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Rockchip RK2918 runs Ice Cream Sandwich

Posted by Charbax on 29th November 2011

Rockchip is showing Ice Cream Sandwich running on their 1Ghz-1.2Ghz RK2918 ARM Cortex-A8 processor with the Vivante GC800 GPU. This may be one of the first demonstrations of Ice Cream Sandwich running on an ARM Cortex-A8 processor?

Thus expect some Ice Cream Sandwich firmware updates for the cool devices like the $149 Arnova 7 G2, $179 Arnova 8 G2, the $199 Arnova 10 G2 and the recently announced Arnova 9 G2 likely to be sold below $249 with a 9.7″ capacitive IPS touch screen, thus bringing nice single-core Ice Cream Sandwich tablet experiences for the low-cost market.

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Archos dominates tablet sales at Hong Kong Golden Computer Market

Posted by Charbax on 21st April 2011

Archos surely seems to dominate in terms of nearly every store in Hong Kong that sells tablets have a range of Archos Gen8 tablets for sale right there at prime shelf space, while very few have the iPad or Samsung Galaxy Tab for sale. It seems consumers and gadget retailers in Hong Kong Electronics Market regard Archos as great value, even as there might be cheaper “Archos Home Tablet” or “Arnova” grade tablets also being sold there, consumers who want high-end experience for low to mid-range pricing, still overwhelmingly choose the Archos tablets.

ABI Research recently speculated that Archos as being the third largest tablet maker worldwide in 2010. If Apple still has 85% in Q1 2011 and with 4.69 million iPads sold, that means Archos would have had to only sell 110 thousand tablets worldwide between January-March 2011 to remain at that 2% 2010 ABI Research speculative worldwide tablet market share.

My theory, Archos probably has more than 6% global tablet market share today

Archos officially released their Q1 earnings at 39€ Million ($56.7 Million) (up 158% from a year before), if an average Archos tablet is sold at $150 to retailers, that would mean Archos may have sold 378 thousand tablets between January and March 2011, that’s thus probably more than 6% worldwide tablet market share for Archos if Apple has 85%.

One things for certain, while the global market share is one thing, another is regional tablet market share, Archos was shown to have over 22% tablet marketshare in November-December 2010 sales for tablets in France, and may thus also have much higher than 6% tablet marketshare in markets like Germany, England, Hong Kong and even the USA.

Another thing to consider, Archos can only have as much marketshare as it can afford to build for.

If you consider Apple may have about 80% tablet market share in Q1 2011, and Archos let’s say 8% in that same period, here are some of the differences between those two companies:

  • Archos has less than 150 employees mostly based in France, $56.7 Million Q1 2011 revenues, Market Capitalisation at $215,34 Million, probably has less than $20 Million in the bank to use for production enhancements, sales channels increase, marketing, manufacturing capacity increase, and R&D investments.
  • Apple has 49,400 employees (329x more than Archos) mostly based in the USA, $24.6 Billion Q1 2011 revenues (433x more than Archos), Market Capitalisation at $223,77 Billion (1039x more than Archos), probably has over $40 Billion in the bank to use for production enhancements (2000x more than Archos), sales channels increase, marketing, manufacturing capacity increase, and R&D investments.

This is why Archos has started today issuing a capital increase of upwards $43 Million, a call to their investors to invest more money in new Archos stock. If investors answer the call (by May 4th), Archos may triple their bank account size, thus having more money to spend on increasing production capacity, smoothing sales channels, optimizing software/hardware R&D efficiency, and may gear up for trying to reach upwards 24% global tablet marketshare by the end of the year.

Considering the many new entrants to the tablet market, including major ones like Asus, Acer, Dell, Toshiba, Lenovo, etc, it might be hard for a small company like Archos to reach 24% marketshare in such a rapidly growing market. But who knows, in my opinion, it’s mostly a matter of cash, investments and being able to provide the best value. While Archos may triple their sales having 3x more cash in the bank for tripling production capacity (considering they can easily sell everything that they make), that does not mean they would triple their marketshare if the tablet market at the same time more than doubles in size. They might go from 8% to 12%, something like that. And if the tablet market triples in size they could remain at 8% in a 3x larger market.

