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
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.
Here’s the Arnova 10 with capacitive touch screen and the RK2918 ARM Cortex-A8 processor. At around $229 MSRP it could possibly become one of the best value 10.1″ ARM Cortex-A8 capacitive tablets on the market. It’s thin, uses most of the nice design features of the Archos 101 Internet Tablet released in October 2010, but removes the kick-stand (to lower cost), replaces some of the metallic design features with plastics (to lower cost), removes HDMI output (I need to let them confirm this, perhaps that was just removed on the prototype). This device uses the new 1.2Ghz Rockchip processor, with 1080p video codecs support (possibly all codecs at up to over 30mbitps high profile playback), new better graphics performance, but most importantly, this awesome 10.1″ tablet may be sold around $229/229€ at retail MSRP (with capacitive and rk2918), and there is a good chance Rockchip should be getting access to the Honeycomb source code soon (comon Google, give it to them sooner rather than later! (I have no idea if Rockchip has Honeycomb yet or not, I will try to interview Rockchip again about Honeycomb at China Sourcing Fair tomorrow)).
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.
I just got off the phone with Arianna Huffington. She likes what I do and has asked me to be the new Editor in Chief at Engadget.com effective immediately.
I told her I will do it under one condition, that they agree to rename Engadget.com to ARMdevices.net, all visitors going to the previous Engadget.com will be automatically redirected to the more future-proof ARMdevices.net brand instead.
Under my command, the site will only feature Benchmarks and Funny Videos. I believe that snarky news items are a waste of time. Any Engadget editor who owns an iPhone, who knows someone who owns an iPhone or who has been in an Apple Store during the previous 6 months will be fired.
100% of the posts will be ARM related, 10% of which will be Archos and ARM related, as I believe Archos is the best company in the world. Any negativity towards Google will not be tolerated, let them close Honeycomb and ban emulators if they want!
If anyone has a problem with this, you can send me an email.
Here I’m being interviewed with Arianna Huffington at the announcement event this morning here in Davos:
Businessweek reports that Google has decided to delay Honeycomb source code release.
The search giant says the software, which is tailored specifically for tablet computers that compete against Apple’s iPad, is not yet ready to be altered by outside programmers and customized for other devices, such as phones.
“To make our schedule to ship the tablet, we made some design tradeoffs,” says Andy Rubin, vice-president for engineering at Google and head of its Android group. “We didn’t want to think about what it would take for the same software to run on phones. It would have required a lot of additional resources and extended our schedule beyond what we thought was reasonable. So we took a shortcut.”
Rubin says that if Google were to open-source the Honeycomb code now, as it has with other versions of Android at similar periods in their development, it couldn’t prevent developers from putting the software on phones “and creating a really bad user experience. We have no idea if it will even work on phones.”
Here is my opinion on this:
As long as Google releases the full Honeycomb source code within a month or so from now, and hurry up to confirm (even sooner) that the updated Compliance Definition Document for Honeycomb will open up to allow many more smaller manufacturers (such as Archos, Rockchip, Telechips, ARM11 and many other small tablet makers) access to the full Google Marketplace (that can provide filtering), then all will be good.
My expectation is that Google is working to make sure their Honeycomb source code release supports all types of hardware, not only including cheaper ARM Cortex-A8, ARM9, ARM11 tablets, but also optimize things for Laptop use (see Asus Transformer, how awesome would Honeycomb be on devices like Toshiba AC100!), and also they might try to coordinate the Honeycomb source code release with the first open source release of Google TV thus making all those devices Set-top-box ready when HDMI output is used on any HDTV.
One can expect Google to synchronize full open source release of Honeycomb, Google TV and Chrome OS by the Google I/O conference coming up on 10-11th May or before.
What is your opinion on Google’s Honeycomb source code and updated CDD release delay? You can write in the comments.
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.
The craze started at the release of iPhone1 in June 2007. I remember watching the live stream on Mogulus, predecesor to livestream.com, it was filmed and broadcast by Max Haost, founder of livestream.com and they were extremely hilarious in the way they would actually make fun of the people standing in line. I find this unbelievably hilarious, it’s the extreme example of the gadget-craze (out-of-control gadget consumerism?)
The ipad 2 line in Houston, TX as reported by Engadget.
Blame the analysts, unless they see lines, they think Apple isn’t selling any products.
This launch was engineered to generate lines (no pre-orders, 3 week waits if ordered on line…) and lots of free publicity…
the scarcity principle is the mother of all marketing techniques (…) We generally perceive that things that are difficult to get are typically better than things that are easily available. If everyone wants it then it must be good right? This actually taps into the principle called social proof
Queuing up for a piece of gadget is a really weird concept. In theory, especially for Apple, those devices are mass produced in gigantic proportions in the biggest Chinese factories, somehow Apple would not be able to manufacture enough to sell to whomever would want one?
This whole lining up deal is a situation designed by Apple’s viral marketing department.
This carefully choreographed gadget marketing/pricing ballet has turned Apple into the second largest company in the world, just 3 and a half years after the release of the iPhone. It’s really insane if you think about it. If not for the largest oil company in the world Exxon Mobile, Apple would be the largest company in the world, and most of Apple’s current profits and revenues come from their ARM Powered iOS devices, especially the iPhone.
So now Apple is doing a big push on the tablet market with iPad. And the iPad2 certainly has a nice Dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 processor in there.
