The Archos CEO Henri Crohas today spoke on French radio station France Inter (the audio is in French) to suggest for a Government supported promotion plan to be offered to French students where the student can pay only half a euro per day to get the Archos 80 G9 with 3G stick and with a 3G data connection on a 2-year contract.
The French Government is launching an offer to students in France to get an iPad2 or Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 for 1€ per day over a 2-year contract to get the tablet and 3G connectivity. That amounts to 730€. As a counter attack, Archos is suggesting that the Government support a French offer to French students, where the student can choose to get the Archos 80 G9 with 3G stick and with 3G access for half the price 0.50€ per day over 2 years, that amounts to only 365€. Given a choice with such huge price difference, obviously most students will choose the Archos tablet deal and not Samsung or Apple.
Archos is the only Tablet maker in France, and one of the only tablet makers based in Europe. The latest sales numbers for Tablet sales in France show that Archos is biggest Android tablet maker in terms of market share, in front of Samsung. They are of course second biggest tablet maker after Apple, for example last November and December months, Archos had 22% tablet market share in France and Apple had 68%. But that difference may get lowered quickly if the French Government accepts to support providing Archos tablets to all French students at a discounted price, half the price compared to the iPad2, all the while Archos providing a faster processor and far more features such as more video codecs supported, HDMI, 2x USB Hosts, Kick-stand (which makes it much more usable for education) an up to 50% faster processor and more.
Consider that Archos only has 100 employees, and Apple has 50 thousand (500x more). Consider that Archos has a market capitalisation of $200 Million on the Paris stock exchange while Apple is valued at $350 Billion on NASDAQ (1750x more). That Archos has about $40 Million cash to use for launching mass production while Apple has $70 Billion cash that they can use to launch as much mass production as they want (1750x more). And regardless of all that, it seems Archos may find a way in France to single handedly sell more tablets than Apple.