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Networked Society — WTF ?

[v0.5 yet] Networked Society? It is nothing new. As this is a concept which first appeared on the scene of IT strategies on July 25, 2000 — i.e. not less than 15 years ago, with the launch of the Microsoft .NET initiative. (Watch the video on below left, as the proof point.) OR NOT? A fictitious example from June, 2014 given by a Gartner analyst on “what a digital business might look like“. (Watch the video on below right, as the proof point.)

Regarding the first video you may want to learn everything which is in The cloud experience vision of .NET by Microsoft 12 years ago and its delivery now with Windows Azure, Windows 8/RT, Windows Phone, iOS and Android among others post of mine dated Sept 16, 2012 – Sept 11, 2013. Regarding the second video you may want to understand what is in this Ericsson Industry Watch – Anything is possible in the Networked Society video from January 8, 2015: with the following promise in the very end  

Drone Boss 3000. Coming soon? Keep an eye on the future of your industry  

Intrigued? Then watch the first video in their “Networked Society” playlist from February 21, 2014 (on the left), and the current last one from March 27, 2015 (on the right):

Want more? I will embed the whole playlist in the very end, but since it is huge—with not less than 131 videos—I will select just 6 additional ones which in my view are conveying best the whole concept of the Networked Society as it is now:

Well, you may now agree with me that Ericsson is indeed a more likely industry stronghold to lead us into the Networked Society than Microsoft has ever been.

Before continue along the Ericsson line, however, you may be tempted to learn about this whole concept from big IT analyst companies like Gartner and Forrester. After all, they are the major advisors to the CIOs, and they’ve doing that for decades now. So let’s do that now, i.e. listen to them: Gartner delivered on its annual Catalyst Conference 2014 an opening keynote about Architecting the Digital Business: Scaling and Securing Mobility, Cloud and Data. One of the keynote speakers was their major cloud expert, Drue Reeves. The very essence of this whole keynote was just Drue’s part for me, and the most effective slice of it has fortunately been published as a YouTube extract (otherwise everything is to be paid, even the on demand video): Drue is ending his brief intro into the Networked Society, pardon “digital industrial economy” with the following words to repeat here with emphasis:

Welcome to the digital industrial economy where everyone and everything is connected to the Internet and not merely for the purposes of communicating but for the purposes of enriching our lives and for saving us the thing that we find truly valuable. Time — because if you can save people time or you can create things that [represent] value—[to them i.e.] they’re willing to pay for—you can shake markets and you can revolutionize industries.

That’s it. Then add to that what Drue’s colleague, Kyle Hilgendorf added to that in his Cloud Services: The Foundation for the Digital Business session, from which I can include (fortunately again) this essential extract: I.e. a kind of interpretation of the Networked Society, pardon “digital industrial economy” in terms understandable for CIOs. That’s it (again).

The imperative for the whole IT profession (now considered rather ICT profession) with this whole phenomenon moving upon us should be more than clear now.

But once the phenomenon is named “digital industrial economy”—which is a term better understood in the IT community—how business people, who are the stakeholders of IT, how those people are ready to move along? Fortunately there is another brief video shedding light into that. This time from Forrester Research (a Gartner competitor). Sharyn Leaver, VP, Group Director explains that today’s business environment has radically changed and the need to become a truly digital business is more important than ever The Digital Business Imperative video above emphasizes the following findings:

In a recent survey that we did at both technology and business leaders ninety-three percent indicated that they believe their businesses will be affected or disrupted by digital over the course of 2040. So we get it. Digital is important. We have to tackle it.

The more interesting statistic is that of those same survey respondents only 15 percent believe that they have the skills and capability to actually execute on a truly digital strategy. …

Why is it that only 15 percent believe that we have the skills and capabilities to pull this off? So we’ve thought about this a bit and then have done a lot of research to try and figure it out. I would contend that it really comes down to one particular reason which is:

The business environment we live in today is radically different than it was even two to three years ago.

