun to follow suit, the sources indicated.
Xiaomi has seen success in marketing its high-end Xiaomi 3, mid-range Xiaomi 2S and entry-level Hong-mi (Red Rice), the sources noted.
Gionee focuses on marketing high-end smartphones priced above CNY2,000 (US$328) through general retail chains without cooperation with China’s three mobile telecom carriers, the sources indicated. Gionee has shipped more than two million smartphones a quarter so far in 2013.
Hisense is among several licensed vendors of 4G smartphones and has launched the 5-inch X6T, its first 4G smartphone featuring TD-LTE, LTE-FDD, TD-SCDMA, WCDMA and GSM, on 12 frequency bands, the sources noted. Hisense has taken delivery of components for use in more than one million handsets to be launched before the 2014 Lunar New Year, the sources noted.
China market: Xiaomi lowers price for Hongmi smartphone [DIGITIMES, Jan 7, 2014]
China-based vendor Xiaomi Technology has reduced the retail price for its budget TD-SCDMA smartphone, the Hongmi, launched in August 2013, from CNY799 (US$132) to CNY699, heralding upcoming competition in the Android smartphone segment in China, according to industry watchers.
Rival vendor Huawei is likely to counteract by slashing the prices of its Honor-branded budget smartphones, while other local brands in China are also expected to follow suit soon, said the observers.
Optimizing its policy of offering smartphones with high hardware specifications and yet at low prices, Xiaomi has managed to ramp up its shipments to over three million units a month and is expected to ship over 40 million smartphones in 2014, the sources estimated. [According to Xiaomi: “7.2 million devices … in 2012 and 18.7 million …bought in 2013. … for 2014 – the CEO expects forty million Xiamoi smartphones to be bought”]
Asustek expected to ship 2014 target of 5 million smartphones [DIGITIMES, Jan 7, 2014]
Asustek Computer unveiled three ZenFone-series smartphones for the opening of CES 2013. Viewing that ZenFone models have comparatively high price-performance ratios, Asustek will be able to hit its target shipments of five million smartphones for 2014, and is likely to ship 8-10 million units, according to market analysts.
The three ZenFone models will initially launch in the Taiwan, China and Southeast Asia markets in March at contract-free retail prices of US$99 for the 4-inch model, US$149 for the 5-inch, and US$199 for the 6-inch.
All three models are equipped with Intel Atom processors and Asustek will launch 3-4 models also with Atom processors in the second half of 2014, the sources indicated.
Since Intel has offered incentives to attract PC vendors to adopt its platforms for smartphones, Asustek is expected to procure Atom processors at discount prices and receive subsidies from Intel for marketing the devices, the sources said.
Asustek likely to release smartphone orders to China ODMs in 2H14, says paper [DIGITIMES, Jan 15, 2014]
Asustek Computer does not rule out the possibility of tying up with handset ODMs in China for the production of smartphones in the second half of 2014, the Chinese-language Economic Daily News (EDN) has quoted company CEO Jerry Shen as saying.
After unveiling five new models at the recently concluded CES 2014, Asustek plans to launch another five smartphones in the second half of the year, and therefore it needs more ODMs to support production, Shen was quoted as indicating.
The three ZenFone-series smartphones out of the five models unveiled by Asustek at CES 2014, with displays sized in 4-, 5-, and 6-inch, will be available for US$99, US$149 and US$199 unlocked, respectively, and are designed to take on China-based rivals in the entry-level smartphone segment.
The possible switch of orders to China-based ODMs may affect its current production partners in Taiwan, including Wistron and Pegatron, said the paper.
Digitimes Research: Asustek ZenFone smartphones have lower price-performance ratios than comparable models from China [Jan 17, 2014]
Asustek Computer unveiled three ZenFone-series smartphones at CES 2014 and will initially launch the models in the Taiwan, China and Southeast Asia markets in March with prices comparable to low-cost models offered by China-based Xiaomi Technology and Huawei. But the price-performance ratios of the ZenFones will be still lower than rival models from China-based vendors due to the use of different marketing channels, according to Digitimes Research.
China-based vendors such as Huawei and Coolpad have been duplicating the business model initiated by Xiaomi by introducing entry-level models with higher hardware specifications and marketing the gadgets mainly through the Internet.
Leveraging subsidies offered by telecom operators, Asustek has been able to lower prices for its ZenFone models to levels comparable to those offered by Xiaomi, Huawei and Coolpad, but the price-performance ratios are lower than of the Hongmi smartphone from Xiaomi, the Honor 3C from Huawei and the Great God F1 from Coolpad, due to markup costs added by channel operators in China selling the ZenFones.
Due to the lower price-performance ratios, Asustek’s goal of shipping over five million smartphones in 2014 through a low-pricing model remains hard to achieve, commented Digitimes Research.
This article is an excerpt from a Chinese-language Digitimes Research report. Click here if you are interested in receiving more information about the content and price of a translated version of the full report.
Total: ~289+ million
Apple: 80-90 million
Non-Apple brand vendors: ~105+ million
– Samsung: 60-70 million
Whitebox vendors: ~104 million image
Apple, Samsung expected to ship 80-90 million, 60-70 million tablets in 2014, say sources [DIGITIMES, Jan 17, 2014]
Apple and Samsung Electronics will remain as the global top-two tablet vendors in 2014 with expected shipments of 80-90 million and 60-70 million units, respectively, according to Taiwan-based supply chain makers.
Samsung’s recent launch of its 12.2-inch model is expected to propel Apple to accelerate development of large-size iPads. Market sources indicated that Apple is likely to release a 12.9-inch model by the end of the third quarter at the earliest.
The two vendors are also expected to continue rolling out new versions of their existing models.
Samsung is also likely to launch more Galaxy Lite models, with prices going down as low as US$129, the sources indicated, adding that Samsung’s tablet shipments in 2014 are expected to reach 60-70 million units compared to 40 million shipped in 2013.
Meanwhile, Apple reportedly has asked its production partners and component suppliers to develop new models of 7.9- and 9.7-inch tablets, added the sources.
Foxconn expected to ship 55-60 million tablets in 2014, say Taiwan makers [DIGITIMES, Jan 16, 2014]
Foxconn Electronics (Hon Hai Precision Industry) shipped 50 million tablets to become the largest Taiwan-based ODM in 2013 and is expected to ship 55-60 million units to maintain the leading status in 2014, according to supply chain makers.
Foxconn is the main OEM for iPads and has undertaken ODM production of Amazon tablets, the sources noted.
Pegatron, with orders for iPad, Surface and tablets launched by Asustek Computer, shipped 25 million units in 2013 and is expected to remain as the second-largest ODM with shipments of 25-28 million units in 2014, the sources indicated.
With Lenovo and Acer being major clients, Compal Electronics shipped seven million tablets in 2013. With potential OEM orders for iPad mini with Retina display and additional ODM orders from Amazon, Compal is likely to ship 14 million tablets in 2014, the sources estimated.
Quanta Computer shipped 15-16 million tablets in 2013, of which a large portion were Nexus models for Google, the sources noted. Although Quanta may obtain OEM orders for a 12.9-inch iPad, shipments in 2014 will be low volume, the sources indicated. Therefore, Quanta’s 2014 tablet shipments are expected to remain at 15-16 million units.
Digitimes Research: Non-Apple brand vendors to ship 105 million tablets in 2014 [Nov 19, 2013]
Global tablet shipments are expected to reach 289 million units in 2014, up 23.6% on year. The growth, however, will be weaker than that for smartphones due to the fact that the tablet market has already entered the maturity stage, according to Digitimes Research’s latest figures.
In 2014, non-Apple first-tier brand vendors’ products are expected to have more room for price cuts, making their products even more competitive in China than their white-box competitors. The lower pricing means retailers will be more eager to promote their products. The gap in terms of functionality between Google’s official Android operating system and Android Open Source Project (used mostly by China white-box vendors) are also expected to be widen. As a result, the non-Apple first-tier vendors’ combined shipments are expected to grow dramatically to 105 million units in 2014, slightly surpassing China white-box vendors’ combined shipments of 104 million units, according to estimates by Digitimes Research.
Although the fifth-generation iPad (Air) is expected to attract consumers and stimulate replacement demand, the device’s high pricing are expected to limit iPad series products’ shipment growth in 2014 with the volume to reach only 80 million units.
As for brand vendors’ rankings, Apple and Samsung Electronics will remain in the top two in 2014. Since Samsung will adopt more aggressive marketing and pricing strategies in 2014, its shipments will reach 52.5 million units, reducing its gap with the market leader Apple. Lenovo, as the largest PC vendor worldwide and with advantages in its home market of China, is expected to ship 9.5 million units in 2014 to take third place in the tablet market.
Having failed to obtain orders for the next-generation Google Nexus tablets, Asustek Computer is expected to step up promoting its own-brand tablets, and it will ship nine million units in 2014, becoming the fourth largest vendor.
Acer will have a strong presence in entry-level segment, shipping 6.7 million tablets in 2014 to take sixth place, while Google will be the fifth largest vendor. Amazon‘s [5.45 million units in 2013 #5 with that in 2013] and Microsoft‘s shipments [max ~2-3 million of Surface Pro and ??? of Surface] will stay flat or grow only slightly on year.
Digitimes Research expects 7-inch models to remain as the mainstream size for branded tablets in 2014 with shipments set to reach 89.1 million units. But the segment’s share of total tablet shipments will drop below 50%. Brand vendors are expected to place more emphasis on 8-inch models as they look to avoid fierce competition in the 7-inch segment, which is crowded with low-price and white-box products. Shipments to the 8-inch segment are expected to reach 30 million units in 2014, triple the volume in 2013 and surpassing 10-inch models’ 25.4 million units.
As for Taiwan ODMs, their shipments will hit 117 million units in 2014, accounting only for 63% of the global total, down 5.2pp on year. The share will decline because Samsung and Lenovo, the second and the third largest vendors, are making most of their tablets internally.
To seek lower manufacturing quotes and to diversify risks, brand vendors are expected to further divide their tablet orders among ODMs. Foxconn Electronics (Hon Hai Precision Industry) and Pegatron Technology will remain as the top two ODMs for tablets in 2014. With more orders coming from Apple and Asustek, Pegatron will see significant tablet shipment growth in 2014, narrowing its gap with Foxconn. Compal Electronics is expected to surpass Quanta Computer to become the third-largest table ODM, thanks to orders from Apple and its acquisition of Compal Communication.
This article is an excerpt from a Digitimes Research Special Report (2014 global tablet demand forecast). Visit our latest Special reports.