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Archos Gen9 tablets, 1.6Ghz Dual-core, 3G, to be announced in June

Posted by Charbax on 18th March 2011

Archos just announced that their revenues are up 44% for 2010 sales compared to 2009 sales, to $118 Million in yearly sales. They also managed to increase their profit margins from 13.5% to 23.3%. In terms of actual profits after R&D, Marketing and other expenses, Archos is about break-even. Archos plans to more than double its revenues and profits in 2011, grabbing about 5% of the worldwide tablet market share expected in 2011 (they captured 22% market share in France for November-December 2010, behind iPad 67% but infront of Samsung 4%, so it should be doable even as tablet competition strongly increases). They plan to do that among other by launching Generation 9 in June (at least show it for the first time), that’s only 3 months from now!

Here are the first few details as reported by from what they heard at Archos investors meeting today about the Gen9 tablets (what’s in bold is from the report, the rest of following text are my added speculations and guessing):

- ARM Cortex-A9 Dual-core 1.6Ghz, it’s the fastest processor in a tablet ever unveiled thus far. I expect this to be a customized Texas Instruments OMAP4440, but that is only because I guess Archos will continue their long time partnership with TI that they’ve had for over 10 years now.

- New innovative 3G modem. Yup, we’re getting 3G (at least as an option). What kind of 3G? How they implement it? I dunno, it seems they have a new special way of doing it? I hope they do it with some kind of modem module that can be added or swaped, thus making the tablet compatible with all types of cellular networks current and future and making production and distribution easy, anyone think it could be a module? Somehow allowing for space for a standard USB 3G modem on an “internal” USB host could also be a very innovative way to simply add 3G to the devices, the back of the device could “simply” have some space available to insert any standard compact 3G modem such as the Huawei or ZTE 3G usb dongles that anyone can buy everywhere for as little as $20 unlocked.

- 6 sizes from 5″ to 10″. That’s the sizes it seems they are aiming at. It might mean Archos noticed their 7″ and 10″ Gen8 were much more popular and in demand than the smaller sizes, and it might mean Archos is realizing a tablet has to be at least 5″, perhaps they leave the smaller sizes to the Arnova line? I expect/hope all are capacitive, even the 5″ one. Likely sizes are 5″, 7″, 10.1″, other possible sizes (since there are 6 sizes planned), 9.7″ 4:3 aspect ratio, 5.8″, 8.9″, 8″ 4:3 aspect ratio. I also hope Archos and Pixel Qi can synchronize release schedules so Archos can provide Pixel Qi matte capacitive screen option on all these sizes, at least as an option. Would you pay $50/$100 extra for Pixel Qi if Pixel Qi is not yet fully mass produced? One can hope Pixel Qi is fully mass produced in time, and that somehow Archos sees the opportunity in using it accross the line, thus making Gen9 ready for productivity, ready for real reading, ready for outdoor use, ready for use in professional and study situations, ready for serious collaboration on text annotations, ready to be Kindle-killer and iPad-killer all at the same time.

- All are Android, obviously it has to be Honeycomb (source code for Honeycomb has yet to be released in the open by Google, it should be done any day now), can Google finally open up Android and allow value Archos tablets the full Google Marketplace access? I would expect so, that could hopefully allow Archos to be certified. (this is totally up to Google is my guess)

- Archos says they continue to focus on aiming for the medium range pricing. My guess is it likely stays below $300, but if they do 3G, Pixel Qi and if they are first out with OMAP4440, who knows, perhaps the price might sneak up to something below $400. Archos CEO is planning all this based on offering the best possible value they can, my guess is that they aim to stay below $300 for the basic models.

- They continue to make hard drive versions. Reason being hard drives provide much more storage at much lower cost. My expectation is at least some of the 6 sizes will have hard drive options. Capacity can depend on how thick they can accept that hard drive to be, cause 2.5″ hard drives can go up to 1TB as far as I know, but those are probably too fat. So 250GB for sure, 320GB and 500GB again maybe, if the 320GB or/and 500GB are available in super slim mode.

Well that’s all they have teased for us for now. What other features are you hoping Archos is preparing for us in the Gen9 tablets? write in the comments. You can also comment in the forum:


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Alcatel One Touch and Archos partner up for low cost Android Tablet and Smartphone combined data plans

Posted by Charbax on 8th February 2011

Alcatel One Touch is one of the makers of cheap Android Smartphones such as the Alcatel OT-980 which is sold for only £99 on pre-paid plans in the UK. Alcatel One Touch is a brand of TCL Corporation, a $16.7 Billion valued Chinese consumer electronics company.