And this difference is what Forrester is touting again and again for its customers as being their strategic advisor. In fact they are talking about disruption, and not simply disruption but digital disruption, or even more “the disruption of the disruption“. Just listen to their Vice President and Principal Analyst, James McQuivey, who is also the author of the 2013 book, “Digital Disruption” talking to the audience of The Next Web 2014:

Digital disruption is already happening all around us. Consumers have embraced it, digital startups have joined them, and every business from banking to food production is learning how to let digital drive deeper customer relationships and deliver new product experiences. But the full effect of this disruption has just begun to reveal itself. The “next” disruption will affect every waking, and sleeping, moment of our lives. In this session, James McQuivey, Ph.D., and author of the book Digital Disruption will suggest ways to prevision that next disruption and align your organisation to be a part of it.

If you happen to be familiar with the concept of the “barrier to entry” (if not then check with the wikipedia article I’ve linked behind the term) then you will immediately understand the massive threat to businesses of all kind posed by the emerging Networked Society, pardon digital economy. Those barriers are going to be lowered to such a degree as never before in the history of computerisation. Sure, as we will arrive to a “networked society” which is significantly more advanced in its capabilities than the already familiar to everybody “computerised society”. This latter kind of society was the result of the technology advancements of the 2nd half of the 20th century, while the kind of society we are talking about here is under formation of technology advancements of the 1st half of the 21st century. And from all that the mobile Internet is the current disruptor (but more to come the technology efforts under Networked Society umbrella).

No wonder that in the more practical terms Forrester’s Ted Schadler, VP and Principal Analyst was talking in 2014 about Mobile Is The Catalyst For The Digital Business Transformation

Mind You! The above mobility talk is about the current 3G to 4G type (“Mobile Internet (Aug’11)“) networks. Meanwhile for the Networked Society the mobile network, The Network is much much more. Read urgently my 5G 2015⇒2019 – Incremental Evolutionary Development and Standardization of 5G Technologies for the New Era of Wireless Internet of the 2020’s and 2030’s page which is providing an Outlook as of January 1, 2015.

To continue with this “no wonder” line of thought we come back to Gartner. Below there are 6 videos published by this leading IT strategy advisor company to show what kind  of dilemmas they are currently in, even inside (no wonder what kind of mental difficulties their customers are in):

What is the Digital Business: What Characterizes a Digital Business:
Who are the [Business] Leaders in Digital Business: Boosting Workforce Effectiveness with a Digital Workplace:
What Does Digital Business Mean To CIOs — Gartner: IoT under the CIO operation and control — Microsoft:

With all that confusion it’s time to watch 3 very brief video excerpts from John Rossman’s presentation about digital disruption, a 4th one which is 30 minutes long but it is about The Amazon Way, then 2 others expanding on that, one briefly and the other deeply. Rossman is from Alvarez & Marsal. Before joining A&M, he was Director of Enterprise Services at Amazon.com, managing worldwide services to enterprise clients such as Target.com, Toys R Us, Sears.ca, Marks and Spencer and the National Basketball Association (NBA).

Digital Disruption: Why the Urgency? Digital Disruption: Invent and Simplify
Digital Disruption: Are You A Platform? Digital Disruption: Lessons Learned from “The Amazon Way” (30 min.)
Driving Innovation and Growth in Business Today via Digital Disruption Leadership and Tactics for Creating Digital Disruption (72 minutes)

Leadership and Tactics for Creating Digital Disruption (72 minutes): PARC Forum Presents: Leveraging the leadership principles of Amazon.com, understand the perspective, culture, and tactics which leaders can borrow to evaluate and execute in the times of disruption. Mr. Rossman launched and scaled the third party selling business at Amazon (over 40% of all orders today) and managed the enterprise services business at Amazon. Since Amazon, Mr. Rossman has been advising companies across multiple industries including technology, social sector, retail and B2B services on disruptive business models and leadership to make them happen. This presentation will leave open plenty of time for open discussion. His recent book, “The Amazon Way: 14 Leadership Principles of the World’s Most Disruptive Company” is noted for its practical insider understanding that is helpful for all leaders. John is a Managing Director with Alvarez & Marsal Business Consulting. He specializes in multi-channel strategy, technology strategy and platform enablement in multiple industries including retail, service and public sector clients. Prior to joining A&M, Mr. Rossman was Director of Enterprise Services at Amazon.com, responsible for the development of the Merchants @ program, one of the largest B2B networks with thousands of sellers offering products in numerous categories. John is the author of The Amazon Way: 14 Leadership Principles of the World’s Most Disruptive Company, and is renowned expert on digital disruption and assisting his clients build and execute new business models.