More information (going back to end of July 2013) which is directly related to the possible changes on the 2014 markets in terms of 2014 will be the last year of “free ride” in the smartphone and tablet spaces for ARM-based competitors of Intel – at least what Intel is insisting again [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, Jan 17, 2014]:

With Android and forked Android smartphones as the industry standard Nokia relegated to a niche market status while Apple should radically alter its previous premium strategy for long term

Here is the chart reflecting the performance of the market-leading mobile phones upto Q2’13:

From this the most visible things are:

  • Android and Android-forked (Xiaomi etc.) smartphones are the undisputed industry standards to dominate the market in years to come
  • Both the Symbian to Windows Phone and S40 to Asha Full Touch smartphone platform transition strategies from Nokia could survive the continued Android onslaught but only in a niche market status
  • There is no room for Apple’s further growth, and both the platform and the company could face a gradual decline in the smartphone market

My other observations about the state of the smartphone market after Q2’13 were already presented in the following posts:

In essence we came to a point when the superphone market came down in price to as low as $110 and up, while the entry-level segment of good quality came down to a $65+ price level. Also the smartphone market became saturated in all segments which brings an end to Samsung’s ability to base its premium profitability ambitions on smartphones alone (almost), as it was reflected in 20 years of Samsung “New Management” as manifested by the latest, June 20th GALAXY & ATIV innovations [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, July 2-26, 2013]:

… innovations in the broadest sense of the world: technology, hardware and software engineering and design, marketing in general and branding in particular etc.

