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Archive for July, 2008

How many Archos users are there?

Posted by Charbax on 29th July 2008

Archos just published the sales results to the investors: http://www.archos.com/corporate/investors/financial_doc/Archos_communique_CAT22008_fr.pdf

They did a 100 million € revenue in 2007 and plan to do about the same this year. But that is also targeting most of that revenue now on WiFi and HSDPA products.

Gen5 may have represented a good portion of 2007 revenues, perhaps 40%, thus 40 million €, add to that another 40 million € for the first 6 months of this year, this would be a total of 80 million € thus far mostly on sales of the 605 WiFi. I guess less then 10% of Gen5 sales are the 705 and 405 series.

80 million € at an estimated 200€ revenue average per unit sold (30GB model being the most popular), that would amount to an approximate 400 thousand 605 WiFi users at this point, and another possible couple of hundred thousand before Gen6 completely replaces Gen5 starting in September.

Archos could have completely new sales targets in vision for Gen6 which should be unveiled soon and which should be released in September, since Gen6 will introduce 2 confirmed HSDPA service provider partnerships. SFR being the one confirmed for the French market and that there is another confirmed carrier in Europe according to this latest investors document.

Sales of the Archos Moovyplay are also about to accelerate in France nationally outside of pilot areas, as well as pilots are being tested currently with Blockbuster in Dallas Texas which may quickly expand nationally in the USA upon it being measured to be a successful strategy. Those may also represent a source of significant expansion of development by Archos to work together with the DVD/Blu-ray rental industry and have them actually replace the DVD and the Blu-ray as a transition until VOD is pervasive.

Even though a possible 400’000 sales of 605 WiFi might be low compared to the possible 10’000’000 global sales of the iPhone at this stage (4% in comparison of number of units sold), Archos 605 WiFi sales figures might not be too far from the global iPod Touch sales figures which Apple has not disclosed as far as I know. The WiFi-only connected PMP being a different market segment, there is significant demand and significant potential in HSDPA products which may stream multimedia and browse the Internet just as well as using WiFi but in a more usable manner while outdoors. WiFi being more reliable indoors at the moment since WiFi roaming communities such as FON are not ubiquitous at this point.

So really, it will be extremely interesting to see the details of Gen6 when Archos decides to release them. We know a certain group of UK journalists have already been briefed and are preparing the articles and perhaps even the first reviews of the next generation Archos Gen6, those informations should become available some time in August according to a forum post by a Stuff.tv journalist, which publishes the biggest consumer electronics magazine in the world. Archos potential to providing HSDPA products subsidized in partnership with HSDPA providers and in partnership with content providers is to be presented by Archos for the first time in the next few months.

HSDPA providers could present the Archos Gen6 HSDPA to their customers as a better alternative then the iPhone 3G. Movie rental partners could introduce the Archos Moovyplay concept as a viable and mass market alternative to the DVD and Blu-ray disc for physical movie rentals through automated digital kiosks as a transitional solution to compete with VOD and Netflix. Archos could present global content partnerships as subscriptions which could further subsidize the purchase of the Gen6 products. Archos could announce marketing and distribution deals with large retailers that also are interested in providing online video and music subscriptions and use Archos as their alternative to the iPhone 3G.

Will Gen6 make it possible for Archos to attract several millions of users for a Generation instead of several hundreds of thousands per Generation as it has been so far? I certainly hope Archos is considering to use Google Android with Gen6, this would make it compatible with all the Linux based embedded software for social networking and localization that are going to be introduced also in the next few months.

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Blockbuster’s download kiosks launching in August in the USA

Posted by Charbax on 24th July 2008

The point really is, that once you connect your Archos to your TV, this solution effectively replaces the DVD disc and the DVD player. This also can replace the Blu-ray disc and the Blu-ray player once they use Archos devices that support HD resolution videos. They are trying to implement USB3 speeds so that the movie transfer takes less then 30 seconds from the Kiosk.

You don’t have to spend a long time selecting your movies on the touchscreen of the Kiosk, you can have already done your selections at home on the TV, since the Archos can host the complete catalog of all available movies with a selection of trailers, and thus from your TV you prepare your selection list, and thus once you go to a movie download Kiosk, you simply plug your Archos to it and it will immediately download your movie selections automatically. You also don’t have to pay for the rental upfront at the Kiosk, you can load tens of movies on your Archos all at once and you only pay the rental and start the 48 hour rental period once you hit the play button. So you can fill up your Archos with a whole months worth of rental movies all at once. Once you go to refill your Archos, it automatically deletes the movies you have already watched if it needs to make storage space available.

Each download Kiosk can be built for just a few thousand dollars, so Blockbuster can install them not only at the existing Blockbuster stores, they can also set them up at every supermarket, 7-eleven, tank station, post office and laundry store. Those can also be installed in the streets just as cash registers. Each Kiosk can host 4-5 Archos players at the same time. So if you have to transfer 20 movies over 10 minutes, you don’t have to monopolize the use of the Kiosk, you can plug your Archos to it and wait by the machine for 10 minutes to get the 20 movies transfered to it automatically according to the selection you made from home or that you made on the Archos touchscreen before being at the Kiosk, and up to 4 other users can stand there next to you with their Archos players and be synchronizing their latest selections as well.

To save time, they could also conceive of a lock system and door system in which you place your Archos for those 10-20 minutes it takes to transfer 20 or 40 HD movies to it, and that you can leave it in there while you do your shopping in the supermarket. And thus when you are finished doing your shopping 10-20 minutes later, you can get back your Archos by inserting a magnetic ID card into the Kiosk ID card reader hich could also be your credit card or your Blockbuster membership card. And thus the Kiosk could host up to 4-5 Archos at the same time, and this way you wouldn’t have to wait by the Kiosk for it to transfer all the movies, but you could be doing other stuff while its copying the movies ith as much as 3gbit/s onto as much as 320GB storage in your Archos since Archos players use up to 2.5” hard drives. That is enough to store over 300 movies in DVD quality and up to 100 movies in HD quality.

Posted as a comment at PaidContent.org: Blockbuster’s Digital Kiosks and Movielink Plans; August Launch

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Certain UK journalists and bloggers are under NDA

Posted by Charbax on 11th July 2008

The event yesterday in London was a closed press event by Archos, possibly showing the next generation, possibly announcing pricing and partnerships, but we will not know for now. The invited journalists and bloggers are under NDA embargo for now.

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Archos to announce something exciting on July 10th

Posted by Charbax on 1st July 2008

This could be Gen6, this could be the revolutionary HSDPA generation.

UK press has got an invitation which you can read about at http://www.pocket-lint.co.uk/news/news.phtml/15814/16838/archos-3g-pmp-incoming-rumours.phtml

The 10th of July is the day before Apple releases the 3G iPhone in 22 countries. So hopefully, Archos will have the next generation to unveil at that event on the 10th of July, that’s just one week from now.

We’ll keep you updated as soon as we hear anything about that release event. And we’ll try to have the whole ArchosFans.com community updated to version 2.0 by then. You can discuss this at: http://forum.archosfans.com/viewtopic.php?t=15876

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