There are Android tablets like Archos 101 Internet Tablet released 6 months ago, that are lighter at 480gr vs 600gr, that have real mini-HDMI outputs built-in, real USB-host built-in, a real kick-stand built-in, and that still support more video and audio codecs (such as all DivX, MKV found on BitTorrents), with Flash support, real multi-tasking for 40% to 60% cheaper price than the ipad2.
In my opinion, Honeycomb is the first real Tablet OS. And I am pretty sure Honeycomb tablets will overtake iPad market share in less than a year, faster than Android overtook iPhone after the Nexus One release.
For some engineering resource/time allocation/prioritisation issues, Google chose not to allow much to happen with tablets with Donut, Eclair, Froyo and Gingerbread. Companies like Archos were left with the open source part of Android, doing the customizations they want, but for some strategic reason, they were left without the full support from Google. Google didn’t want Android Powered iPad and iPod Touch competitors to dominate the market in 2010. They thought they perhaps were busy enough dominating smartphone growth of that year, and gaining the full support by two dozen Smartphone makers in the process.
I think Google’s strategy is to simply let the Apple viral marketing people do their thing first, then get their better open and free software in gear, and riding on Apple’s viral marketing coat-tails, Google’s Android ecosystem can then provide the big push and rapidly dominate.
This is also a dance of technological disruption, and disruption of those disruptors. Google can’t be seen as encouraging the industrys too rapid change, while some companies bet their futures on the Open Handset Alliance, Google had to be careful and let the market move as fast as it can without hurting the feelings of the big partners who invest billions of dollars in this and want to see their investments safely recouped.
In any ways, look forward to the Android Honeycomb ecosystem taking care of making Android the top platform for tablets fast, and look forward to new designs to make tablets even more fun, more productive, and basically turn these gadgets into the user interface of the future of mobile computing for all the people of the world.
Starting tomorrow, I will be posting here upwards 50 videos of the best ARM powered devices to be shown at this CeBIT Hannover Germany, one of the worlds biggest consumer electronics trade shows. This is my 8th consecutive CeBIT doing video-blogging. Yup, I started video-blogging from consumer electronics trade shows at CeBIT 2004 (you can see my CeBIT video archive for 2004-2009 at techvideoblog.com). If you have any tips you can write them here in the comments, click on Submit News at any time, or send them to my email firstname.lastname@example.org
Here are some of the topics that I expect to find at this show:
1. Chrome OS devices, does Google find it appropriate to let the laptop and desktop makers start to display ARM Powered Chrome OS laptops and similar devices? Recently it has been leaked that the ARM cortex-A8 i.MX51/53 Powered Acer DXH241 monitor will come with built-in Chrome OS, letting all monitor makers add Chrome OS for below $50 in ARM Powered component costs. Though it is also likely that Google may want to delay Chrome OS devices release a few more months and do some kind of big Chrome OS device unveiling at some other event.
2. Is it time for the International ARM Powered Google TV unveiling yet? Samsung usually has gigantic booths at CeBIT, will they show their Exynos ARM Cortex-A9 Powered Google TV there already? Because of the international media rights issues, and Google’s issues with getting TV rights within the US market even, it may be Google waits for Google I/O in May or so to unveil more on that.
3. Anyone to launch Honeycomb, Chrome OS and Ubuntu compliant ARM Powered laptops, as nice or nicer even as the Toshiba AC100 (which recently got the Froyo upgrade)? Tegra2 is getting very popular, and other Cortex-A9 platforms are ramping up traction, as all major laptop makers have big booths at CeBIT, I will be looking for them showing off ARM Powered laptops.
4. More and better Android tablets. I will be bringing you videos on all the best new Android tablets, including filming the news from the Archos booth where I think that they will show more than the Arnova 10 and Arnova 8 that I just recently filmed.
5. I’m hopeful Panasonic will unveil a new compact HD camcorder to be the equivalent to a Sanyo HD3000 with better optics, better compression, WiFi/Bluetooth features and more, because I’d like to upgrade my camcorder to something like that. Panasonic recently unveiled camcorder designs similar to the Sanyo Xacti.
Here is a world exclusive video unveiling of the new Arnova 10 entry-level 10.1” Android tablet:
This may become the world’s cheapest ARM Cortex-A8 1Ghz RK2918, 10.1” capacitive Android tablet on the market (I filmed an early pre-production prototype of it with capacitive/rk29 combo at CES here). Until about April, Arnova 10 is released now as a 10.1” resistive ARM9 600Mhz RK2818 tablet. The price remains $199 in the USA, 199€ in Europe (consider all European prices always include ~20% VAT). Look for a slightly different model number once the capacitive/rk29 version starts shipping. They will shift to it as soon as 10.1” capacitive and rk29 components are ready/stable and mass manufactured, the Chinese suppliers are working as fast as they can, this should be in a couple months.
Archos is the second largest tablet maker in France according to GfK sales numbers, having 22% market share, far in front of Samsung with 4%, 67% for iPad. Arnova is a new brand from Archos based in Hong Kong, that uses the design, manufacturing and distribution strengths of Archos but will remain a separate brand for the cheaper $100-$200 Rockchip based devices (see the press release here). The idea here is to get these excellent valued Rockchip based designs to more people in Europe and the USA. But Arnova is also more extensively going to be promoted for developing countries as people there enjoy cheaper stuff. But people enjoy cheaper stuff everywhere.
Rockchip is doing excellent work optimizing cost in their entry level SoC designs, and are doing stable hardware optimizations with the latest versions of Android that can be adapted for the given ARM architectures that they use. Archos has probably been the top selling Rockchip maker thus far with the Archos 7 Home Tablet massively sold in every major electronics store in the USA and Europe these past 12 months (go check your local Staples, Best Buy, etc.. it’s probably there), and they plan to further extend that kind of reach with their new Arnova branding.