Updates: Q2 record-high operating profit + smartphone worries deepen + overall business situation + nonproportionally high capex of the semiconductor business +  the #2 capex beneficiary, the Display Panel Segment

These observations also led to much greater conclusions about the upcoming changes:

Below I will assess the ‘Nokia Q2’13 market situation and changes’ as well as include ‘Gartner’s own assessment of the Q2’13 overall market situation and the changes’ to complete the picture.


Nokia Q2’13 market situation and changes:

Looking at the progress of Nokia Symbian to Windows Phone transformation Q2’13 was a straight continuation of the trends noted for Q1’13 in Nokia: Continued moderate progress with Lumia, urgent Asha Touch refresh and new innovations to come against the onslaught of unbranded Android and forked Android players in China and India [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, April 18, 2013] as you could also well observe from the chart included here as well:

Nokia was extensively discussing its Windows Phone transition in Nokia Corporation Interim Report for Q2 2013 and January-June 2013 [press release, July 18, 2013]:

    • Lumia Q2 volumes increased 32% quarter-on-quarter to 7.4 million units, reflecting strong demand from customers for a broadened Lumia product range.
    • Commenting on the second quarter results, Stephen Elop, Nokia CEO, said: “ … In our Smart Devices business unit, we continue to focus on delivering meaningful differentiation to consumers around the world. We are very proud of the recent creations by our Lumia team, from the Lumia 520 – our most affordable Windows Phone 8 product which has enjoyed a strong start in markets like China, France, India, Thailand, the UK, the US and Vietnam – to the Lumia 1020, our star imaging product which we unveiled to the world last week. Overall, Lumia volumes grew to 7.4 million in the second quarter, the highest for any quarter so far and showing increasing momentum for the ecosystem. During the third quarter, we expect that our new Lumia products will drive a significant part of our Smart Devices revenue.”
    • In the third quarter 2013, supported by the wider availability of recently announced Lumia products as well as recently announced Mobile Phones products, Nokia expects higher Devices & Services net sales, compared to the second quarter 2013.
    • The year-on-year decline in our Smart Devices volumes in the second quarter 2013 continued to be driven by the strong momentum of competing smartphone platforms and our portfolio transition from Symbian products to Lumia products. The decline was primarily due to lower Symbian volumes, partially offset by higher Lumia volumes. Our Symbian volumes decreased from 6 million units in the second quarter 2012 to approximately zero in the second quarter 2013. Our Lumia volumes increased from 4.0 million in the second quarter 2012 to 7.4 million in the second quarter 2013.
    • On a sequential basis, the increase in our Smart Devices volumes in the second quarter 2013 was due to higher Lumia volumes, as we started shipping the Lumia 520 and 720 in significant volumes. In the second quarter 2013, the vast majority of Smart Devices volumes were from Windows Phone 8-based Lumia products.
    • The year-on-year increase in our Smart Devices ASP in the second quarter 2013 was primarily due to a positive mix shift towards sales of our Lumia products which carry a higher ASP than our Symbian products, partially offset by our pricing actions. Sequentially, the decrease in our Smart Devices ASP in the second quarter 2013 was primarily due to a negative mix shift towards sales of our lower priced Windows Phone 8-based Lumia products as well as our pricing actions.
    • Nokia announced and started shipments in select markets of the Nokia Lumia 925, a new interpretation of its award-winning flagship, the Nokia Lumia 920. The Nokia Lumia 925 introduces metal for the first time to the Nokia Lumia range and includes the most advanced lens technology and next-generation imaging software to capture clearer and sharper pictures and video even in low light conditions. The Nokia Lumia 925 offers a variety of exclusive services such as Nokia Music for unlimited streaming of free playlists, integrated HERE services, and the option to add wireless charging with a snap-on wireless charging cover.
    • Nokia announced the Nokia Lumia 928 smartphone, exclusive to Verizon Wireless. With a 8.7MP camera and Nokia’s PureView imaging innovation, the Nokia Lumia 928 delivers superior imaging and video performance that enables people to capture bright, blur free photos and videos, even in low light conditions. The sleek and stylish smartphone comes with the latest high-end Nokia Lumia experiences, including Nokia Music, HERE services, and built-in wireless charging.
    • Nokia started shipping in volumes the Nokia Lumia 520, its most affordable Windows Phone 8 smartphone, delivering experiences normally found only in high-end smartphones, such as the same digital camera lenses found on the Nokia Lumia 920, Nokia Music for free music out of the box and even offline, and HERE services.
    • Nokia’s Lumia range of smartphones continued to attract businesses, including Miele & Cie. KG, a global leader in domestic appliances and commercial machinery, which has chosen the Nokia Lumia range as the smartphone of choice for its global employees.
    • The Windows Phone Store continued to strengthen in terms of the quantity and quality of applications. The Windows Phone Store today offers more than 165 000 applications and games.

The Q2’13-related improvements mentioned above and influencing the below chart were even more extensively discussed in my earlier posts:

while the Q3’13-related actions of improvements in these posts:

Now look again at the performance chart for the reflections:

image

From the further decline of Asha Full Touch you could see that the Temporary Nokia setback in India [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, April 28, 2013] continued into the Q2’13 as well as the result of entry-level local brand Android smartphones being in heavy price competition with Nokia Asha Full Touch during Q2 while having superior hardware specifications. Even Samsung’s REX 70 competed in price with Asha Full Touch.

