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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: http://forum.archosfans.com/viewtopic.php?f=92&t=65894

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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Archos G10 xs, Archos Elements and Arnova 50€ announced

Posted by Charbax on 15th March 2012

Archos had an investors event in Paris today, they showed a teaser video for the next generation Archos G10 xs series:

The keyboard dock magnetic screen protector is awesome. But I’d like them to use the kick-stand and attach the thin keyboard dock like a Laptop in a way there’s a mouse pad that can be used. Archos has always innovated using Kick-stands, I hope they continue and I think using the kick-stand is the best way to make the thinnest, coolest ARM Powered Tablet/Laptop convertible. If possible the kick-stand angle can be adjustable. If you’re in an airplane and the space is limited, you don’t need to use the kick-stand, the tablet can rest against the seat that is in front of you. I think the keyboard should also fit behind the tablet when the keyboard does not need to be used. Preferably in a way so that the kick-stand can also still be used even when the keyboard dock is magnetically fixed behind the tablet.

Archos claims to have technology that makes G10 the thinnest tablet on the market. Something about patented paper-thin steel assembly technology. Archos has always been good at fitting huge battery capacity in extremely thin designs. I hope that Archos manages to make a deal with Pixel Qi and use the 10.1″ 1280×800 sunlight readable screen on this one. That’d provide for 20+ hours of battery life, sunlight readability, Kindle Reader competitiveness for reading and use for education and work, and it’d use much less power thus enabling a form factor and weight in the ultra-light class of 400-something grams for a 10″ tablet. Perhaps best to use Neonode’s IR touch technology instead of capacitive for least reflections and best readability.

For the processor on Archos G10, I think that one can expect either the OMAP4470 1.8Ghz Dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 with SGX544 graphics or even the OMAP5430 which can also run upwards 1.8Ghz or more. It depends if Archos plans to release the G10 mid-year or by the end of the year.

I don’t know if Archos will continue to sell that 3G Stick solution in G10. Maybe there is a way to allow for a modem module of any of the 3G/4G/LTE types to be manually added by the user, under full warranty, in some slot on the back of the device without it having to be through a USB host port. Maybe the multi-mode wireless modems are now so cheap, can even be included on the same CPU dye, that maybe they just included it by default even on the cheapest G10 tablet and provide just an unlocked SIM card slot on the side.

Archos did mention making one Windows 8 on ARM based Tablet/Laptop convertible by the end of the year. I hope they make sure to make it dual-boot the latest and greatest Android also.

Archos Elements brings Google Certified tablets at as low as 100€/$100. My guess is that Archos Elements brings the Rockchip RK30 Dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 performance and higher capacitive screen resolutions than Arnova at extremely competitive pricing.

The new Arnova with Ice Cream Sandwich are going to be sold for as little as 50€/$50 at retail price!! My guess is 50€/$50 is the 7″ WVGA Dual-touch or single-touch resistive type with an RK2918 512MB RAM and Ice Cream Sandwich. It goes up to 150€/$150 retail price for what I think is probably the 9.7″ IPS capacitive RK2918 1GB RAM and Ice Cream Sandwich tablet. Basically with the new upcoming Arnova G3/G4 you get $49 basic alternative to the Kindle Fire and a $149 better-than-iPad1 tablet. Those are amazing low-priced targets for mass consumer retail Ice Cream Sandwich tablet pricing.

Archos is the top Android tablet seller in the major European markets, about equal to Samsung, in front of Asus, Acer, Motorola, Dell, LG, Toshiba and others. Archos CEO Henri Crohas sees a great opportunity to expand that lead with his company. Archos has announced a 32.9 Million € gross profit margin for 2011 on a yearly revenue of 171.4 Million €. They have announced an agreement to borrow upwards tens of millions of Euros more from one of the leading French banks Societe Generale (in exchange for stock guarantees, probably something similar to a capital increase, basically adding new stocks for cash to be used for the expansion) which Archos can use to further accelerate the mass production and mass distribution of their tablet series in the coming months.