As it stands right now with Rockchip, Eclair is the furthest they can go for ARM9 RK2818 based devices (Donut for their older ARM9 RK2808 without graphics acceleration), and Gingerbread is the furthest they can go with ARM Cortex-A8 RK2918 based devices. But who knows, Google may announce tomorrow Honeycomb support for every popular ARM architecture used in any previously certified or not certified Android tablets out there, even including the cheapest Rockchip designs. I asked some Google people at MWC, including in my interview with Honeycomb designer Matias Duarte, they told me Honeycomb has no minimum hardware requirements, which hopefully also means other than opening Honeycomb source code for all to use, that Google will also allow for Google Marketplace on all devices without requiring stuff like compass/gps/3g, and hopefully Google also plans to dedicate resources to help all SoC platform makers and device maker with getting great and fully hardware optimized new firmwares with Honeycomb and Marketplaces onto all these cheaper devices as well (evt with Holographic UI effects disabled on low hardware specs).
$800 for a Honeycomb tablet is a lot of money for some people. Sure enough, the Dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 Tegra2 Honeycomb experience is awesome, but a lot of people prefer paying 4x less if they can get a decent ARM Cortex-A8 Honeycomb experience, if Google and companies like Arnova just allow consumers to have that choice.
Price: $199 in USA, 199€ in Europe (consider all European prices always include ~20% VAT)
Capacity: 4GB (or 8GB) with MicroSD slot
OS: Android 2.1 Eclair (on RK2818), Gingerbread (on RK2918 version available ~April), Honeycomb? (depends on Google/Rockchip)
Display: 10.1″ 1024×600 touch screen (resistive now, capacitive version available ~April) , 16 million colors
Video playback (on current RK2818 model): H264 up to 720p 30fps 5mbitps, Mpeg4 30fps 2.5mbitps, RMVB up to 720p 30fps 2.5mbitps, in these extensions: .avi, .mp4, .mkv, .mov, .flv (RK2918 version available ~April may add 1080p and higher bitrates support)
Audio playback: mp3, wav, ape, ogg, flac
Photo: jpeg, bmp, gif, png
Interfaces: USB 2.0 Slave MSC, USB 2.0 Host MSC, MicroSD slot
Wireless: WiFi b/g
Other: built-in speaker, microphone, G-sensor, front-facing VGA camera
Battery runtime: TBC music, up to 6h video
Size: 272×152.3×13.5mm (10.7″x6″x0.5″)
Weight: 570gr (20.1oz)
I filmed and posted 75 videos from this years Mobile World Congress, I hope you enjoy watching some of those! Here are the highlights, the best topics of this show, making this possibly the most awesome trade show ever for ARM devices!
These are some of the cheap unsubsidized prices (boxed in store, no contracts needed, excluding reseller margins) for the cheapest Android Smartphone ARM SoC platforms that were shown last week at this Mobile World Congress:
– MediaTek at less than $100
– Infomax Communication at $80-90
– Leadcore Technology at $80-105
– Fuzhou Rockchip Electronics at $90-105 (I filmed Rockchip at CES)
– Qualcomm MSM7227 ARM11 ships in the largest amount of cheap 3G Android phones that are about to sell for as low as $100-120
– Broadcom is planning such solutions also to be priced at $100-120
The Cheap Android Smartphone revolution is a HUGE deal, it means a Billion more people might afford to get Internet access and mobile personal Internet features in the next couple of years or so. And this means a potential HUGE disruption of the carrier/manufacturer Smartphone industry, as more and more European and US consumers are going to choose Sub-$100 Android phones without the need for 2-year contracts anymore, those phones can be used on pre-paid and even using unlimited free VOIP over 3G or LTE data-only services pretty soon.
2. Honeycomb, the first real Tablet OS
– Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1
– Motorola Xoom (Xoom at CES)
– LG Optimus Pad
– Malata’s upgraded Tegra2 tablets (designs used by ViewSonic, Interpad, Hannspree etc..)
– My Interview with Honeycomb Chief Designer Matias Duarte: He confirms Honeycomb has no minimum hardware requirements, this means, ALL ANDROID TABLETS, even ARM Cortex-A8, even all existing Archos, Samsung, Dell tablets, even 256MB RAM, even the cheaper Rockchip 2808 and 2818, even Telechips, all may be getting Honeycomb firmware upgrades. It’s certainly an important detail to find out how much Google engineers are planning to be involved reaching out to each of these lower cost ARM SoC platform providers in porting the Honeycomb to all these cheaper and already released Android tablets platforms once the Tegra2 devices are out, the source code and the UPGRADED CDD (Android 3.0 Compatibility Definition Document) is instantly released. Honeycomb Holographic UI elements might be disabled on cheaper hardware that have less processor, memory and graphics acceleration. This should happen and get fully explained by Google Engineers within a few days! Honeycomb is not only for $800 tablets.
Froyo for current Android tablets is just as good as iOS on iPad. Since Donut SDK are Android apps supporting medium density screens (= tablets). Honeycomb is simply the first time a high-end ARM Powered tablet OS has really been designed and optimized for tablet use. Playbook and WebOS may look nice and similar, but they have no ecosystem (nobody can compete with open and free), I expect HP and RIM will be forced to simply use and build on Android within months.