Nokia was talking in his Nokia Corporation Interim Report for Q2 2013 and January-June 2013 [press release, July 18, 2013] only about the following future-oriented actions that were introduced in Q2 in order to remedy this situation:

  • In Devices & Services, our Mobile Phones business unit started to demonstrate some signs of recovery in the latter part of the second quarter following a difficult start to the year. Also, towards the end of the second quarter, we started to ship the Asha 501, which brings a new design and user experience to the highly competitive sub-100 USD market. While we are very encouraged by the consumer response to our innovations in this price category, our Mobile Phones business unit is planning to take actions to focus its product offering and improve product competitiveness.
  • On a year-on-year basis, our Mobile Phones volumes in the second quarter 2013 were negatively affected by competitive industry dynamics, including intense smartphone competition at increasingly lower price points and intense competition at the low end of our product portfolio. Compared to the second quarter 2012, our Mobile Phones volumes declined across our portfolio, most notably for our non-full-touch devices that we sell to our customers for above EUR 30, partially offset by higher sales volumes of Asha full-touch smartphones.
  • Nokia started production at its new manufacturing facility in Hanoi, Vietnam. The new site has been established to produce our most affordable Asha smartphones and feature phones.
  • Nokia announced and started shipments of the Nokia Asha 501, the first of a new generation of smartphones to run on the new Asha platform. Retailing at a suggested price of USD 99, the Nokia Asha 501 offers users affordable smartphone design with bold color, a high-quality build and an innovative user interface. The new Asha platform also allows developers who write applications for the Nokia Asha 501 to reach all smartphones based on the new Asha platform without having to re-write code.

These things were already extensively discussed in my earlier posts:


And here is how Gartner was assessing the Q2’13 overall market situation and the changes:

Gartner Says Smartphone Sales Grew 46.5 Percent in Second Quarter of 2013 and Exceeded Feature Phone Sales for First Time [press release, Aug 14, 2013]

  • Worldwide Mobile Phone Sales Grew 3.6 Percent in Second Quarter of 2013
  • Microsoft Has Become the No. 3 Smartphone OS Overtaking BlackBerry

Worldwide mobile phone sales to end users totaled 435 million units in the second quarter of 2013, an increase of 3.6 percent from the same period last year, according to Gartner, Inc. Worldwide smartphone sales to end users reached 225 million units, up 46.5 percent from the second quarter of 2012. Sales of feature phones to end users totaled 210 million units and declined 21 percent year-over-year. 

“Smartphones accounted for 51.8 percent of mobile phone sales in the second quarter of 2013, resulting in smartphone sales surpassing feature phone sales for the first time,” said Anshul Gupta, principal research analyst at Gartner. Asia/Pacific, Latin America and Eastern Europe exhibited the highest smartphone growth rates of 74.1 percent, 55.7 percent and 31.6 percent respectively, as smartphone sales grew in all regions.

Samsung maintained the No. 1 position in the global smartphone market, as its share of smartphone sales reached 31.7 percent, up from 29.7 percent in the second quarter of 2012 (see Table 1). Apple’s smartphone sales reached 32 million units in the second quarter of 2013, up 10.2 percent from a year ago. 

Table 1

Worldwide Smartphone Sales to End Users by Vendor in 2Q13 (Thousands of Units)

Company

2Q13 Units

2Q13 Market Share (%)

2Q12 Units

2Q12 Market Share (%)

Samsung

71,380.9

31.7

45,603.8

29.7

Apple

31,899.7

14.2

28,935.0

18.8

LG Electronics

11,473.0

5.1

5,827.8

3.8

Lenovo

10,671.4

4.7

4,370.9

2.8

ZTE

9,687.6

4.3

6,331.4

4.1

Others

90,213.6

40.0

62,704.0

40.8

Total

225,326.2

100.0

153,772.9

100.0

Source: Gartner (August 2013)

In the smartphone operating system (OS) market (see Table 2), Microsoft took over BlackBerry for the first time, taking the No. 3 spot with 3.3 percent market share in the second quarter of 2013. “While Microsoft has managed to increase share and volume in the quarter, Microsoft should continue to focus on growing interest from app developers to help grow its appeal among users,” said Mr. Gupta. Android continued to increase its lead, garnering 79 percent of the market in the second quarter. 

Table 2

Worldwide Smartphone Sales to End Users by Operating System in 2Q13 (Thousands of Units)

Operating System

2Q13 Units

2Q13 Market Share (%)

2Q12  Units

2Q12 Market Share (%)

Android

177,898.2

79.0

98,664.0

64.2

iOS

31,899.7

14.2

28,935.0

18.8

Microsoft

7,407.6

3.3

4,039.1

2.6

BlackBerry

6,180.0

2.7

7,991.2

5.2

Bada

838.2

0.4

4,208.8

2.7

Symbian

630.8

0.3

9,071.5

5.9

Others

471.7

0.2

863.3

0.6

Total

225,326.2

100.0

153,772.9

100.0

Source: Gartner (August 2013)

Mobile Phone Vendor Perspective

Samsung: Samsung remained in the No. 1 position in the overall mobile phone market, with sales to end users growing 19 percent in the second quarter of 2013 (see Table 3). “We see demand in the premium smartphone market come mainly from the lower end of this segment in the $400-and-below ASP mark. It will be critical for Samsung to step up its game in the mid-tier and also be more aggressive in emerging markets. Innovation cannot be limited to the high end,” said Mr. Gupta. 

Nokia: Slowing demand of feature phone sales across many markets worldwide, and fierce competition in the smartphone segment, affected Nokia’s mobile phone sales in the second quarter of 2013. Nokia’s mobile phone sales totaled 61 million units, down from 83 million units a year ago. Nokia’s Lumia sales grew 112.7 percent in the second quarter of 2013 thanks to its expanded Lumia portfolio, which now include Lumia 520 and Lumia 720. “With the recent announcement of the Lumia 1020, Nokia has built a wide portfolio of devices at multiple price points, which should boost Lumia sales in the second half of 2013,” said Mr. Gupta. “However, Nokia is facing tough competition from Android devices, especially from regional and Chinese manufacturers which are more aggressive in terms of price points.” 

Apple: While sales continued to grow, the company faced a significant drop in the ASP of its smartphones. Despite the iPhone 5 being the most popular model, its ASP declined to the lowest figure registered by Apple since the iPhone’s launch in 2007. The ASP reduction is due to strong sales of the iPhone 4, which is sold at a strongly discounted price. “While Apple’s ASP demonstrates the need for a new flagship model, it is risky for Apple to introduce a new lower-priced model too,” said Mr. Gupta. “Although the possible new lower-priced device may be priced similarly to the iPhone 4 at $300 to $400, the potential for cannibalization will be much greater than what is seen today with the iPhone 4. Despite being seen as the less expensive sibling of the flagship product, it would represent a new device with the hype of the marketing associated with it.” 

