Discussing Archos #3


Discussing Archos #3 is the third article in the series.  Discussing Archos articles will be about minor Archos announcements, new rumors, successes and epic fails. After you read it, please don’t forget to leave your feedback below or in our forum – we will try to improve the Discussing Archos articles in that way, that the arctablet community will enjoy it more and more.

Todays article was supposed to be a short one. Like you can see we didn’t manage to keep it that short. 😉 On todays menu is a little bit speculation about Archos Gross Margins, popularity of Archos products, two good deals and a funny video in the end.

Archos is going sound.

From the beginning of March, Archos Store is selling new headphones:

Let’s hope that they will sound better than the spelling mistake suggests us. It even looks like the spelling mistake also found its place on the product package itself….

However, it is not the headphones or the spelling mistakes(you will probably find a few of them in this article) I want to talk about. It is about the money Archos makes on them. In their last press release, they explained how they can stay competitive:

  • Design et innovation
  • Compétitivité accrue
  • Pénétration de nouveaux segments de marché autour d’Android™
  • Déploiement d’un écosystème d’accessoires « intelligents »

It is the last point that is interesting. While we don’t know the exact 2011 year results yet, Archos plan was to retain ~20% Gross margin, just like the previous year. However, the tablet prices this year are lower – the 8″ G9 is now selling for 199EUR, while 7″ G8 was 249EUR last year. I think that Archos made more profit on the 70IT than on the 80G9 this year. So, how does Archos manage to make maintain high margins?

They decided to go the Apple way, introducing the ecosystem of accessories. There are plenty of accessories available now. Nearly the same screen protectors they are selling for 9.99EUR I can find on eBay for 2.49. And don’t forget that small buisnesses on eBay also make money on them. 😉 Same for their usb cables – I can find a pair of them on DX for 2$ incl. shipping, while they ask 9.99EUR for one. In 2010, Archos was selling only some pouches and usb cables, this year we have screenprotectors, pouches, cables, headrest adapters, capacitive stylusses, speakers etc. I don’t think Archos, with their small R&D, developed all of them. They just went to a Chinese factory and now this factory is now making products for Archos. Is it bad? No, 99% of Apple buyers just keep the stock eardups and they don’t bother about the frequency respons, bass levels etc; they are just happy with their white earphones. Nearly the same for Archos. People who do care about the sound quality will never buy Archos Headphones and they don’t have to. For Archos it is another source of money and in theory, they can sell tablets for lower prices, so that hardcore users can buy an Archos tablet for a bargain, couple it with Senhheiser earphones and enjoy their life. Other people will buy a tablet, get an Archos branded USB OTG cable, an Archos case, Archos headphones, Archos capacitive stylus and Archos Round Stereo Speakers. There is really nothing bad about it, all succesful companies do it like that.

Note that I started with writing this article before the announcement of the ChildPad. On Wednesday, 7 March, engadget had their hands on that tablet for children and Archos also showed some nice colorful accessories for it. To earn money with it, of course. Click here to watch the hands-on video and don’t forget about the gallery to see the accessories.

I am not popular. 🙁

No, not me. It is the smaller pmp market that has been overtaken by the smartphones market. My Archos 43IT is not popular and that’s exactly the reason why we didn’t see it’s successor yet. Apple have the same problems with their iPod Touch, so they didn’t come with a successor lately. I will give a small tip for Archos(it won’t work for Apple, no worries) how they can join the phone market easily while not forgetting about the pmp market. What about doing the same stuff you did for the G9? Actually, you can also reuse the G9 hardware, OMAP4460 should be fast enough for a mid-range pmp/phone:

May be you didn’t notice, but there are a lot of differences between the 43IT and the 43IP shown here. However, Archos won’t need to spend much time on developing the new design. It is just a little bit more “square”. Actually, I wanted to make a completely new design, but because of my Photoshop skills, but I didn’t succeed with it. So, the idea is that you can buy a 199EUR 4.3″ PMP and then, turn it into a phone by buying a G10 3G module for ~75EUR(becuase the G9 stick will have to go on diet, otherwise it won’t fit in a portable device). They could name it inion player/phone or just choose the most logical – smart player/phone. If they can’t fit in the 3G module, they can just make it a little bit bigger – 4.7″, for example.

Another thing I think, Archos should do, is not putting their name on the front on smaller devices. Just look how the slightly changed 35IT looks without it:

They could also make a phone out of it. Still, Archos is one of the companies who don’t copy Apple(just look at Samsung, for example), they have their philosophy and they are innovating(we will talk about it later in the article), so they deserve kudos for that. Another thing Archos should do is letting cutsomers know Archos devices have AVOS. So far, most customers choose Archos because it’s cheap, but it would be great if customers were choosing it because of AVOS, like people choose chose HTC because of Sense.

The latest thing I want to share with you is my idea about the 12″ tablet Archos is developing now. I think it has to be a Windows one, but Android sounds nice, too.

And yes, the picture is from december, so it’s actually pretty old. Let’s wait for the coming press conference where Archos will reveal their plans for 2012 and discuss further.

MWC: We go sheeeeeeeep.

Archos is a fantastic company. At least, they innovate. Most of the times they bring out new and innovative products. Unfortunately, they were not really present at MWC this year, so thousands of other companies can compete with each other without Archos. Nokia brought a phone with 41MP camera and ZTE presented quad-cores phones which will be for sale only in Q3 this year. You are not reading this article for that information, so let’s move on to the subject. Last year, Archos was the first to introduce a modern DECT phone. Yes, I said the first with a modern looking DECT-phone, Archos was not the first with DECT phone based on Android. Siemens followed them(probably, Archos and Siemens started developing at the same time) and guess what, at MWC, we have dozens of them. With android.

G9: We go smaller.

We already had the 8GB classic version and 8/16/250GB Turbo versions of the G9 tablets. Now we also have a 4GB Classic version selling exclusively at Staples(USA shop chain)

For 219/249$ it seems to be a good deal. Especially, if you go to their comments section. It looks like what is happening now happened last year with the 101IT. Back then, we also had a version with 4GB. However, when you bought it, you were sent an 8GB unit, even if on the box it was saying 4GB. And guess what? This time, there are also some people who turned out to get 8GB unit. And don’t forget, 80G9 has expandable memory, so you can actually make 100GB(64GB microSDXC + 32GB usb stick connected to the rear usb port, for example) out of it.

Even a better deal.

Waterproof 8MP camera, 1080p recording, HDMI and microSD. How much do you think they ask for it on amazon?  100EUR? 150? What do you think of 32?

Yes, they only ask 32EUR for it. It is even cheaper than some crappy 2MP cameras… And don’t forget it is waterproof, too. Click here for the review from our friends at Archos Lounge. The only problem is that they seem to have upgraded the sensor to an 8MP one, while the one AL have tested an 5MP unit. We can’t tell you whether there are really two versions developed, because we don’t have one. It is also strange that videos AL made are crap, while the following one seems to be quite ok.

Want one?

Give me everything, but I don’t know what.

Archos released the ICS firmware last week, but before that there were a lot of people complaining. Archos pages on Facebook were flooded with “ICS Now” messages, but some posters didn’t know what they were posting about.

Everybody complains about the lack of “ïcs”, so other people start complaining too… It is sad to see them doing that, actually. However, Archos, though it is a small company, released the ICS firmware one of the first. Samsung and HTC still need to follow.

Apples and Blackberrys.

Though, this video is not really about Archos, I found it funny, so I decided to share it with you(caution, british humour):

Shame they didn’t have Mango back then.

Thanks for reading! The coming week we will hopefully have many interesting things, so stay tuned and see you next time. 😉

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