Archos 80 G9 and Archos 101 G9, just unveiled. This is the official presentation video. Find more informations at http://www.archos.com/products/gen9/index.html?country=us&lang=en
$349, Honeycomb 3.2, Google Marketplace, 3G dongle can be integrated, up to 250GB Hard Drive storage, 1280x800 resolution touch screen, available in September, 1080p@60fps full codecs high profile video playback support... Engadget is posting some infos.
JBMM.fr and ArchosLounge.net are going to broadcast live from the Archos event today in Paris at 6:15 PM Paris Central European Time, 12:15 PM EST, 9:15 AM PST, check back when that time approaches to make sure this will be the right embed code. During the event, you can discuss the Archos Gen9 tablets here in the comments and at http://forum.archosfans.com/viewtopic.php?f=84&t=54171
Engadget posted some pictures and specs: http://www.engadget.com/2011/06/23/archos-intros-80-gb-and-101-g9-android-3-1-tablets-1-5ghz-cpu/
There will be a live chat:
Archos Gen8 Tablets can multi-boot Froyo, Debian, Angstrom, Gingerbread, Ubuntu, Chromium OS and more!
Archos hacker Bubu just released the multi-boot menu support for the Archos Gen8 Tablets, it reportedly works great on Archos 70 Internet Tablet and Archos 101 Internet Tablet, find the release here: http://www.openaos.org/archives/739
This is how this is cool, you can install the official alternative OS firmware from Archos called the Special Developer Edition firmware here: http://www.archos.com/support/support_tech/_ppp.html?country=us&lang=en&p=gen8
Then you can install alternative firmwares and have them right there available in your multi-boot menu on your Archos, so you could for example today choose between Archos official Android firmware, Debian Linux and Angstrom Linux.
If more software hackers contribute, Archos tablets may also run Ubuntu 11.4, Chromium OS, Gingerbread and any other embedded Linux OS through this multi-boot system.
Bubu and the team at OpenAOS.org previously released this solution for the Archos Gen6 and Gen7 tablets as well.
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.
Welcome to Archos Shenzhen offices, Sandy Chen is Archos OEM sales director, she introduces the new Archos 7c Home Tablet, an updated Archos Home Tablet with capacitive screen and RK2918 ARM Cortex-A8 performance chip inside.
Archos Technology (Shenzhen) Co Ltd has a big booth in the middle of the Shenzhen Electronics Fair, there is a lot of interest for Archos and Arnova products in the Chinese market and developing countries. They have of course invited me to their Shenzhen offices tomorrow where I will try to film some awesome behind the scenes videos for you showing how Archos makes things happen here in Shenzhen, I'll try to film at their factories if possible.
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
Alcatel One Touch and Archos partner up for low cost Android Tablet and Smartphone combined data plans
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 at Mobile World Congress next week 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?