Lenovo: Lenovo’s mobile phone sales grew 60.6 percent to reach 11 million units in the second quarter of 2013. Lenovo’s quarter performance was bolstered by smartphone sales. Its smartphone sales grew 144 percent year-over-year and helped it rise to the No. 4 spot in the worldwide smartphone market for the first time. Lenovo continues to rely heavily on its home market in China, which represents more than 95 percent of its sales. It remains challenging for Lenovo to expand outside China as it has to strengthen its direct channel as well as its relationships with communications service providers. 

Table 3

Worldwide Mobile Phone Sales to End Users by Vendor in 2Q13 (Thousands of Units)

Company

2Q13 Units

2Q13 Market Share (%)

2Q12 Units

2Q12 Market Share (%)

Samsung

107,526.0

24.7

90,432.1

21.5

Nokia

60,953.7

14.0

83,420.1

19.9

Apple

31,899.7

7.3

28,935.0

6.9

LG Electronics

17,016.4

3.9

14,345.4

3.4

ZTE

15,280.7

3.5

17,198.2

4.1

Huawei

11,275.1

2.6

10,894.2

2.6

Lenovo

10,954.8

2.5

6,821.7

1.6

TCL Communi-cation [Alcatel]

10,134.3

2.3

9,355.7

2.2

Sony Mobile Communications

9,504.7

2.2

7,346.8

1.7

Yulong [Coolpad]

7,911.5

1.8

4,016.2

1.0

Others

152,701.5

35.1

147,354.60

35.1

Total

435,158.4

100.0

420,120.0

100.0

Source: Gartner (August 2013)

“With second quarter of 2013 sales broadly on track, we see little need to adjust our expectations for worldwide mobile phone sales forecast to total 1.82 billion units this year. Flagship devices brought to market in time for the holidays, and the continued price reduction of smartphones will drive consumer adoption in the second half of the year,” said Mr. Gupta. 

Additional information is in the Gartner report “Market Share Analysis: Mobile Phones, Worldwide, 2Q13.” The report is available on Gartner’s website at http://www.gartner.com/document/2573119.

Upcoming H2CY13 revitalization of E Ink Holdings’ business by greater cost effectiveness and next-gen EPD technology for the traditional e-book reader market (remaining flat), exiting the commodity LCD market, and addition of new applications for digital magazines, smart watches, handset covers and luggage tags

$66 6″ front-lit E Ink e-readers from Jawei [Charbax YouTube channel, May 26, 2013]

Jawei shows their latest range of E Ink based e-readers, starting at $40 for a 4.3″ E Ink e-reader without touch, $66 for 6″ without touch, add a bit for touch. Minimum order quantity is 2K.

OR While the jury is still out on E-paper renaissance because of A4 format on a lighter, plastic substrate? [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, May 15, 2013] E Ink Holdings’ so far ‘LCD only’ subsidiary Hydis gathers ammunition with e-paper displays [The Korea Herald, June 26, 2013]:

Hydis Technologies is not what one would call a big company, but for Korea, it has a symbolic meaning. It was one of the firms that foreign capital gobbled up, only to spit out after stripping it of vital assets and technology.

Now, Hydis, owned by Taiwan-based E Ink Holdings, is out to get back on the map with the production of e-paper displays, the main element for e-books.

Starting in July, Hydis expects to start rolling out electronic paper displays, an area that E Ink is a global leader in.

Hydis officials said the contract is expected to extend to December.

“These displays are next-generation displays, and our technology is sufficient,” said one official, speaking anonymously.

Rollable displays also are in discussion, but that needs to be seen, as Hydis currently lacks the right equipment and capital.

Hydis was formerly a unit under Hyundai Electronics, the precursor to SK Hynix. It once supplied some of the big fish in the industry, such as Samsung and LG.
Prior to the acquisition by E Ink, Hydis had been exploited by China-based BOE Display, which bought Hydis from Hyundai, only to feed its technology to BOE’s Chinese operations.
E Ink initially appeared to have similar plans as it was reticent to make big investments, but both Hydis and E Ink claim that the only plans they have are to get the Gyeonggi Province-based display manufacturer back on track.
“The turnaround plan is aimed to optimally resize the company so that it can focus manufacturing on existing industrial products and explore other new high-margin niche opportunities,” the Hydis management said in a statement to The Korea Herald.
The management added that the focus now will be on high-margin industrial products, such as panels used in applications for medical equipment, avionics and automobiles.
The restructuring itself was painful as it involved letting go of more than half of the workforce, which at one point reached nearly 1,000.
There are now fewer than 400 employees, but those who left are said to have departed in peace, as they were offered an acceptable retirement package.
The restructuring was completed as of May 30.
The plants at Icheon are not yet running, but employees hope they can reactivate them by July, when the EPD orders go in.
“We are trying to optimize and rationalize productivity,” said Oscar Huang, a spokesperson for E Ink in Taiwan.
He also said he knew of the restructuring, but was not aware of the details, saying E Ink chose to leave those up to the Hydis management in Korea.
E Ink acquired Hydis in 2008. Prior, it was named PVI.
As the pioneer in electrophoretic displays used in gadgets like the Amazon Kindle, PVI also merged with E Ink, which is where it got its name.
E Ink is known for having only a small assembly line of its own, choosing to make money mainly from licensing deals.

E Ink suffers sharp revenue drop in 2Q13 [DIGITIMES, Aug 16, 2013] with slide inserts from E Ink Investor Conference Presentation [Aug 15, 2013]

image

Electrophoretic display (EPD) maker E Ink Holdings has reported consolidated revenues of NT$2.928 billion (US$98 million) for the second quarter, decreasing 45.56% sequentially and 34.61% on year mainly because Hydis Technologies, its South Korea-based subsidiary, has been reducing production of commodity LCD in line with its operational transformation.