Alcatel One Touch’s partnership with Archos would enable an easy sharing of data from a low cost Android Smartphone using a ‘’One Touch Connect’’ button to share the 3G data automatically with the Archos tablet over a mobile WiFi hotspot. This may be a one-click process, and the carrier may be able to limit access of that WiFi hotspot only to the Archos tablet through Mac address filtering and not as a totally open or encrypted WiFi hotspot for use with other devices.

The idea is that one affordable subscription plan include the voice and data through the low cost Android smartphone as well as the low cost yet high-end Android tablet. This way, consumers don’t need to subscribe to more than one package. I think it can be expected that Alcatel One Touch will present a new range of cheap Android Smartphones with this One Touch Connect mobile hotspot functionality built-in.

Here is expectation/guess/suggestion for a pricing model which I think would make this kind of offer a sure hit:

Pre-paid only, no contract: $299 for the basic 3.5″ capacitive Alcatel-OT Smartphone and the latest Archos 7″ capacitive tablet, both are on pre-paid and no contracts are needed, pricing for pre-paid should be below $30 per month for something like 300 minutes or unlimited use of voice and 3GB to 5GB of data per month to be used on the Tablet and the Smartphone. The 3GB monthly data hotspot may be open for other devices as well if the carrier wants to allow it. For example $10 to $20 extra per month it could open up the mobile hotspot to any other device and increase monthly limit to something like 10GB per month.

Phone alone on pre-paid no contract should be $149. Tablet alone no contract needed would be $249.

6-month contract, then pre-pay: $249 for the Smartphone+Tablet package, $30/month for unlimited voice/data to use on both devices or more. $50 early termination fee, lowered $5 each month.

12-month contract, then pre-pay: $199 for the Smartphone+Tablet package, $30/month for unlimited voice/data to use on both devices or more. $100 early termination fee, lowered $5 each month.

18-month contract, then pre-pay: $149 for the Smartphone+Tablet package, $30/month for unlimited voice/data to use on both devices or more, $150 early termination fee, lowered $5 each month.

24-month contract, then pre-pay: $99 for the Smartphone+Tablet package, $30/month for unlimited voice/data to use on both devices or more. $200 early termination fee, lowered $5 each month.

What do you think of the idea to use a cheap Smartphone mostly for voice and basic apps and tether it with a larger screen Tablet, use all on one same low cost voice+data plan, and even have this work for pre-paid plans?

You can discuss this partnership here:

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France: Archos has 22% Tablet marketshare

Posted by Charbax on 8th February 2011

According to French market analyst GfK, Archos is now the second biggest tablet maker on the French market, far in front of Samsung (4%), Toshiba (3%), Huawei, Viewsonic and others. Sure enough Apple has the biggest market share with 67%, but I think that’s mostly due to Apple having more cash for manufacturing and distribution. If Archos had been able to spend more money producing more units and having better stock availability at all resellers and never run out of stock during these past 3 months, then I think Archos would probably be number 1 in market share, even in front of Apple.


As I run the biggest Archos fansite community at and I have been publishing the earliest and most popular video reviews of Archos products for over 6 years, publishing the most popular and earliest videos of Archos full Tablet line such as the 70 Internet Tablet, 7 Home Tablet, 101 Internet Tablet, 32 Internet Tablet, 43 Internet Tablet, I may be biased. But I am sure that if all stores had enough Archos in stock to satisfy the demand for tablets over these past 3 months, Archos would sell even more than Apple.

What matters to the consumer is the value proposition. What features they can get for what price. Archos newest Gen8 Android tablets are about half the price of the iPad and provide more features.

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Thanks FCC, Archos 32 pictures are out

Posted by Charbax on 10th August 2010

Wow, check this out, this is the new cheapest Android ARM Cortex A8 device in the world. Archos Gen8 has hardware buttons for Android Menu, Home, Back and Search/OK functions!