You can discuss this post in the forum: http://forum.archosfans.com/viewtopic.php?f=22&t=63964

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Arnova 10 G2 for $129 or $99 with 1 or 2 year Philly Newspaper subscription

Posted by Charbax on 17th September 2011

The Philadelphia Inquirer and Philadelphia Daily News are doing a special promotion that can interest people living in Pennsylvania USA and would like to save on getting their daily newspaper and at the same time can be tempted by the combination of a subsidized Arnova 10 G2 Android Tablet for $99 or $129 depending on the length of the digital newspaper subscription that is signed.


video source: technicallyphilly.com

I first reported on the Arnova 10 G2 back in April when it was first announced. It is an awesome value device with a capacitive screen and the new Rockchip RK2918 ARM Cortex-A8 processor that can run at up to 1.2Ghz. It’s more powerful than the Apple A4 in the iPad1 and iPhone4, it’s more powerful than the Samsung Hummingbird processor in the Samsung Galaxy Tab and the Samsung Galaxy S. Yet, the tablet is now being released named Arnova 10 G2 with a retail MSRP pricing probably between $199 and $229 (to be confirmed in the coming days).

Sure there has been some delays for this capacitive RK2918 tablet, I do not know why. Maybe Archos spent a few months selling the RK2818 tablets before ramping up production capacity and perhaps also having Rockchip try to have Honeycomb working on it. But more likely, Rockchip will try to use Ice Cream Sandwich directly for those, depending on the compatibility and ease of porting of that next version of open source Android with these ARM Cortex-A8 tablets released now.

This makes sense. The idea of the $99 10.1″ capacitive tablet is awesome. Here are some of my suggestions though for Philly to make this work in the most positive way:

- The $10/month subscription needs to include unlimited free access to all the worlds newspapers and not just the 2 newspapers. The economics are that people will not necessarily read more articles if they get access to more content.

You have to think big. I know it may be hard or impossible for the people of the Philly newspaper to reach out to all the other newspapers of the world and agree on some kind of Netflix-pricing to include full access to all the newspapers.

The idea is that you make it more attractive to more people inside and outside of your target market to want to subscribe to this idea. You write content in English. I think it makes no sense to limit yourself to a limited geography. You can write regional news in your current edition, but you can partner with all the other newspapers and let people read those other newspapers if they want.

Make the cake bigger together with others and your slice of the much bigger cake will be much bigger than your small cake.

Logically, the digital access subscription does not have to exclusively be consumed on that tablet. I guess that any other device can login and access that subscription plan. Simply build on your current Android app, and simply let it search and access the real format newspapers from all the other newspapers that you can partner with.

Here is Philly’s calculation and the customers options today:

- $199 or $229 is the unsubsidized Arnova 10 G2 price likely going to be when released within a few days from now.
- $99 with 2-year $10/month subscription = Total $339 for the Arnova 10 G2 with the 2-year digital newspaper access = $229 Tablet and $55/year digital subscription
- $129 with 1-year $13/month subscription = Total $285 for the Arnova 10 G2 with the 1-year digital newspaper access = $229 Tablet and $56/year digital subscription
- No tablet digital subscription price today = $3/week = $156/year
- No tablet normal paper newspaper by mail subscription price today = $7/week = $364/year

This can be a huge success for Archos and for newspapers but they have to continue on this plan and they need to pick up the phone and make some national and international agreements with all the other newspapers, join forces, subsidize Awesome ARM Powered Android Tablets to make people understand the value of technology and of the content.

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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 bestofmicro.com 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: http://forum.archosfans.com/viewtopic.php?f=22&t=43708&p=337531#p337531

Sources: http://www.bestofmicro.com/actualite/28876-Tablette-Android.html, http://www.archos.com/corporate/investors/financial_doc/ARCHOS_2010_Results_en.pdf

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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: http://forum.archosfans.com/viewtopic.php?f=63&t=47988

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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: http://forum.archosfans.com/viewtopic.php?f=63&t=35312

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My recommendations on Archos cheap Android Tablet revolution

Posted by Charbax on 29th January 2010

Archos 5 Internet Tablet Extreme Viewing Angle
Image by umpcportal.com via Flickr

In terms of the recently rumored £149 pricing for Archos 7 Internet Tablet (8GB), I was very positively surprised by the completely insanely cheap price target!!!!!