I got this confirmed from a source at Google (to remain anonymous) that Honeycomb will likely work just fine on all the cheaper tablets, such as the ARM Cortex-A8 ones like Archos and even the super cheap ones with Rockchip ARM9 or Telechips ARM11 processors. We’re all set for disruptive Android Tablet future with no need to be member of a “high-end special club” to get Honeycomb and especially to be allowed the Google Marketplace and all Google Apps. Google are to update the compatibility guidelines for devices to be Google Marketplace compatible and they “simply” add more filters to prevent consumer confusion.
I’ll try to get this confirmed and explained on video by some Google representatives during the Mobile World Congress.
“Hacking away with Android” on Beyond The Keyboard takes a look at Android tablets, what they can do, what they are not yet capable of and what they should do in their opinion.
It has several nice and colorful graphics to compare and show the positioning, differences, gaps, possibilities and shortcomings of tablets in general and tablets compared with each other.
One of the “problems” with Android identified is the lack of hardware drivers for printers and scanners and the lack of support for multiple external drives.
Tablets brands compared are: Archos, Dell, Samsung and Creative. The iPad 1 is – due to its impact on the tablet market – added as a reference.
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?
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.
The smartphone OS wars are not about functionality or design, they are about the business model. Consumers or tech blog reviewers don’t get to chose which smartphone OS wins and looses.
Today, the carriers decide
The main reason Android dominates today is that carriers pay about $200 less per customer on an Android phone compared to an iPhone (about $400 vs $600). The other aspect of Android that carriers like is the customization of it to make more money on extra services. For example, Google provides the carrier with a share from app sales in the Google Marketplace. Carriers can pre-load the devices with apps for on-demand music and videos and other services. Apple does not give carriers any share of revenues from the App Store or iTunes.
The actual bill of materials and manufacturing cost of today’s high end Android smartphone or iPhone is less than $150. Amazingly, the average US smartphone consumer pays above $2400 for his smartphone on contracts, for example, Verizon’s Average Revenue Per User is $105/month. ARPU is lower in Europe, and much lower in developing countries. The carrier economic aspect of Android winning is only how things are today. Even as there is competition with very good high end Android smart phones provided to the market by Samsung, Motorola and HTC, consumers still pay about the same for these phones as they would with an iPhone.
When the carriers loose control
Things are going to change fast. Soon, the carriers will loose control of the smartphone market, and Android will dominate even more.
As 20 Android smart phone makers compete, there are to be $99 Android phones sold unlocked directly to consumers, such as the Chinese Huawei or ZTE Android phones, there will be alternatives to carriers voice services such as the new VOIP centric version of Google Voice which has become an integral part of Android in Gingerbread.
The next phase of Android means consumers will have choices such as the Archos 28 Internet Tablet at $99, no contracts needed, to do SIP/VOIP/Skype calls on WiFi-only, and depending on the region of the world, there are sub-$20/month even sub-$10/month data SIM cards that will be used to get Data-only experiences of Android. White Spaces could also provide for worldwide free wireless broadband for these devices if setup using the http://fon.com model.
While bloggers analyze smartphone differentiation, fueling a feature war on blogs among constantly improving Android super phone specs, in which new models are represented as destroyers of the ones released the previous week, the fact is brands that sell most don’t do it on features, they do it by negotiating the strongest deals with the carriers. If you look at the US smartphone market, it really doesn’t matter which high end Android phone consumers buy, they all cost basically the same $2400+ after those compulsory 2-years in contracts. The consumer only really gets a choice once devices are sold unlocked through all retailers. Then, prices for these devices will have a meaning and the best value for feature will clearly win. So if you thought it was fun with all these Android phones coming out through carriers this past year, you haven’t seen nothing yet compared to what will happen once phones are sold unlocked directly to consumers.
The next billion sub-$100 Android smartphones
Android smartphones can thus soon be $100 unlocked instead of $2400+ on contract. We are talking about a 24x cheaper Android experiences for the consumer. At that point, the consumer gets to choose who wins the smartphone war. This is happenning. It doesn’t matter what Apple, Microsoft, RIM, Nokia and others do. When there are $100 Android phones in every super market, competitors don’t get to keep a market share if they don’t also provide the devices unlocked for $100 with no contracts needed. You think Apple is looking forward to loosing their 300% profit margins on the iPhone?
What carriers will do to try to keep control
The only ways carriers will try to retain control on their trillion dollar industry will be to block VOIP on cheap wireless data plans, buy out and close down any pre-paid carrier competitors that are offering services that are too cheap on any given market, campaign against unlicensed use of the 700Mhz spectrum for White Spaces, block the licensing of 3G/4G modem technologies in cheap unlocked devices, do anything they can to limit competition in the wireless carrier business. Hopefully all these attempts at keeping control will be defeated by strict regulation and government policies.
The smartphone industry is moving too fast for any Government to regulate it, much too fast even for carriers to adjust and protect themselves against the auto-disruption that is inevitable. Everyone is racing and trying to keep the flow of money going their way for as long as possible.
[I originally wrote this on 16th December 2010 to be published on another blog, but since it wouldn’t get published there as is, I decided to post it here, your turn to say what you think in the comments.]
Larry Page is the new CEO, here’s what I think Google should do.