Here are more pictures showing the hardware buttons and design of this new awesome $149 ARM Cortex A8 45nm based Android device. Consider, this is Android 2.2 experience with OpenGL acceleration starting below $149 without the need to signup for 2 year contracts with any carrier. 3G access can be had using Mifi or through Bluetooth tethering.

It has a volume rocker and some power/charging LED or buttons:

The headphones jack (which doubles as composite video output with the right cable), microphone emplacement (or input), another power button or LED and the mini-USB or micro-USB connector:

The user interface of Android on this $149 device is similar to the previous generation Archos 5 Internet Tablet, but consider that Archos is preparing Android 2.1 firmware upgradable to Android 2.2 for this device. See that the Archos Media Center features which allow full video and audio codecs playback is provided through the Archos Media Center Widget at the bottom of the Android user interface. The multimedia part available as the AMC widget is the core of Archos customization of the Android user interface.

The back seems to be easily openable, which may or may not provide access to an eventual MicroSD card slot that may or may not be present there on the back of the device, to be confirmed. It may just be the opening for the volume rocker buttons. Otherwise while $149 would be the price of the 8GB built-in storage version, I think it would be fair to estimate that for $199 one could get the 32GB version of this device.

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First of Gen8 leaks: Archos 32 8GB, $149 Android 2.2 device, 3.2″ 400×240 screen

Posted by Charbax on 3rd August 2010

Archos is preparing the Generation 8 of Android devices, to be released probably in or before September and October, the date is approaching and now it seems a US retail store in has leaked some of the informations about one of the first of the Archos Gen8 devices. This is one of the cheap ones, as we knew from official informations by Archos press release on the Gen8 it is going to be:

The five new ARCHOS Android Tablets will feature touchscreens ranging from 2.8’’ to 10’’ in width with resolutions including QVGA (240 x 320) with LDPI density, FWVGA (854×480) with HDPI density, WVGA (800×480) with MDPI density and up to the maximum WSVGA (1024×600) with MDPI density.

This new leaked Archos Gen8 is the: Archos 32 8GB

It is leaked by to be sold in the USA for: $149

Screen size and resolution: 3.2″ 400×240 touch screen

Video and audio playback support, very interesting specs for Gen8, consider this is a 800mhz ARM Cortex A8 processor, very likely the Texas Instruments OMAP3630 or OMAP3640 processor, there are going to be 1ghz skews of this too.

Video playback: MPEG-4 HD (up to 720p, 24fps@12Mbps) / MPEG-42 (ASP@L5 AVI, up to DVD resolution, 24fps@12Mbps) / H.264 HD (HP@L3.1 up to 720p, 24fps@7Mbps) / WMV9/VC1 (AP up to 720p 24fps@10Mbps) / MJPG (Motion JPEG) in VGA resolution (With Optional plug-in: Cinema: MPEG2 (up to DVD resolution MP/D1, 30fps@15Mbps) / With the above codecs, the device can play video files with the following extensions: AVI, MP4, MOV, 3GP, MPG, PS, TS, VOB, MKV, FLV, RM, RMVB, ASF, WMV
Audio Playback: MP3 CBR & VBR / WMA, WMA-Pro 5.1 / WAV (PCM/ADPCM) / AAC, AAC+ 5.13 / OGG Vorbis / FLAC (With optional Software plug-in: AC3 5.1)

My guess, the specs for 30fps video are probably the same, I don’t know why they are reporting on 24fps video playback support when most online videos are in 30fps frame rates. Archos has previously reported on 24fps support while 30fps videos have always worked just perfectly fine, so this is to be seen.

Very importantly: H.264 HD (HP@L3.1 up to 720p, 24fps@7Mbps)

What will truly be the bitrate limitation for MKV h264 high profile 720p videos? Hopefully most of the movies and TV shows found in this format will playback.

Video Recording & picture taking: Camcorder: records in MPEG-4 (.avi) and in VGA resolution (640×480) / Camera: JPG in VGA resolution

It includes USB 2.0 host, composite video output, microphone, accelerometer, WiFi b/g/n and Bluetooth 2.1 EDR

Size and weight interestingly:

Dimensions: 4.13 x 2.16 x 0.35 in.
Weight: 2.54 oz.

This is a very compact, very light and very cheap Android device!!