This is absolutely the kind of pricing that I would expect Archos to be able to reach. I know Archos can do it. Cheaper prices could convince the masses to buy Archos instead of Apple.

Here are my suggestions as to what I think Archos should target the pricing of the whole high-end Archos Android Tablet range in the coming couple of months. Make sure to only read these prices as my speculation on what the prices are that Archos could now try to target:

A4A (8GB) $159 = 149€ = £129
A5A (8GB) $179 = 159€ = £139
A7A (8GB) $199 = 179€ = £149
A9A (8GB) $239 = 209€ = £169
A10A (8GB) $279 = 239€ = £199

For more capacity additional pricing should be something like this:

16GB + $50 = 40€ = £30
32GB + $75 = 60€ = £45
64GB + $150 = 120€ = £90

250GB + $75 = 60€ = £45
500GB + $150 = 120€ = £90

For built-in HSDPA additional pricing should be still unlocked:

Built-in Unlocked HSDPA SIM Card Reader + $50 = 40€ = £30

I think all new Archos tablets should come with the OMAP3640 1ghz 45nm processor, 512MB RAM, Pixel Qi screen technology, Camera, Compass and snap-on foldable Keyboard that doubles as a screen protector.

It would be nice that Archos reach super stable Android 2.1 Eclair firmware soon on the whole range, with the optimal RAM utilization, stable power management and stable Android applications support.

If the newer 1ghz processor improves the MKV 720p High Profile bitrate support then that would be great as well. The target should be to support 99.99% of all MKV movie files that are available on the Internet.

If Archos could lower the amount of bezel around the screen to cover if possible less than 10% of the overall surface area of the product, that would be great.

Built-in full sized HDMI output, built-in AC Adaptor connector, built-in full sized USB-host and full sized SDHC support instead of MicroSDHC card support I think could be meaningful goals as well.

From then on, Archos can then work to integrate the OMAP4 ARM Cortex A9 based processor on the next generation of Archos Android Tablets, which can add 1080p encode/decode, 20megapixel photos (if the optics of the photo camera mode can be made good enough), up to dual-core 2ghz processing speed for even faster web browsing speeds, a processor fast enough to run the full high resolution Google Chrome web browser within the Android OS.

You can discuss these suggestions in the forum: http://forum.archosfans.com/viewtopic.php?f=47&t=30077&p=197980#p197980

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I have arrived in Las Vegas

Posted by Charbax on 5th January 2010

And here is what you can find in all Radio Shack stores in the USA, the Archos 5 Internet Tablet (8GB) selling right there for a very affordable $249 price. If Archos markets this device the right way and provides a perfect Android firmware for it with full Google Marketplace integration, and soon announce 3G and 7″ versions and solutions for Camera and Compass, I think Archos has a huge opportunity right there to make a very big influence on the market.

You can follow my extensive HD quality video coverage from CES on http://armdevices.net during the next few days.

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Speculations: What will Archos show at CES?

Posted by Charbax on 22nd December 2009

no original description
Image via Wikipedia

I am going to CES in Las Vegas on January 4th to 11th to film an extensive HD quality video coverage for my new site http://armdevices.net. I expect this CES to be an awesome one with many new ARM Powered Laptops, Tablets and Phones to be unveiled. But I am also, of course, very much looking forward to film for you some videos of the new Archos products that will be shown at the show.

While I am looking forward to see new Archos products unveiled officially at the CES, I would like to post here some of my speculations on what I expect we could see demonstrated and announced by Europe’s best consumer electronics company, Archos, during this CES event, that I would recommend them to show if they want to be again the Best of CES which Archos was several times since back in 2003 with the AV100. I would like to emphasize that those speculations are only based on my common sense and logical thinking, I have not been informed by any Archos insiders on these matters, I have followed every piece of news and rumors on Archos during the past months and years though, which helps me to formulate following speculations:

OMAP3640 and OMAP4?
Archos may announce products based on Texas Instruments 1ghz OMAP3640 or even Texas Instruments OMAP4 ARM Cortex A9 platforms. That is, if OMAP3640 is as I would speculate it to be, the next compatible Texas Instruments processor that Archos could easily implement in next generation of products without having to change the software, to thus achieve the 1ghz that Archos has previously announced would be shown in a new product at CES.