1. Make White Spaces happen. Things are moving far too slowly. I want to see White Spaces deployed to provide free wireless broadband to the whole world as an alternative to the proprietary 3G/4G/LTE networks. It should be deployed using the FON.com model, Google can invest meager $50 million or whatever is necessary to mass produce the first 1 million routers to activate White Spaces sharing all over the world. The idea should be this, users get these routers that may initially cost $50 to manufacture because the White Spaces chipset is new, but could eventually cost below $20 per router. They install it in their homes, connected to whatever ADSL, Cable, Fiber that people already have in the home. This router creates a White Spaces hotspot that reaches much further than within their home, to cover their whole neighborhood with bandwidth. The router is clever in that it can dynamically throttle bandwidth, if you are at home and you need to use your own bandwidth your bandwidth is 100% prioritized for you to use, thus it does not feel at all like you are sharing your bandwidth, that bandwidth sharing is only of the bandwidth which you don’t need yourself. The whole global network uses OpenID and such with increased level of verification of every users real ID, to authenticate each user on that network, so this is not used as an untraceable anonymous global Internet access, but where any illegal activity could be traced back by local authorities if needed (obviously, proxies and encryption can always be used if someone really wants to be anonymous).
Listen to Larry Page talk about White Spaces, this is more than 2 years ago. What has happened since?
2. Open Google Marketplace to all devices. If there is one point where I think Google might be evil, it’s in their policies to hamper innovation with Android. It’s been about a year and a half that Archos has put Android tablets on the market, still they are not allowed by Google to install the full Google Marketplace on the device. Google needs to stop now. Open several versions of the Google Marketplace if they want, for different types of devices. Or basically just add a settings menu in Google Marketplace that allows apps to be filtered and highlighted differently in terms of how they have been tested (mostly by users themselves) to work better or worse on every different type of device. Allow in those settings for the user or device to present itself automatically for example “without 3G”, “without compass”, “without back camera”, “without android buttons”, “at this specific screen resolution”, then filter apps from there, but never block access to all apps on all devices, if some apps don’t work correctly on certain class of devices, so be it. I believe 99% of the 200’000 apps in the Google Marketplace work 100% just fine on about 100% of the cheapest Android tablets on the market.
I understand that Honeycomb should be opening up Marketplace for more devices. For tablets it’s kind of a certain. But still, will Google allow even the cheapest ARM9 Tablets full access to Honeycomb OS and Marketplace? Honeycomb for Laptops is a possibility. Honeycomb for e-ink e-readers, maybe.
In any case, it’s kind of sad that it took Google more than 2 years to open up Google Marketplace for more devices. This has let Apple all alone in the market of iPad and iPod Touch.
3. Campaign for Net Neutrality on wireless networks for VOIP access. There has been a lot of rage on the blogosphere about Google’s partnership with Verizon in the USA leading up to a Net Neutrality proposal that exempted wireless networks.
It is understandable that bandwidth on wireless networks such as 3G, 4G and LTE have to be managed because it only takes a few users to download some BitTorrents at full speed on one base station for a whole area of up to 1km in diameter where users might experience dropped calls and the like. As far as I understand, even for LTE, bandwidth is limited, although it could be argued that carriers should then just build more base stations closer to users, if they do spend significant money to expand their networks or not, it’s understandable that wireless networks need to be throttled somehow.
But, that should absolutely not allow carriers to block voice-over-IP usage. That is pure evil. Wireless bandwidth shall be used HOWEVER the user wants to use it. If carriers don’t like the idea of becoming dumb pipes of data, that is their problem. They should have considered that possibility when they decided to become carriers.
Carriers have made enough trillions of dollars of profit already, not for them to justify that they should be allowed to continue to gouge the consumer of thousands of dollars per year in completely data bandwidth prices. When you consider the price of 1MB of SMS messages sent costs about $10’000 to the consumer. We are in the year 2011, 1MB of wireless data SHALL NOT cost $10’000 to the consumer.
4. Destroy Facebook, Twitter, Groupon, Foursquare and other over-hyped social networks and location based services. This is a call from a user who gets tired of these boring, unoptimized, wastefull, meaningless excuses for social networking and location based services. What a waste of time! Google has to fix this now!
Twitter only benefits famous people. That’s why they keep talking about it. For 99% of users, twitter is absolutely useless, for anything else than to follow whichever famous person you like following, in lists of garbled, meaningless, unoptimized, spammy, messy 140-character messages. Make it stop, please.
Facebook is the newer type of Myspace that is a trend in high schools globally. It’s for not much more than grouping school kids together and have them waste time on farmville, a tool for massive stalking of a bunch of people you never spoke to for 10 years or more. Make it stop, please.
Social networking will be extremely useful eventually. Location based services will revolutionize everything that we do. Just not in those forms. Google needs to make a social network with location services in a way that absolutely makes sense. Make it so people get to do constructive things in the world, people move more, do more things, people get to be more productive, meet more people. End the global era of wasted opportunities, wasted efforts, mutual disdain, rejection and loneliness that can be felt by everyone.
Social networking that makes sense changes organizations, it changes companies, it changes communities, it changes countries. It auto-regulates humans use of global resources and actually makes democracy work.
Yeah those may be high hopes for Google’s social network, but who else than a company of the worlds top 24 thousand Phd software engineers can we rely upon to make this work?
5. Merge Android, Chrome OS and Google TV into one ARM Powered software platform. Google needs to focus on bringing the full Chrome browser on top of Android, provide it with full Google TV features, make it all boot on one ultra optimized ARM Powered software OS image. Read my previous post “Recipe for the ultimate ARM Powered device” for more on how this all-in-one software should work.