Consider as well, Archos may be making an even cheaper 2.8″ QVGA one, maybe as cheap as their announced $99 price!! And they likely have larger devices with 4 point something inches (probably 4.8″), 7″ and 10″ ones in preparation as well. This is all based on what Archos has officially announced in previous press releases and based on rumors.

Google Marketplace will very likely work just fine on this device. Though, just as for Archos previous Android tablets, Google Marketplace may have to be installed manually by the user, likely through finding a GoogleMarketplace.apk file, transfer it to the device and install it by just clicking on it from the file manager. It takes 1 minute, but of course it would be better if Google Marketplace would be pre-installed. That may only happen the day Google officially announces the support for Android on Tablets. With upcoming releases of Android tablets by larger manufacturers such as Dell and Samsung, this should be close to happening.

This is positioned kind of like the recently released Archos 3cam 8GB ($99) but with Android, for $50 more:

Archos 3cam 8GB = $99
iPod Nano 8GB = $149
Archos 32 8GB = $149
iPod Touch 8GB = $199
Samsung YP-MB2 = $249

Arguments compared to Apple: for the same price as the iPod Nano, you can get this new Android powered Archos device with a larger screen (not far from iPod Touch, 3.2″ 400×240 vs 3.5″ 480×320). As opposed to the Apple iPod Touch, this one comes with full video and audio codecs support and no need to use iTunes to synchronize files, it is recognized just like a USB stick on any Windows/Mac/Linux computer for transferring files. It’s 72 grams in weight compared to iPod Touch 115 grams.

This may well be the cheapest Android device on the market yet! Consider it a bit like an Android smart phone, with WiFi but without 3G (you can use Mifi or Bluetooth tethering), you may even be able to use it as an excellent VOIP Android phone on Skype, SIP maybe even Google Voice. It comes with much better codecs and multimedia support than most existing Android super phones by HTC/Motorola/Samsung/Sony Ericsson/Huawei/Dell, and most importantly, consider this is much cheaper unlocked Android device than buying one of those phones often for over $500 unlocked or only with a $2500 2 year contract! Archos is providing you unlocked and very affordable Android experiences!

Remember also, this is only the very beginning of a small partial leak of the first of several devices that are the Archos Generation 8 line of new Android devices. We expect at least 5 devices, maybe as many as 8 new Archos Android devices to be announced/released by Archos in the weeks to come!! From 2.8″ to 10″, from $100 to $350! We can’t wait for more official informations about these upcoming devices, subscribe to this blog for all the latest videos and infos about these upcoming devices.

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Generation 8 is 5 new Android Tablets

Posted by Charbax on 8th July 2010

In the recent press release on support for paid-for apps in AppsLib, Archos is detailing some of the screen resolutions of the 8th generation of Archos portable tablet devices:

AppsLib is currently looking to locate and process new applications for hosting on ARCHOS’ next generation of Internet Tablets, soon be announced. The five new ARCHOS Android Tablets will feature touchscreens ranging from 2.8’’ to 10’’ in width with resolutions including QVGA (240 x 320) with LDPI density, FWVGA (854×480) with HDPI density, WVGA (800×480) with MDPI density and up to the maximum WSVGA (1024×600) with MDPI density.

What this means is Archos Generation 8 is probably going to have devices with screens around these sizes and resolutions:

- Archos 3 Android Gen8 = 2.8″ QVGA 320×240 LDPI density

- Archos 4 Android Gen8 = 3.5″ or 3.7″ or 4″ or 4.1″ or 4.3″ FWVGA 854×480 HDPI density

- Archos 5 Android Gen8 = 4.8″ WVGA 800×480 MDPI density

- Archos 7 Android Gen8 = 7″ WVGA 800×480 MDPI density or 7″ WSVGA 1024×600 MDPI density

- Archos 10 Android Gen8 = 10″ WSVGA 1024×600 MDPI density

Questions could be following:

- How many of these, are any of these using capacitive touch screens?

- Can Archos use Pixel Qi on the Archos 10 Android, it would make it beat iPad on every comparative review, last 50 hours on the battery, be usable outdoors, be usable for reading a lot, support wide viewing angles and anti-glare with capacitive touch is possible! They should do it!

