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Archive for July, 2012

FCC does it again, leaks Archos new generation

Posted by Charbax on 29th July 2012

Another year, another Generation of Archos tablets is leaked exclusively through blurry pictures on the FCC leaking machine. Same happened with G5 in 2007, G7 in 2009, Home Tablet in 2010, G8 in 2010 (2). Here’s the Archos G10 XS (all FCC documents):

Rumored or confirmed:

TI OMAP4470 ARM Cortex-A9 processor
New Proprietary Dock for the included Keyboard Dock (maybe something else too)
Kick-stand (called Tablet Stand) is on the Keyboard Dock
Keyboard doubles as thin screen protector and seems to use a new twist function (with or without magnets) to attach and detach from the tablet.
Micro-SD, Mini-HDMI, Micro-USB (dunno if doubles as host)

Is there some kind of conspiracy? Why does the US FCC always leak Archos new devices before Archos decides to unveil those products to the press officially?

Consider some reasons why Archos Generation 10 can be very attractive to massive audiences:

- Price can start $299 for 10.1″ with the included Keyboard Dock.
- That can be $200 to $300 cheaper than Microsoft Surface.
- No technical reason that Archos G10 can’t also dual-boot into Chrome OS for ARM and even triple-boot into Windows 8 for ARM, Windows RT, if Microsoft simply allows Archos have a triple-boot on it (give the option to the consumer to pay for the Windows RT licence if they want to be able to triple-boot into it).
- This at $299 can be a very attractive ARM Powered Laptop/Tablet combo. Why not triple-boot Ubuntu, or Archos pick up the phone and talk with Canonical to ship it with the Ubuntu on Android app.
- This is the first TI OMAP4470 Tablet that I hear leaked and talked about. Texas Instruments dominated the market by the end of 2011, they can do it again and Archos has a long relationship with TI always shipping TI’s latest most advanced processors early. Expect a wide range of smartphones and tablets other than Archos to also use OMAP4470 before the end of the year, that helps provide a foundation for good software support, such as Ice Cream Sandwich and Jelly Bean using the OMAP4460 Powered Samsung Galaxy Nexus as the reference design. That makes it easier for Archos to always stay up to date on the latest version of Android.
- OMAP4470 uses the SGX544 GPU, pretty powerful, maybe the most powerful GPU on the market yet.
- OMAP4470 increases memory bandwidth further from OMAP4460, memory bandwidth is one of the most important functions of a powerful ARM Powered device, often more so than Ghz, number of cores and other.
- Consider this ARM Powered Laptop/Tablet combo can weight less than 500 grams. When productivity proves itself sublime on Android, Ubuntu on Android, Chrome OS dual-boot and an eventual Windows RT triple-boot, this form factor can prove itself to be one of the most demanded by consumers.

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Archos announces $90 Million revenues for 1st half of 2012, here are my expectations for the second half

Posted by Charbax on 20th July 2012

Archos just announced a $90 Million revenue for the first half of the year. It’s decent considering Archos is a 150-employee Tablet company based in France. But it’s only a 3.5% increase of the first half of 2011. The slow growth is mostly due to unstable slowing sales for Archos in the USA (-39% over 2nd quarter 2011). But that is understandable, the US market is very volatile for a small French company to influence in a stable way.

Even as the prices for the Archos 101 G9 Turbo ICS 8GB is at an amazing low $219 it should be a no-brainer for all US consumers to buy that Archos G9 Turbo tablet now if they are looking for the best possible value in 10.1″ 1280×800 ICS (and likely JB soon) tablet.

Anyways, going forward, as I expect Archos can break the $300 Million in yearly revenues, here are some of the expectations that I have for Archos introducing new products in the next 6 months:

1. Archos G10 XS: OMAP4470 1.5Ghz with SGX544 GPU, likely one of the highest memory bandwidth and most powerful GPU on the market at possibly sub-$300 possibly 1920×1200 10.1″ launch price.
- Expect it to be among the thinnest and lightest tablets on the market of the category.
- For sub-$300 it hopefully even includes a super thin Microsoft Surface like Keyboard screen cover. Thus turning Archos G10 XS into the ultimate sub-$300 ARM Powered Laptop also.
- Tripe-booting from Android into Chrome OS and Windows RT would be nice. The hardware should officially allow/enable that.
- It’d be nice to see G10 in 7″ (optimal for jacket pockets) and 5″ (optimal for pants pockets) also.

2. Archos Elements: The initial Carbon is being shown off with a single-core Rockchip RK2918 inside and running a Google Certified Android ICS. I expect the Archos Elements line to be upgraded to Archos Nitrogen (or some other element) with a Dual-core Rockchip RK3066 and running Jelly Bean at launch. How soon for RK3066? I think as soon as next month is a possibility. The retail price for 10.1″ 1280×800 and 9.7″ RK3066 Elements should be sub-$200.
- Archos 7″ Elements should also reach sub-$100 even for a RK3066 Dual-core type. Thus nicely out-competing Google’s Nexus7 at half the price.
- I expect the Archos Elements to also work with the Keyboard screen cover also.

3. Arnova G3 and G4: Here we’re talking about the cheapest usable tablets in the world. All the way down to sub-$50 for a 7″ capacitive tablet using Rockchip RK2906 or Allwinner A13 without a HDMI output.

As I write in this thread in the forum:

I think Archos should venture into making these new products:

- Archos Google TV, compete with all of Vizio Co-Star Google TV, LG Google TV, Samsung Google TV and devices like the Nexus Q, Roku and Apple TV. The genius of Archos would be to hub tablets to the HDTV, but focus on using Google TV software if possible. Or else plain Android but aiming it towards Google TV UI when Google can provide it. $99.

- Archos Chromebook, same OMAP4470 as rest of the range. This one should be simple, but use a 13.3″ screen and full sized keyboard and mousepad as good quality as on the Ultrabooks of the market. Price it $199 and Archos becomes the number 1 most wanted Laptop brand in the world. That easy. Just make sure it runs Chrome OS or Chromium OS, whichever Google can provide for OMAP4470 today. Ingenious would be an empty 2.5″ hard drive slot for optional storage expansion but otherwise 8GB built-in Flash to run the Chrome OS is enough, 2GB RAM maybe.

I’ll add one more:

- Archos or Arnova Game Player. Around 5″ to 7″ Android tablets with gamepad buttons on each side of the screen. Optimally there should be an add-on for all Archos tablets transforming any into game players by adding gamepad buttons as a snap-on to each side of the screen, but alternatively, Archos can also sell some gameplayer devices that have those buttons integrated as core part of the product.

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