6. Bring Internet access to the next billion people faster. It’s all good how Android is taking over the smartphone market. It eventually does bring cheaper Android devices mostly made by Chinese vendors themselves. Still it is not going fast enough. Google should make it a priority that a $50 Unlocked Android Phones shall become available globally. Google should invest billions of dollars in One Laptop Per Child, have it run open source software that is supported by millions of people. Reaching the $75 Tablet should be a priority. Invest billions of dollars in Pixel Qi to mass produce their screens as fast as possible, make sure all devices can last 10 times longer on a battery as soon as possible.
The thing is western countries have a lot of electrical power so they don’t care enough about not having to recharge a 2300mAh battery every night. Consumers in wester countries don’t care enough about the price of the smartphone as most are still buying smartphones subsidized by a carrier who charges upwards $3000 in 2-year contracts that for example most Americans feel are natural thing to sign up for when getting a smartphone.
Getting mobile computing to the next billion people within 2-3 years should be a priority for Google, and if that risks to disrupt the actual business models of the carriers in developed countries by the availability of $50 unlocked Super Phones, $75 Tablet/E-readers and $100 Laptops in every super market, so be it.
7. Monetize independent web video production and make VOD the worldwide standard through YouTube and Google TV. YouTube has already become the worlds largest bandwidth infrastructure, streaming out more than 2 billion video streams per day, hosting and encoding all the worlds video, it’s impressive. Yet, Google now has the opportunity to reach much further and completely monetize YouTube. The YouTube Partnership system is a drop in the bucket compared to what they should do. I’m not allowed to become a YouTube Partner even though I have over 12 million video views (including what I put on other channels and what I had put on Google Video), the reason being Google only allowes residents of G20 countries access to even apply to become a YouTube Partner.
Of those that are conservatively monetizing YouTube video views with overlay advertising, they could do so much more. Why not provide a one-click donation button under every video, on every channel page to allow viewers to sponsor the future productions of their favorite content creators? Why not embed price comparison links with commission payments on one-click sales under every video that talks about a product that can be bought by interested viewers? Why doesn’t Google provide a global subscription plan à la Hulu, but where it gives access to much more than just established Hollywood/TV contents, but where it also monetizes ads-free or higher definition viewing of all independent content? Why doesn’t YouTube offer pay-per-view solutions worldwide, for example, let viewers choose to pay very small amount of money to get a direct link to download any of the videos as an uncompressed video file or on-demand encoded to chosen codec and bitrate/resolutions?
YouTube needs to become much more than the worlds biggest bandwidth infrastructure project. YouTube has to become Google’s biggest source of revenues and profits. It needs to become a tool that changes media and ultimately that improves democracy.
What do you think Google should do now that they have a new CEO? Post in the comments.
As you have seen here on ARMdevices.net during these past 2 weeks, I filmed and posted 106 videos of the 106 coolest products I could find at CES 2011 (6 are still to be posted in the next few days), this is my record for the number of videos filmed at a trade show since I started video-blogging at consumer electronics trade shows since CeBIT 2004.
Here is the top-20 best products that I filmed at CES 2011
1. Motorola Atrix 4G, this is the direction for this industry, convergence in the area of Mobile Computing.
2. Exclusive Honeycomb UI hands-on (not just video of the UI), I actually clicked through the reference Honeycomb OS UI for about a minute in that video while the Motorola representative was looking the other way. Anyone else posted a similar actual Honeycomb UI video and not just pre-recorded video?
3. ARM Powered OLPC XO-1.75 laptop, One Laptop Per Child already invented the Netbook market, now they are pushing the Netbook/Laptop industry into becoming ARM Powered to lower power consumption, lower complexity and lower cost. They are nicely using the high-end Marvell Armada 610 processor for full laptop performance.
4. Archos 101 Home Tablet, Rockchip is pretty amazing, they came from nowhere a year ago (as far as I knew), and now they are powering over 50 Android tablets at CES. This Archos 101 Home Tablet could be sold for as low as $199-$249 at retail when it comes out in a couple months (depends if you listen to what Rockchip or Archos says), it’s 10.1″ capacitive touch screen, HDMI output and very compact and light form factor, it comes with Rockchip’s new RK2918 ARM Cortex-A8 1Ghz processor which they claim is more powerful than Hummingbird/Apple A4, does 1080p playback, and most importantly, they say, allows for more affordable ARM Powered devices. And Rockchip is expanding into Laptops and Set-top-boxes as well, where they likely will provide their knowledge and experience providing an all-in-one turn-key-solution for cheap Chrome OS on ARM and Google TV on ARM solutions, to be provided by all the cheap Chinese manufacturer, possibly starting at CeBIT in March, or by China Sourcing fair in April, or Computex in June and beyond.
5. Pixel Qi shows 7″ and announces 9.7″ and 10.1″ 1280×800, these announcements hopefully give us a clue as to we soon may see mass produced devices like Kindle 4 or iPad 2 use this screen technology, and not only the nice Notion Ink tablet which may be reaching some few consumers now but not in large enough scales to fund mass manufacturing and real mass adoption of this new type of screen.
6. LG Optimus black, amazingly light 109gr OMAP3630 Android Super Phone (same power as Droid X) and also uses LG’s new NOVA super bright 700nit display.
7. Sony-Ericsson Xperia Arc, they dominated the Japanese 2010 smartphone sales, now Sony-Ericsson wants to dominate worldwide smartphone sales. The Xperia Arc is also extremely light at 117gr and uses Sony’s big push into mobile displays, their new Bravia LCD display. I wish they would allow for easy one-click Home replacement to become fully 100% Vanilla UI like on a Nexus S.