Do you have better ideas of what may be the actual screen sizes, screen types and resolutions which Archos is likely going to be using on the 5 new Android tablets to come? Post here in the forum:

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Archos Generation 8 Android Tablets, pricing and size rumors

Posted by Charbax on 12th April 2010

The prices are said to be $100 to $350, the sizes 3″ to 10″, ARM Cortex processor from 800mhz to 1ghz, with multi-touch and 3D acceleration.

My guesses are, based on this slide presented by Henri Crohas in China:

2x Archos 3 Android Gen8: starting at $100, what would the second 3″ model be about?
1x Archos 5 Android Gen8: starting at $200?
2x Archos 7 Android Gen8: $200-300? Why two 7″ models?
1x Archos 10 Android Gen8: $350? Pixel Qi dual-mode screen (my huge wish, so it can be readable for e-books and run 50h on the battery)?

The slide mentions multi-touch, a big question would be, does Archos now use Capacitive touch-screens? The the case of 3″ and 7″, might it be that the second skew is to provide a cheap resistive choice as well as a $50 to $100 more expensive capacitive type? The thing about capacitive screen is this, as far as I understand, and as far as one can find by just looking at what’s available on the market, it might be capacitive screens are really much more expensive and hard to come by in sizes other than some very definite sizes decided to be mass manufactured by the smart phone industry.

OpenGL acceleration and multi-touch features are clearly stated in the slide. Which may mean that Android 2.1 support is pretty much for surely available. Another hardware feature would be interesting to know about would be how well those devices will integrate 3G connectivity. We know Archos does Bluetooth tethering well, and one can buy a Mifi for WiFi to 3G tethering, how about Archos building 3G modems directly into skews of those Android tablet devices, and how about them making sure that power is managed in a way so that Voice-over-IP and other instant messaging over IP applications can constantly be active and stand-by on 3G and WiFi connections.

Logically to reach 1ghz they will use the Texas Instruments OMAP3640 series of processors, which is a significant upgrade on OMAP3440 of the current generation. This is not only a matter of increase of mhz speed. OMAP3640 is built on a 45nm process instead of the 65nm process of the current processor, which means the processor is significantly smaller and uses a lot less power, which probably brings better battery runtime. You can watch my video comparing OMAP3630 with OMAP3430. The performance increase for 3D rendering with the new processor is more than 62% going from 92fps to 156fps on the same 3D rendering animation. I don’t know if video decoding and encoding performance has been improved. And I don’t know how much things like website rendering is improved, if it’s just 25% faster based on 800mhz vs 1ghz or if it is more than that.

I do not know if OMAP3640 can do 1080p decoding and much higher HD video decoding bitrates. I don’t know if OMAP3640 simplifies the integration of mini-HDMI output directly into the device. If Archos includes a camera, it could probably record 720p video which would be really awesome, if a wireless microphone using Bluetooth or mini-jack input also can be used for good sound recording.

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Texas Instruments 65nm OMAP3430 vs 45nm OMAP3630

Posted by Charbax on 24th February 2010

The performance of these Texas Instruments processors is very relevant to us Archos Fans. In this video I interview Atul Aggarwal, Director of Product Marketing at Texas Instruments, about the performance, hardware acceleration, software support for their awesome OMAP3 series of processors.

Android 2.1 is thus said to have been “available for developpers” just only about 2 weeks ago and it is demonstrated to run beautifully on both OMAP3430 based Zoom2 and the OMAP3630 Zoom3 development devices.

OMAP3430 is similar to the more powerful OMAP3440 that Archos is using in the Archos 5 Internet Tablet with Android. Thus I try to get some informations from the Texas Instruments representative about which kinds of hardware acceleration limits in terms of Video playback and 3D rendering and other graphics accelerations that we might see in firmware updates. Of course the firmwares that Archos can release for us do not have to feature all the latest from Texas Instruments, but the latest stuff that TI can demonstrate, logically Archos engineers might also be working with those tools for our firmware updates.

Not that I am able to exactly confirm what kinds of hardware acceleration upgrades and Android upgrades we might get in the next firmwares, but I can tell you that I heard lots of very exciting stuff from the Texas Instruments engineers and product managers at the Mobile World Congress, as I was there to film 55 video interviews for my other site

I am meeting with Archos soon, the CeBIT is coming up in just one week and I will be there filming 50 videos as well. So look forward to more very exciting updates on the hardware acceleration updates for Archos Android that are coming!

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