The advantages of the OMAP3640 are as far as I understand it not only the faster clock speed at 1ghz versus 800mhz, it is also the finer processor processed at 45 nanometer instead of 65 nanometer. Which means that this new Texas Instruments processor may be slightly smaller and consume less energy even though it would be more powerful. Which means Archos devices may achieve longer battery time and produce less heat with this processor.

If Archos decides to pre-announce the next generation based on ARM Cortex A9 processors of Texas Instruments OMAP4 platform, that could be a strategical decision of Archos to announce products that may not be available for 6 to 9 months. But in case Apple also announces a Tablet, this early Cortex A9 based announcement by Archos may be appropriate to continue to lead in terms of announcements.

A built-in mini-HDMI port would be nice. A custom design of a foldable keyboard to cover the screen would be cool to transform it as well into a Laptop form factor and if well designed the thin foldable keyboard could double as a screen protector instead of a leather case.

Pixel Qi screen?
While it would be unlikely that Archos will anounce any new product with the Pixel Qi screen, I would absolutely recommend Archos to consider contacting Pixel Qi to have their sunlight readable low power ereader LCD screen technology integrated in all Archos tablet products as soon as possible. Pixel Qi will only provide 10.1″ screen sizes for a start, but 4.8″ and 7″ sizes may be coming soon as well. I filmed Pixel Qi technology at Computex: http://armdevices.net/2009/06/07/pixel-qi-vs-kindle-vs-toshiba-r600-vs-regular-lcd-tablet/. In my opinion the perfect Archos 5 Android Tablet would use a Pixel Qi screen, this way transforming it into a Kindle as well, enabling one to read books and read blogs, emails and websites comfortably for hours on a battery, and have better use of it outdoors. Together with the Pixel Qi, capacitative touch screen technology would probably be required for optimal quality of the screen.

Built-in 3G, Compass and Camera
I would like to see Archos announce a version of the Archos 5 Internet Tablet, not only with the new 1ghz processor, but also with it having a built-in HSDPA sim card reader like on last year’s Archos 5G model which was only released to few consumers in France and the UK. The announcement of Archos of this 3G model also having a built-in compass and camera would be really nice and would thus make it totally compatible with most Android applications. I would really like to have Augmented Reality applications, Youtube uploading and live video broadcasting working on it.

Less screen bezel
Although the current Archos 5 Internet Tablet with Android I think has a pretty awesome design already, the flash based model is amazingly thin and light, I would still like it to have even less bezel around the screen. It would be nice if Archos could keep the same sized screen but somehow make the device even more compact. The goal would be for the whole device keeping the same awesome 4.8″ 800×480 screen size yet to have a total device size closer to the size of all the existing 3.5″ and 3.7″ phones.

7″ Android Tablet
My guess is that it should not require too much work for Archos to provide all the Archos Android features in a 7″ sized tablet. Just as Archos has been able to do it every year since 2005 with the AV700, AV704, Archos 705 and Archos 7. Basically the 7″ Archos Android tablet should include all the same features as the 4.8″ version, just with a larger screen, usually more storage and a larger battery. Perhaps Archos would manage to include a higher resolution screen, perhaps 1024×600 or something like that which may be really awesome for web browsing. I would expect the 1ghz processor in this one, an amazingly thin form factor keeping enough battery for 10 hours of web browsing. For Archos to announce a 7″ Android tablet would provide Archos with huge attention from the press and media so it would be worth it just from a marketing perspective even if the launch of such 7″ Android tablet may not actually happen until March or so. A built-in full sized HDMI port would be nice. A custom design of a foldable keyboard to cover the screen would be cool to transform it as well into a Laptop form factor and if well designed could double as a screen protector instead of a leather case.