8. Windows on ARM, there were no booth demos yet, but the excitement at Steve Ballmer’s keynote was insane, this is the end of an era called Wintel.
11. Joyplus, Pierre Cardin showed Samsung ARM Cortex-A8 7″ Capacitive low cost tablets. Those pretty much can perform like a Samsung Galaxy Tab, basically run the same Samsung Hummingbird ARM Cortex-A8 processor with 1080p video playback (I don’t know what bitrate/codec complexity limitations it has), but instead of costing over $600, these are to be sold in bulk at $150 and possibly retail a bit over $200, depending on screen quality.
13. NEC LT-W Android Dual-Screen Tablet, it’s actually pretty cool to see such dual-screen Android tablet concept. Although text input is too slow, it probably still needs a real external keyboard solution for full speed text entry.
14. NEC Tegra2 Powered 7″ Laptop, there’s a 7″ capacitive Tegra2 with full keyboard Tablet/Laptop combination prototype. I’d like to see such form factor in a jacket pocketable size.
16. Polaroid, Yifang, Pierre Cardin, Match Tech, Yootechpros all presented 9.7″ Android Tablets, now Apple’s exclusivity on the screen is finished. Now all Android tablet manufacturers may use the exact same LG IPS capacitive touch screen as used in the iPad.
17. Freescale i.MX508, next generation platform for e-ink e-readers, shows 8fps fast e-ink refresh rates, Android user interfaces for e-ink e-readers. This processor platform will probably be in a large part of the future e-ink e-readers.
18. RIM Blackberry Playbook, most awesome thing about this demo is to experience the power of Texas Instruments OMAP4430 ARM Cortex-A9 processor, see how nicely QNX’s embedded Linux OS does multi-tasking. This specific tablet seems to be pretty great, uses a new bezel touch sensitive user experience, but that also increases the size of the bezel.
19. Seco srl’s Pico Projector in a Lamp concept, watch this one, it’s really fun. This concept could turn out to be in many lamps, adding pico projectors onto every wall, displaying informations and changing moods in your room. Texas Instrument’s new nHD Pico Projector is so small, so low cost, uses so little power, we may see it in many if not in all ARM Powered devices soon, in all mobile phones, all tablets, all cameras such as the GE PJ1. I especially am looking forward to the user interface of turning any pocketable device into a large screen computer projecting the desktop onto any table and having multi-touch sensors built-in.
20. Nvidia’s announcement of Project Denver, they are making a super high performance ARM Processor not only for super phones, super laptops but also for super computers. This may be Nvidia’s custom ARM Processor design or ARM Cortex-A15 based design. Get more infos from my interview with Mike Rayfield on this subject.
Android + Chrome OS + Google TV = All-in-one ultimate gadget.
The Motorola Atrix 4G gives us a taste of what’s coming. You get one pocketable product, that is, up to 5″ for normal pocket (passport sized), and up to 7″ for jacket pocket (you’ll see, almost every jacket comes with such a pocket), for this summer I think up to 5″ is the more likely size but for next Christmas sales the 7″ size may win, that device runs full speed Android no slow downs, and when docked to Desktop/HDTV Dock it outputs either Chrome OS for productivity or Google TV for entertainment depending on which mode the user wants to use, and also have this solution power the laptop dock.
– The ARM Powered brains, basically modular Android Tablet should not cost more than $200 at retail this year. Might add $50 for built-in 3G/4G modem. White Space support this year would be good if built in the FON.com model. If someone could miniaturize a reliable swappable and optional 3G/4G/White Space modem module that could be slided into the back of the device, including easily accessible SIM card reader in there, that could be nice. This way the same product is sold worldwide and the unlocked cellular modem would be an optional accessory that could be purchased for $50 separately.
– Desktop/HDTV Dock should be no more than $50. It’s just a bunch of connectors. Full Google TV support could also include HDMI input and IR Blaster in that Dock, as well as the multimedia RF remote. Ports should include at least 3x USB host, 1x HDMI, 1x mini jack input, 1x mini-jack output, 1x optical audio output.
– Laptop Dock should be no more than $100, include super good quality 10.1″ Pixel Qi screen, capacitive touch, so this also turns this into a 10.1″ Tablet.
Fast enough ARM Processors to do it all-in-one.
The ARM Cortex-A9 powering this device should have fast enough memory bandwidth, fast enough I/O, built in a way that it is fully fast enough to run dozens of tabs at the same time in Chrome OS mode, the overlaying features of Google TV mode should have to support full dual-view with overlays when using HDMI pass-through and support all codecs at fully highest bitrates and highest profiles 1080p 60 frames per second.
This may mean that the current Tegra2 in Motorola Atrix 4G may not be fast enough, but that this ultimate product may need to use the upcoming Texas Instruments OMAP4430 (as in Blackberry Playbook), Qualcomm Dual-Core MSM8660 Snapdragon (as in Asus Memo), Samsung Orion (as potentially in Samsung Galaxy S2/Tab2) and let’s see/analyse performance and availability of the upcoming Freescale i.MX6, Marvell Tricore, Nvidia Tegra3. Someone knows how Amlogic’s ARM Cortex-A9, Nufront’s ARM Cortex-A9 and others may perform comparatively? I’m looking forward to post or find web browsing, video playback, battery runtime and pricing benchmarks testings to be done comparing the performance of all these next generation ARM Processor platforms.