Returning now to the IT strategies here are what we should take note of:

  1. Peter Sondergaard, May 21, 2015: Bimodal IT What CIOS Need To Know 

  2. Then here is the latest, May 2015 set of full messages from Gartner: Businesses heading towards point of digital inflexion (Tech Channel MEA, June 6, 2015)

The transformation has started and businesses are moving towards a platform of digital convergence including people, processes, devices. Gartner’s Peter Sondergaard explains more.

Note that when you go to the  Businesses heading towards point of digital inflexion (Tech Channel MEA, June 6, 2015) you will find a complete report on Peter Sondergaard discusses digital transformation, regional impact at Gartner Symposium Dubai 2015 including the transcripts of what Sondergaard was delivering in each video part embedded there. So it is worth to check with.

Now it’s time to move from the IT-focussed world to the Telco-focussed one:

First and foremost here is the Industry Transformation Keynote Panel @ TM Forum Live! 2015 (June 1-4, 2015, Nice, France) with 3 great people representing the 3 essential sides of the digital transformation: 

  • End customerKlas Bendrik, CIO, Volvo Car Group speaking on behalf of the whole automotive industry, in which the Volvo Car Group (not to be confused by “other Volvos”) is the most hopefull “rising star” since it has been taken over by the Chinese  Zhejiang Geely Holding Group (simply Geely) in 2010 from Ford (which was just “robbing” them)
  • Telco solutions supplierUlf Ewaldsson, Senior Vice President and Group CTO, Ericsson, well representing the views of the whole telco supplier industry, as Ericsson is the #1 there
  • TelcoJulie Woods-Moss, Chief Marketing Officer of Tata Communications Ltd, and CEO of its NextGen Business, thus having the best view over the whole global telecommunications sector by the very fact that it is “a leading provider of wholesale long distance Global Voice Solutions & Global Enterprise Data Solutions” and “over 24% of the world’s internet routes travel over Tata Communications’ network, which is the largest wholly-owned subsea cable network in the world.” (see also the Tata Communications: Leading the Next Generation Ethernet Evolution with Innovation for its NextGen efforts)

Let’s summarize first the panelists’ answers to the first question as:

The biggest opportunities for your business:

  • Volvo: … Digitalisation is happening here and right now …
  • Ericsson: We started 5 years ago. Now the Networked Society is here. … [Now] we have to live up to [our] promise. … We are well in the Networked Society. …
  • Tata Communications: … Touch communications [i.e. communications at “internet touch points”] and B2B is here. … [but] Less than 10% of the revenue in the sector is coming from digitalisation. … [the biggest opportunity is the] digitalisation of all of our [internet] touch points. …

We [i.e. Tata Communications] see digital, mobile, social, BIG data and cloud all together … unlike digitisation in silos prevalent [currently] in the whole sector …

Barriers of entry [into any industry] becoming nil [as the result of that]. …

With DragonBoard™ 410c Qualcomm is pioneering the high performance, 64-bit capable, low cost ARM based platform market for communities of embedded developers, educators, makers et al.

This is Qualcomm’s first initiative to target the communities. Since the company’s Snapdragon 410 SoC had already been designed into no less than 291 smartphones available on the market community members are assured of getting their costs incredibly low. In addition to that Cortex-A53 is used alone in higher and higher-end devices as the result of increased competition between MediaTek and Qualcomm, which will assure the communities a continuous supply of leading edge SoCs in the future. Read that companion post of mine in which you could also find the basic facts about the advantages of the Cortex-A53 cores vs. the earlier designs from ARM.