4.3″ Android Tablet instead of the Archos Phone
The Archos Phone might still be shown, though I would much prefer a basic Archos Android Tablet version with a 4.3″ screen. Thus it would be very compact, Flash memory based only and I think it could be announced for a very very cheap price. Perhaps as little as $150 or $200. Then I think Archos should be able to provide a 3G HSDPA version as well.

I prefer Archos VOIP to Archos Phone
Although it may very well happen that Archos will launch an Archos Phone in partnership with several international telecom carriers, where you pay some unreasonably huge amount of money over a 2-year contract to use it. I would though much much prefer if somehow Archos decided to instead focus on what it does best, focus on the Tablet aspect and instead make a really big splash and announce that Archos will optimize all the firmwares to support the best possible Android VOIP applications and support those in the best possible way. Supporting VOIP perfectly is not a small and easy task. I for example have not yet really been able to experience suitable Android VOIP experience on my Archos 5 Internet Tablet with Android. The way Archos should implement VOIP is by supporting VOIP standby by hardware and firmware. Meaning, using very little battery, the Archos should be able to constantly be available on a VOIP version of Google Voice, on Skype, on SIP networks and on Google Talk and other voice-enabled Instant Messaging platforms. Sure, the VOIP part are all done in Android applications that some are available and others probably will be available soon for Android. On the other side though, Archos would really need to implement very optimized power management to be able to go into deep but connected standby and be able to *ring* on incoming phone calls.

My hope is that Archos can announce more than 20 hours of connected standby in this mode. What this would mean is that one can save tons of $$$ by using Archos for VOIP instead of using a regular phone with very expensive phone subscriptions. I think Archos would profit much more from disrupting the telecom industry than by simply playing the same game as all the other phone manufacturers. If some telecoms try to block VOIP usage on their 3G networks, then that should not be Archos problem, that should quickly become the telecom’s own problem because Archos should then help to point out which telecoms are behaving badly and public pressure maybe even Government intervention through Net Neutrality regulations would prevent VOIP drop-outs and bandwidth throttling from happening.

Android 1.6 firmware release
My expectation is that Archos will soon be able to release the Android 1.6 firmware update. With it, Google will hopefully allow Archos to include the Google Marketplace by default. Really, I find that there would be absolutely no reason for Google not to authorize it at that point. Android 1.6 and 2.0 officially provide the support for 800×480 screen resolutions.

Android 2.0 firmware announcement
Perhaps only a few weeks or so after the Android 1.6 firmware update, I expect Archos may already have a 2.0 firmware update available. This Android 2.0 firmware update would also come with full Flash 10.1 support, that is if Adobe manages to make it available by then.

Archos 9 pctablet broad release
Something may have delayed the full release of the Intel powered Archos 9 pctablet. My guess is that the issue may have been related to a BIOS bug related to the way Archos is implementing the Intel Atom processor for the first time in this exact type of form factor. Also, perhaps that Microsoft has contributed a few software fixes to the Archos 9 tablet experience over the past few weeks. For example, perhaps that Microsoft is contemplating to include cheaper access to the Windows 7 Tablet features to the Windows 7 Starter Edition that Archos includes on the tablet to save costs. In either way, if Windows 7 Tablet features only come on the more expensive Ultimate edition (or however it’s called), perhaps Archos could announce that consumers may have an official way to upgrade for a specific fee to a different version of Windows 7 if they so choose to. Releasing the Archos 9 broadly worldwide should provide Archos with plenty of good and enthusiastic press coverage and enthusiasm from fans of Intel based tablets.