E Ink said during its investors conference on August 15 that it has adjusted the organization of Hydis, downsizing its personnel from 800-900 to about 400.

image

But E Ink noted global demand for e-book readers is on the rise. According to the company, Amazon started selling Kindle Paperwhite in China and India in June 2013. Japan-based Rakuten has been selling its e-book reader Kobo Aura HD in the US and Europe and will soon tap the China, India and Russia markets. Korea Epub will launch its Android 4.0 e-book reader Crema Shine in late August 2013.

North America will account for 35% of global e-book reader shipments in 2013, Western Europe and Asia Pacific each for 27%, Latin America 6%, the Middle East and Africa 3% and East Europe 2%, E Ink cited forecast by IHS as indicating.

EPD can also be used in smartwatches and other types of wearable devices, electronic tags and back covers of handsets, E Ink indicated.

E Ink posted gross margin of 7.14%, net operating loss of NT$953 million, net loss of NT$1.008 billion and net loss per share of NT$0.93 for the second quarter.

Hands on with the Sony 13.3 inch e-Reader [Goodereader YouTube channel, May 21, 2013]

Sony announced a new 13.3 inch e-Reader and we got a chance to play with it at SID 2013 in Vancouver. This is simply the best e-Reader if Complex PDF documents or editing them appeals to you. Check it out.

E-paper firm posts worst loss in 4 years [Taipei Times, Aug 16, 2013] with slide inserts from E Ink Investor Conference Presentation [Aug 15, 2013]

INNOVATE OR DIE:With demand for e-paper displays plunging, the firm has turned to other growth areas, including digital magazines, smart watches and luggage tags

image
E Ink Holdings Inc (元太科技), which supplies e-paper displays for Amazon.com Inc’s Kindle e-reader series, yesterday reported a widening net loss of NT$1.01 billion (US$33.63 million) for last quarter because of slack demand for e-paper displays and LCD panels.
The quarterly net loss represented a deterioration from the first quarter’s net loss of NT$492 million and a net loss of NT$818 million in the second quarter of last year, the company’s financial statement showed. That also marked the worst quarterly loss in about four years.
Last quarter, E Ink also booked a one-time severance payment of NT$500 million for a 50 percent workforce layoff at its South Korean LCD manufacturing subsidiary Hydis Technologies Co. The number of Hydis employees has been halved to about 400 from between 800 or 900 before the personal adjustment, E Ink said.

Meanwhile, the Hsinchu-based company said it received a record high royalties fee at NT$400 million [US$13.4 million] by licensing Hydis’ patents to Sharp, LG Display and other panel makers to make high-resolution LCD panels that are partly used in Apple Inc and Samsung Electronics patents.

E Ink was upbeat about this quarter’s prospects.

Customers have put off their new product launches to the third quarter from the second quarter,” company chief financial officer Eddie Chen (陳彥松) told investors.

“There is enormous growth momentum to arrive in the third quarter. You will feel the [strength of] an upswing,” Chen said.

This quarter, revenue is expected to at least double last quarter’s NT$2.93 billion, as customers were scheduled to ship new e-readers for the holiday shopping season, Chen said.

E-paper displays made up about 70 percent of the company’s overall revenue last quarter, according to E Ink.

Gross margin would rise further from last quarter’s 7.1 percent and 5 percent in the first quarter, as the company would ship more higher-margin e-paper displays, Chen said.
To reduce the impact of tablets, E Ink is seeking new growth areas in developing new e-paper applications such as displays for digital magazines, smart watches, handset covers and luggage tags.

By the end of this year, e-paper for those new applications are expected to make up less than 5 percent of the company’s overall revenue, Chen said.

Overall e-reader shipments are expected to be flat at a range between 10 million and 15 million units, compared with last year, E Ink said.

E Ink shares fell 1.23 percent to NT$16.1 yesterday, underperforming the TAIEX, which was down 0.81 percent.

Allwinner E200 Powered Gajah InkCase E Ink phablet case to be $99-$129 [Charbax YouTube czhannel, Aug 2, 2013]

Gajah International design house shows a unique Allwinner E200 powered E Ink Bluetooth case for you Galaxy Note 2 smartphone/phablet. “InkCase” works like a second casing or another panel for your gadget, On the back side of the casing you find E Ink panel serves as second panel to display photographs, you can read e-book, see the pop-up’s of Facebook and Twitter too. You can have eye on weather apps from your phone and all viewable apps you can see through this second panel. It works on Bluetooth connectivity has micro USB port for charging InkCase. Inside it has memory to facilitate switch over to next picture/page and to do this back panel has two keys.Price yet to be finalised may expect between $99-$129 You can have look here in this video of InkCase for Samsung S2. InkCase is also available for iPhones but works only as photo viewer, . Two colour variants Black & White are available. features: Ink Case Photo Epi reader FBInk TwitInk The problem is the way this one works is to beam pictures that it has to transmit, decode, instead of sending data to interpret and integrate in clever apps on the E Ink case device. That makes for slowish e-reader mode for now. But maybe they can improve this in software and other device like it a bit better integrated and much thinner and lighter could be huge advancement for changing the back-cover on your smartphone that has removable back-cover or for adding a back-casing to your smartphone and phablet to use the back surface of your devices for new smart potentially ultra-low power E Ink functionality. Filmed at Computex 2013

Here’s the flexible E Ink screen that could be in the 2014 Kindle [CNET, July 12, 2013]

