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How many Archos users are there?

Posted by Charbax on July 29th, 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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