Charbax from Maker Fair Shenzhen 2015 (June 19-21, 2015)

Qualcomm DragonBoard 410c is a credit card sized http://96Boards.org compliant development board based on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 processor, with I/O like USB device, 1080P HDMI, micro USB port, support WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, support Android, linux, planned to support windows 10 in the near future. The DragonBoard 410c is designed to support rapid software development, education and prototyping, including the next generation of robotics, cameras, medical devices, vending machines, smart buildings, digital signage, casino gaming consoles, and much more. At Maker Fair Shenzhen, Qualcomm is showing off how easy it is to get going with development using their new DragonBoard 410c, being released now

June 18, 2015: Welcome to the DragonBoard™ 410c

Available now! The DragonBoard™ 410c by Arrow Electronics is the first development board based on a mid-tier Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 400 series processor. The board is designed to build a software ecosystem around the Snapdragon 410 processor, as well as offering uses in education, prototyping, and commercial embedded computing products. Featuring the 64-bit capable Snapdragon 410 quad-core ARM® Cortex® A53 processor, the DragonBoard 410c supports Android 5.1Linux based on Ubuntu and there are plans to offer support for Windows 10. It offers advanced processing power, integrated WiFi, Bluetooth, and GPS, all packed into a board the size of a credit card. The board supports feature-rich functionality, including multimedia, with the Adreno™ 306 GPU for PC-class graphics, integrated ISP with up to 13 MP camera support, and 1080p HD video playback and capture with H.264 (AVC).

The DragonBoard 410c is an ideal foundation for prototyping and includes 1GB 533MHz LPDDR3 memory, 8GB eMMC 4.5 storage and a micro SD card slot, as well as one 40-pin low speed and one 60-pin high speed expansion connector, and the footprint for an optional analog expansion connector for stereo headset/line-out, speakers and analog line-in. The board can be made compatible with Arduino using an add-on mezzanine board.

The DragonBoard 410c has the rich feature set and mid-tier accessibility to enable wide-ranging embedded and Internet of Everything (IoE) applications, including the next generation of robotics, cameras, medical devices, vending machines, smart buildings, digital signage, casino gaming consoles, and much more.

March 18, 2015: Qualcomm Announces Support of Windows 10 for the DragonBoard 410c Development Platform and Mobile Device Reference Designs

Support brings OEMs and developers high-performance Snapdragon enabled platform to help accelerate development for Windows 10 mobile and Windows 10 IoT devices

Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. (QTI), a subsidiary of Qualcomm Incorporated (NASDAQ: QCOM), today announced its support for Microsoft Windows 10 for IoT devices and Internet of Everything (IoE) applications with the DragonBoard 410c development board. Based on the Qualcomm® Snapdragon 410 processor by QTI, the DragonBoard 410c platform has superior functionality and computing capabilities, as well as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and GPS, and is one of the world’s first high performance, low cost ARM®-based platforms for Windows 10.  It is a credit card-sized development kit designed to support rapid software development and prototyping for commercializing new inventions and products, such as the next generation of robotics, cameras, set-top-boxes, wearables, medical devices, vending machines, building automation, industrial control, digital signage, and casino gaming consoles.

“Qualcomm Technologies continues to offer the mobile device and development community the foundation and resources they need to build their portfolio of Windows devices across smartphones, tablets and IoE applications,” said Jason Bremner, senior vice president of product management for Qualcomm Technologies. “We are thrilled to demo DragonBoard 410c running Windows 10 IoT at WinHEC. DragonBoard 410c is an ARMv8-based development platform which is designed to support a wide array of embedded computing and IoE devices, drivers and application development.”

Microsoft is committed to advancing the Internet of Things with Windows 10 and Azure Cloud Services. Our collaboration with Qualcomm Technologies to provide Windows 10 for the DragonBoard 410c is an important milestone in realizing a new device-as-a-service proposition for device builders,” said Kevin Dallas, general manager, IoT Team, Operating Systems Group, Microsoft. “Combining Windows 10 with the performance of Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 processors will help the ecosystem realize robust, feature-rich use cases and enable developers to quickly commercialize their hardware products.”

The first live demos on the DragonBoard 410c will occur at WinHEC on March 18-19, 2015, in Shenzhen. The event will also feature technical sessions on Qualcomm Reference Designs (QRD) by QTI, as well as a QRD-based Windows Phone device display. For more information on WinHEC, please visit www.winhec.com. Additional information about QRD can be found at https://qrd.qualcomm.com/, or on the DragonBoard 410c at http://developer.qualcomm.com/dragonboard410cThe DragonBoard 410c is anticipated to be made commercially available by third party distributors this summer.