Expect some incremental improvements to new e-ink e-readers this holiday season, but superslim designs are probably a year or two away.
I asked Giovanni Mancini, E Ink’s director of product management, what Amazon would be releasing this holiday season because, well, Amazon wouldn’t tell me.
“I can’t tell you, either,” he said. “We can’t comment on customers plans.”
I expected him to say that, but I figured I’d ask anyway. However, what he could tell me about was the advancements E Ink’s technology, some of which of which will find their way into new devices as soon as this year. In the next few months the company will announce its next-generation e-ink platform for e-readers, the successor to Pearl. That screen, released in 2010, is the one used in most current e-ink readers, including the Kindle, Nook, and Sony Reader.
The new platform will offer slightly improved contrast and better optical performance that’s “better tuned to capabilities of higher-resolution TFT displays that are making their way into e-readers,” Mancini said (the $169.99 Kobo Aura HD is an example of a high-resolution e-reader).
Also, and perhaps most importantly, the company has introduced new technology that reduces the amount of ghosting (the digital artifacts left behind as pages are turned), so you won’t have to refresh the page as much. A lot of people don’t like the flash a page refresh creates, and the new screens won’t have to refresh as much. Today, the outer limit is around every six to seven page turns, and some devices now allow you to customize the frequency of page refreshes. Mancini said you’d potentially be able to read up to 100 pages without having the page flash.
“So, is it called Pearl 2?” I asked.
“It doesn’t have a name we’re sharing just yet,” Mancini said. “But before the end of the year we expect to not only bring our technology to market but to have customers announce products with that technology.”
With the next e-ink Kindles, I expect to see some slight improvements to the design and some small performance gains, as well even more uniform lighting in the Paperwhite. And we may see an entry-level Kindle priced at $49 ($20 less than its current price). Just how much weight, if any, Amazon can shave off its e-ink Kindles remains unclear. But I know a lot of people who prefer the entry-level Kindle to the Paperwhite because it’s lighter (5.98 vs. 7.5 ounces*. An ounce and half doesn’t seem like a lot of weight, but in a handheld device it’s very noticeable.
Imagine a 6-inch e-reader that weighs just 3.5 ounces [~100 grams]. That just might make you want to upgrade your device.

* [one ounce is approximately 28 grams]

E Ink Booth Tour at SID 2013 [May 21-23, 2013] [EInkSeeMore YouTube channel, July 19, 2013]

Giovanni Mancini, Director of Marketing at E Ink, gives a tour of E Ink’s new products and technologies at SID 2013 in Vancouver. He shows new E Ink products Mobius, Spectra, and Aurora, as well as signage, ESL, and displays with even faster page turns.

Shares of E Ink rise on upbeat Q3 sales prospects [Focus Taiwan, Aug 16, 2013]

Shares of E Ink Holdings Inc. got a boost Friday morning after the electronics paper display supplier said a day earlier that its sales for the third quarter could double from the second quarter on peak season effects, dealers said.
The optimistic third quarter forecast led investors to think that E Ink has hit a turning point in the current quarter, despite the fact that the e-paper maker remained in the red the previous quarter, dealers said.
As of 11: 29 a.m., shares of E Ink had added 5.90 percent to reach NT$17.05 (US$0.57) with 11.36 million shares changing hands. The index of the over-the-counter market, where the stock is traded, was up 0.12 percent at 118.89 points.

E Ink said that Hydis owns patents in display production, in particular fringe field switching (FFS) technology [see: Hydis: its FFS succeeding IPS [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, May 11, 2011 – Oct 12, 2012]], and that the unit’s FFS technology generated about NT$400 million in licensing fees in the second quarter.

Hydis licensing fees are expected to continue to serve as an income source for the parent company, E Ink said.

“The current buying helped E Ink shares clear the strong technical hurdles at around NT$16.80 so the stock has become technically healthier,” [Ta Ching Securities analyst Andy] Hsu said.

image

E Ink Launches Spectra, The World’s First True Three Pigment Electronic Paper Display [press release, May 21, 2013]

E Ink Technology Solves Unmet Need to Include Color on Electronic Shelf Labels to Highlight Promotions, Sales and Logos
May 21, 2013 – Cambridge, MA — E Ink® Holdings, “E Ink” (8069.TW), an ePaper and Electronic Shelf Label visionary, today introduced E Ink Spectra, the world’s first three pigment electronic paper display (EPD), featuring black, white and red pigments. Spectra is currently being demoed at SID Display Week 2013 in Vancouver, CA.
Price optimization strategies and adaptable technology are vital to ensuring retailers’ competitive advantage, success and growth. By using electronic shelf labels (ESL) with E Ink’s technology, retailers have the ability to change pricing strategies as needed in real time, allowing them to stay one step ahead of competitors while attracting consumers based on changing market conditions. Spectra allows retailers to elevate the impact of their ESLs, by adding color to logos and quickly directing consumers’ attention to important information, such as product sales and promotions.
“The three pigment system is a major achievement for E Ink, and a technological accomplishment in our industry,” explained Giovanni Mancini, director of product management, E Ink. “As the first product line to feature this advanced ink, Spectra provides retailers with the same visual and power savings attributes of our black and white ESL products, with the option of adding a third color to highlight promotions or other relevant information.”
“We are excited to see the addition of color, something requested by many of our customers,” said Niclas Qvist, Head of Marketing and Global Partner Management at Pricer, the leading Electronic Shelf Label (ESL) solution provider. “Pricer use E Ink’s e-paper in all our graphic products today. E Ink and Pricer are leading the way by giving shoppers the best in-store experience with clear and easy to read price tags. Product development is guided by market feedback and the first products will be developed in close cooperation with both E Ink and selected customers.”
“Pervasive Displays is committed to delivering innovative electronic paper enhancements and solutions that enable revolutionary commercial industrial electronic paper display applications,” said Scott Soong, CEO of Pervasive Displays. “Adding color to electronic paper is an effective advancement to this technology. Color adds the benefit of being able to quickly draw attention to specific messages – in retail, red is prevalent for promotions; in other industries red is used for exception management. The ability to quickly discern the importance of a message is critical in any environment.”
Spectra will support both active matrix and segmented format ESLs, making it the ideal product for a range of retail applications. The three pigment EPD is also appropriate for industrial, smart card and medical market applications, where Spectra can be used to display information on electronic identification badges.
While the eReader market continues to be an important part of E Ink’s business and the company is unequivocally committed to the eReader product line, over the past few years E Ink has invested resources into supporting different applications across markets.
“We have always been fortunate to have high customer demand for our electronic paper displays for non-eReader applications,” stated Mancini. “The results of our investments will be evident in 2013 as more non-eReader products using E Ink EPDs are released into the market.”
Spectra will be available in Q3 2013.