I think Archos should announce ARM Powered laptops
Archos has done some Intel powered netbooks. Now I think would be the appropriate time for Archos to announce that they will also design and release some ARM Cortex powered laptops as well! Although for Archos the timing may be a bit early to announce any ARM Cortex powered Laptops, I am sure Archos will do it eventually. I am really going to be looking forward to all the ARM Powered laptops that will be shown at CES and follow all my videos of those that I will post to my new site http://armdevices.net

Archos to unveil cheaper Android devices
I think Archos may show a new generation of the Archos 3, 4, 5 and 7 Vision which may all use Android and WiFi, yet they may not come with GPS, Bluetooth and only be PMP centric and provide provide only basic WiFi functions. Thus the Archos 3 Vision Android would be sold at $80, Archos 4 Vision Android at $100, Archos 5 Vision Android $125 and Archos 7 Vision Android $150. Those may all come with 8GB built-in storage and a SD card memory slot for storage expansion.

You can discuss these speculations in the forum: http://forum.archosfans.com/viewtopic.php?f=47&t=28779

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Archos 5 Internet Tablet supports Youtube HD playback beautifully

Posted by Charbax on 3rd November 2009

Archos is the first provider of a Youtube HD set-top-box solution by the Archos 5 Internet Tablet simply being the worlds first Android product supporting the playback of H264 High Profile at 1280×720 and 2mbit/s that is the format, resolution and bitrate that Youtube encodes all their HD videos in. More and more videos are uploaded to Youtube in HD quality (including this video that I embed in this post) and all those videos playback awesomely on the Archos 5 Internet Tablet since the 1.2.11 firmware version by just clicking on the embedded videos play button or browsing through all the Youtube videos at http://m.youtube.com

As Google CEO Eric Schmidt recently said at the Royal Television Society Convention, the coming of new cheap set-top-box products that can play Internet video will be the biggest enabler of the IPTV revolution towards Video-On-Demand, with Youtube already delivering more than 1 Billion views per day, with cheap set-top-boxes with direct Youtube support on people’s HDTVs, Youtube would reach even many more views per day and there will be a greater demand for higher quality Youtube videos at up to HD quality. Archos delivers this solution with the Archos 5 Internet Tablet, the first cheap embedded support for Youtube HD on a HDTV.

Waiting for Flash 10.1 support in Android is not even required for Youtube HD, HQ and Normal qualities to work. Flash 10.1 support will come on Archos as soon as Adobe releases Flash 10.1 for Android.

If Archos can support full MKV 720p H264 high profile support with full bitrates in optimized firmware updates, then the Archos 5 Internet Tablet starting at $249 MSRP for the 8GB version is effectively about to become a pocket-sized replacement for Blu-ray. With better features than Blu-ray since Youtube HD support basically is like HD quality video-on-demand.

A few things that I think Archos, Google and third party Android software developers should do to provide a perfect Youtube HD experience:

- Someone should create a YoutubeHD.apk application that should launch Youtube HD/HQ/Normal quality videos automatically in playlists and based on the Youtube user’s Youtube account to list recommendations, subscriptions, add searches and tags, display overlay ratings and comments, even provide live overlay chat for videos and for Youtube channels. It could be called Google Watch, be the same as Google Listen, but for Video. Even provide clever podcatching storage and caching of videos and not only go onto Youtube but use any other video sources of the web.

- Archos should provide the user with a choice to limit the quality to HQ or Normal if the user does not want to stream HD quality for some reason, for example perhaps the bandwidth that is available is not enough for that user to have a smooth Youtube HD experience.

- http://m.youtube.com needs to be improved, I want to sort searches by date for example.

- Archos should provide overlay text input facility such as commenting and chatting around the videos and channels. The social features around videos can be really powerful to increase the value proposition of IPTV set-top-box video-on-demand.

- Archos should release a $150 screen-less set-top-box with Android, with only 8GB built-in storage, but possibility to connect any EXT3 formatted USB hard drive or a local NAS to expand storage for DVR functions and for Video downloads also using BitTorrent and RSS. What is cool that you can see in this video of the Archos 5 Internet Tablet, is that this is a proof that Archos certainly has the hardware and software know-how to make this happen. Once the easy-to-use Youtube HD set-top-box arrives with BitTorrent, RSS and USB hard drives storage support, for below $100 to $150, I think Video-on-demand and the real IPTV revolution will finally really happen.

You can discuss this video here http://forum.archosfans.com/viewtopic.php?f=47&t=27221

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