In addition to the introduction of Windows 10 support for the DragonBoard 410c, QTI’s long-standing collaboration with Microsoft has resulted in 25 OEMs developing over 30 new Windows Phones based on various Qualcomm Reference Designs to date. The Qualcomm Snapdragon 210 processor-based reference design will be the first reference design from Qualcomm Technologies to support the new Windows 10 operating system, with both phone and tablet reference designs to help manufacturers quickly introduce feature-rich Windows mobile devices.

About the Qualcomm Reference Design Program

To date, the Qualcomm Reference Design program by QTI has helped OEMs and ODMs around the world to accelerate their product development time and reduce related costs.  More than 1,080 commercial QRD-based devices have been shipped or are in the pipeline across 21 countries. Additionally, there are more than 270 commercial QRD-based LTE devices with more than 180 designs in the pipeline, helping provide consumers with more connected devices around the world.

March 19, 2015: DragonBoard 410c for Embedded Computing and IoE bí Leon Farasati, senior product manager at Qualcomm CDMA Technologies (QCT) responsible for Snapdragon Mobile Development Platforms

What will you build with this dragon?

As mobile devices powered by Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ processors have grown in functionality and number, the processor has become attractive to manufacturers of adjacent products like robots, kiosks, display signage and arcade machines.

Most of the interest has come from companies in embedded computing, where applications are more often industrial than consumer-facing and require parts designed for longevity, so they have often lacked features we take for granted in mobile, like a small footprint and low power consumption.

It turns out that Snapdragon processors have been quite a nice surprise for them.

Why Snapdragon processors for embedded computing?

As the Internet of Everything (IoE) takes off, manufacturers of embedded products are looking at everything they can do with Snapdragon processors, including HD video, Wi-Fi, multimedia, computer vision and cameras. They like what they see, and they really like that they can build those functions into embedded products with greater energy efficiency, no fans, no noise and a low thermal profile.

We’ve been working with them for the last few years with tools, kits and platforms that the hardware ecosystem has rolled out based on Snapdragon 800 and 600 series processors. Now we’re gearing up to support Snapdragon processors for a broader group of developers, makers and manufacturers with a new low-cost development board design based on the 64-bit capable Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 410 processor which has been designed for longevity.

DragonBoard™ 410c

The “c” is for “community”, and that’s exactly what this board is intended to support. The DragonBoard 410c is one of the world’s first high performance, 64-bit capable, low cost ARM based platforms. It has integrated Wi-Fi, Bluetooth® and GPS, all in a board the size of a credit card. It’s designed to be compatible with the 96Boards Consumer Edition, which supports the hardware community to develop a range of compatible add-on products, shields and accessories. 96Boards is the open platform specification for high-performance development boards supported by Linaro.

DragonBoard based on Snapdragon 410

The DragonBoard 410c has support for Android, Linux and Windows 10, providing incredible options for software solutions. And as you would expect with any Snapdragon processor, it’s well equipped to support rich multimedia applications with an Adreno™ 306 GPU, 1080p HD video playback and capture with H.264 (AVC) and integrated ISP with support for 13 MP camera.

It also comes equipped with high- and low-speed expansion connectors, analog expansion connector for headset, speakers and FM, plus I/O interfaces for HDMI, USB 2.0 and micro SD card slot. All said, we believe this will make a great platform for rapid prototyping and commercializing a broad range of new inventions. The path to commercial devices is supported by an established ecosystem of embedded solutions providers who provide off-the-shelf or custom system-on-modules, support and design services for commercial deployments.

Last week we announced DragonBoard 410c. This week we are showing the first live demos of it at Microsoft-hosted WinHEC, and this summer DragonBoard 410c is anticipated to be commercially available through third party distributors.

Next Steps

With DragonBoard 410c we’re working to make made-for-mobile Snapdragon features a lot more accessible to help fuel innovation of embedded products. Adjacent products can benefit from AllJoyn™, Adreno GPU, Fast CV™, Vuforia™, audio and video features that seemed far beyond embedded computing just a couple of processor-generations ago. We can’t wait to see what you’ll invent.

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