Waiting for Google’s software
The main problem for a platform maker at this point, is that Google has not yet released Honeycomb source code, not yet released Chrome OS for ARM, not yet released Google TV for ARM, thus a gadget maker not having real-time access to Google’s software R&D offices, would have to anticipate this evolution and prepare an all-in-one tablet/smartphone solution that would be compatible with integration of these multi-booting software convergence solutions once Google releases them within the next few months. I don’t know for sure how such Atrix 4G like solution would have to work, if each of the Android, Chrome OS and Google TV have to boot all at the same time offering instant swapping between one or the other OS in the user interfaces, or if all 3 of these OS have to be merged somehow first for this to work in an optimal way. Please post in the comments if you know how Motorola does it on Atrix 4G and how this using Android+Chrome+GTV has to work.
My favorite size would be the tablet using the 7″ Pixel Qi screen, allowing for smaller battery thus 200grams super light weight and thin form factor, the laptop dock should somehow allow for the tablet to be docked on the side of the 10.1″, 11.6″ or larger screen, thus actually extending the screen surface, you can thus touch the tablet part and work on the laptop screen. Basically the Laptop Dock could be like shown by Motorola where the pocketable tablet is either behind the laptop screen, but should be with a swivel to be positionned upright next to the laptop screen. Thus this device combines Tablet, E-reader, Mobile Phone, Laptop and Set-top-box functionality all into one.
Non-free, non-open-source alternatives to Android+Chrome+GTV? Fine.
– Someone in the industry thinks they can do it better than Android? Fine. They can try to put RIM’s Playbook OS, HP’s WebOS, Apple’s iOS, Microsoft’s WP7 or Nokia’s Meego on there if they think that is better or they feel they need to differentiate.
– Someone in the industry thinks another browser than Chrome is better? Fine. Like Motorola does Atrix 4G for now with Mozilla Firefox, Opera might have another browser solution, there’s Webkit, IE. All that matters is we get a full speed full resolution ARM Powered web browsing experience with flash and support for all HTML5 web standards including offline web apps, the Native Code and WebGL stuff coming out.
– Someone in the industry think they can do better than Google TV on ARM? Fine. They can load another media player UI on there if they want. Just make sure the user can sit back on a sofa, use a full sized RF keyboard on the USB host, and get near-instant access to all the IPTV, all the VOD, all BitTorrent/RSS downloads, with full codecs support up to 1080p60fps full bitrates, with full NTFS/ETX3 usb hard drive support, full Samba/Upnp/Dlna support, full YouTube 1080p leanback playback and more. Easy plugins for Netflix/Hulu and more is obvious as well. All the while, still sitting in the sofa with that keyboard or fancy lean back mouse pointer, and have a full overlay web experience on top of the video as well, launching overlay apps for chatting, finding other videos, looking up informations, tweeting, video-conferencing and all other features that could be imagined to be done in the living room HDTV.
Who invented this ARM Powered ultimate convergence device?
By the way, this taste of ultimate convergence is not a Motorola invention, although they may be the first to show a sleek ARM Cortex-A9 integration, Archos has been crazy about docks for many years and I’m one of the original Archos Fans (see my other site http://forum.archosfans.com). Archos made the first color screen PMP JBMM20 with Camera/DVR Docks and video outputs 9 years ago, the first embedded Linux Tablet PMA400 (then running Qtopia Linux) 5 years ago, the first Android Tablet Archos 5 Internet Tablet with HDMI 720p Android Dock over a year ago. And Archos has always booted their multimedia OS in parallel with the embedded Linux and more recently Android stuff, both in parallel, thus providing the best of both OS in one same device. But now I believe ARM Cortex-A9 provides enough performance and Google’s software is maturing fast enough so I think Archos and the rest of the industry is able to work towards this dream of an all-in-one device.
While Engadget has about 38 bloggers at CES and a huge dedicated trailer with dedicated fiber optics line just outside the Central Hall, it can be hard for a small independent blogger like me, fighting for bandwidth at cheap Las Vegas hotels (Internet access in my Sahara hotel room actually didn’t work at all during the whole CES) or staying on the floor outside the Las Vegas Convention Center press room untill 11PM every night (until they turned off the lights and security kicks me out), uploading and posting 106 HD quality videos during CES bringing you exclusive contents even as sites like Engadget and 100 other big blogs always post 500 things on the first day of CES, their coverage is great. But I notice I may have covered a bunch of things that the Engadget bloggers didn’t find interesting enough or couldn’t find (too busy partying with Lady Gaga?), let me give you an overview of some 24 products that I have filmed and that seem not to be covered on Engadget (I still have more than 20 CES videos to upload and to post later today and the next few days):
Onyx Boox M90, cool 9.7″ connected e-ink e-reader with digitizer annotations input and cool embedded Linux software by Chinese Onyx International. Definitely a good alternative to the 9.7″ Kindle DX that has no touch screen input features.
Ramos ARM Cortex-A9 Tablets, except all the Tegra2 tablets and the OMAP4430 Blackberry Playbook, Ramos may have been one of the only ones showing alternative AmLogic 1.2Ghz ARM Cortex-A9 based tablets at CES.
Zaidtek E7 and Zaidtek H7 Android Tablets, Qualcomm MSM7227 and Rockchip RK2818 capacitive 7″ tablets, $350 and $250 respectively, may be some of “most affordable” such capacitive tablets with 3G built-in. Seems to be same design in $450 at retail Aigo N700 which I also filmed.
Honeycomb user interface demo, I actually grabbed some footage of me using the actual Android Honeycomb OS (considering it’s not final or simply secretive for now), did anyone else post Honeycomb UI videos other than the official ones that were playing in loop on any Xoom demonstrated at CES?