E Ink Triton II Won 2013 Display Taiwan’s Outstanding Photonics Product Award [press release, June 17, 2013]

June 17, 2013 – Cambridge, MA — E Ink® Holdings, “E Ink” (8069.TW), a global leader in ePaper technology today announced that its E Ink Triton II has won the 2013 Display Taiwan’s Outstanding Photonics Product Award with superior product performance.
E Ink ePaper technology is featured by reading comfort, sunlight readability, high contrast ratio, and low power consumption. Triton II, the award-winner, applies the optical design of front light module and optimize color resist arrangement of color filters, to reach high color saturation, high brightness, high contrast and low power consumption. This has led to the development of the new generation of color electronic paper display, and come into mass production. This is another award won by E Ink after its Spectra obtained the Display Week Best in Show Award by the Society for Information Display in 2013.
“We are honored that the organizers of Display Taiwan have selected Triton for this award.” said Felix Ho, interim chairman for E Ink Holdings, “E Ink continues to invest significantly in the development of electrophoretic display technology. It is great to see the results of this work incorporated into a product such as the PocketBook Color eReader.”

E Ink Introduces New 1.73″ Flexible Mobius Display For Smartwatch Applications [press release, June 3 2013]

image

June 2, 2013 – Cambridge, MA — E Ink® Holdings, “E Ink” (8069.TW), a digital signage and display visionary, announces the addition of a 1.73″ flexible display to its Mobius product line of flexible electronic paper display (EPD) technology. The 1.73″ display has been specifically engineered for smartwatch and watch applications. The display is based on flexible TFT technology developed and brought to production by E Ink. The first commercial product to use this 1.73″ display is the Sonostar Smartwatch announced this week at Computex in Taipei, Taiwan.
The Sonostar smartwatch was jointly developed by E Ink’s subsidiary Transmart Co. Ltd and Sonostar. The smartwatch was chosen by the Taipei Computer Association as one of only 10 major product highlights at Computex, which will run from June 4-8 in Taipei, Taiwan.

The 1.73″ Mobius display supports a resolution of 320X240 pixels with 16 greyscale levels. The display size and characteristics make the technology ideal for the smartwatch market. Using a flexible substrate, the 1.73″ Mobius is lightweight and rugged and is conformable so the end product has a better fit for the consumer. Its low power usage and sunlight readability make this technology ideal for mobile devices. Unlike conventional displays, the 1.73″ Mobius display can be cut into different shapes.

“The joint development between Sonostar and Transmart is the perfect example of the how E Ink can help its customers get their product to market,” said Giovanni Mancini, director of product management for E Ink Holdings. “E Ink displays enable unique products that capture the customer’s imagination. Our business development team has the expertise to help our customers design the displays into their products in ways never before thought possible.”
More information on the Sonostar smartwatch can be obtained by visiting the Sonostar booth at Taipei World Trade Center Hall I (No: C0317) during Computex Taipei 2013 (June 4 to 8) or by going to www.sonostar.com/Smartwatch/. You can get more information about the Mobius 1.73″ display by visitingwww.eink.com.

E Ink Unveils Aurora, The World’s First Low Temperature Matrix Electronic Paper Display [press release, June 3 2013]

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May 21, 2013 – Cambridge, MA — E Ink® Holdings, “E Ink” (8069.TW), an ePaper and Electronic Shelf Label (ESL) visionary, today announced the upcoming release of E Ink Aurora, a first-of-its-kind electronic paper display (EPD) able to withstand freezer’s temperatures. The new solution provides retailers and business owners with greater flexibility and a more efficient solution in managing pricing strategies for products sold in freezers and cold outdoor climates. A demonstration of Aurora, along with E Ink’s latest products can be seen at Display Week 2013 in Vancouver, CA from May 21-23.
Providing low power usage and cost optimization through a 5-volt driving capability, Aurora supports applications in conditions as cold as -25 C. Additionally, Aurora has been tuned for non-eReader applications, and is ideal for electronic shelf labels (ESLs) and smart cards in the retail, medical and logistics markets. Aurora will be available to partners and customers starting in July 2013.
The release of Aurora is an indication of E Ink’s product diversification strategy and commitment to providing the ESL market with an extremely durable, low power display technology. While eReaders continue to be an important market for E Ink, and the company is unequivocally committed to the eReader product line, E Ink believes that its unique technology addresses retailers’ and business owners’ needs to install displays in previously impossible or impractical locations across markets.

“Opticon is excited to work with E Ink to expand our portfolio of e-paper based electronic shelf labeling (ESL) products. With the integration of a low temp film, we can finally install our ESL solution into all departments in a grocery or convenience store,” said Mike Waters, Opticon, Inc. “To date, we’ve lacked the technical capability to operate our wireless shelf tags inside a freezer, limiting the opportunities to completely eliminate manual paper price changes. Opticon will now be able to offer a line of IP rated freezer tags in 2″, 2.7″, 4.41″, and 7.4″ form factors.”

“Pervasive Displays is committed to advancing the use of electronic paper in industrial applications,” said Scott Soong, CEO of Pervasive Displays. “The new Aurora product from E Ink extends the reach of electronic paper to cold chain applications, signage, automotive and a myriad of additional industries, unlocking new ROI potential for e-paper applications.”
“Inaccurate prices are one of consumers’ major gripes when shopping at supermarkets,” said Giovanni Mancini, director of product management, E Ink. “With an average of close to 40,000 items carried in supermarkets, effective price management can become a herculean task. At E Ink we believe that ESLs not only cut down on the instances of mislabelled information, but also can ultimately help retail stores maximize profits.”
In the Food Marketing Institute’s 2012 Shopper Trends report, consumers rated accurate shelf tags as one of their most important criteria in selecting their primary store. Learn more about Aurora and E Ink’s other breakthrough digital signage and display technologies by visiting booth #1215 at SID from May 21-23.