Is the Archos Being Left in The Dust?

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arielgon
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Is the Archos Being Left in The Dust?

Post by arielgon »

Before you start flaming me, rest assured I am a big Archos supporter for over 6 years. Every year I get the latest & greatest model. Archos always had a niche because they were the only one that made a great Media Player in an easy to view size, but it looks like that is no longer the case if you look at all the new tablets being developed on Engadget. I can't help but wonder if the competition with much bigger pockets are just going to make Archos obsolete.

I have the Ipad, Archos 5 and Archos 5IMT and I find myself using the Ipad more and more every day for home use. For carring around a nedia player I always take my Archos, but lately I have been taking both because it is so much easier to use the ipad even for videos.

Just want opinions as to the future of Archos as a company, not the future of a particular device.
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Re: Is the Archos Being Left in The Dust?

Post by buster8079 »

There is a competitors forum for this type of discussion, particularly since you even write you are not interested in a particular device...
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Re: Is the Archos Being Left in The Dust?

Post by gschier »

I just tried an iPad at Best Buy yesterday and I was blown away by it. I know it does not support flash and it supports very little media formats, but it just looks soooooooo good. It's so easy to use and the screen and touch abilities are amazing.

But IMO, I don't think any other company will be able to put out a product as polished as Apple's, and frankly, it is for this reason that I don't think anything else will beat out the Archos. The only thing other companies can beat about Archos is hardware. I believe if Archos put out a device with better GPS, better screen, 3G option, and compass then Archos would be unstoppable.
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Re: Is the Archos Being Left in The Dust?

Post by map002 »

Archos will have to significantly raise it's game this year to keep things going.

They just came out of a very shaky '09 where their new financing was largely thanks to the bright A5A sales in Q4. But the Android tablet market is about to get a lot more crowded.

They've got a good market share in France that will probably keep the doors open and their outsourced lower end media players should sell well at European big-box retailers and supermarkets, but I don't know about their Android or Windows tablets.

Apple is essentially a non-issue for Archos. Different market segments for the most part. But they do have to worry about all the other Android tablets hitting the market now.

I think they are going to need a serious rethink once the Tegra 2 chipset gives broad HD video capabilities to higher-end Android tablets in general. Without that as a USP, I believe they're going to have to find another niche to target and fast.

Will they? I dunno. They're playing against long odds. It will be interesting to watch it play out!

Michael
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Re: Is the Archos Being Left in The Dust?

Post by AllenPapapetrou »

Yep, A mod will probably move this topic soon.

I've had 4 Archos devices: Gen 1 Jukebox, Gen 6 5IMT, and now Gen 7 5IT and 7HT. If the latest the 7HT is an indication of Archos's desire to expand their customer base into the Home with a simple tablet for novice users, then they just miss the mark as delivered.

With "full featured" Tablets the UI must be highly intuitive with a pleasant look and feel. One of the articles about Android on larger tablets talked about simple things like scaling the icon UI. Android lacked scaling features so the larger the tablet the larger the icons, etc. On my 7HT the scale looks fine to me. But on a 10 inch tablet I don't need or want them larger.

Archos has tied their future as a company to Android on their Tablets, except for the A9. In the USA wherever I've taken my 5IMT and my 5IT no one knew what it was. Even among my techie friend, they'd say: Heard about it, never seen one.

Everyone in the USA knows: Apple, Dell, HP, Toshiba, etc. No one knows Archos. When the big boys get going I don't see how an unknown company, even with a great product can compete.

Can Archos survive with the limited revenue of limited market share. Perhaps, but I don't see any signs of them doing what they need to do so. Comparing the 7 inch Archos Home Tablet to the 10 inch iPad really shows the different between what I large company and a small company can do in the market today. The name may survive if Archos sells off before they fold. The Amiga name survives to this day and Commodore died in the mid-90s.

I expect Archos to fold within two years - I expect my Archos Tablets to provide me service for a lot longer than the company. I like my Archos devices, but Archos, in hindsight, has made some very foolish decisions. The 7HT continues that foolishness. Not for me, but for all the novices they are marketing to.

Alen
Last edited by AllenPapapetrou on Tue Jun 01, 2010 9:05 pm, edited 2 times in total.
-An old geek 8)
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Re: Is the Archos Being Left in The Dust?

Post by map002 »

I'll move it in a bit. I'd like to let a few more folks get in on the conversation before it moves to 'General'

Michael
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Re: Is the Archos Being Left in The Dust?

Post by baxjohnson »

I am in the States and no one I've shown my 5A5 to knows what it is or has ever heard of Archos. That being said, at least two people bought one after seeing mine in action. I was kinda curious how popular they are in France and Europe. I tried to find some sales data online but was unsuccessful. Does anyone have any market share info? Do you see advertisements for them on TV and in print media? There is a 32G 5A5 in the Best Buy I frequent and the sales person knew nothing about it (other than no one ever buys them).

In the end, most people here want something that will work out of the box with little to no tweaking/updating/hacking. Apple has done a good job convincing people that their products meet that need even though their products fall short in a lot of other places. For instance, my tech friends (who all ran out first day to buy the ipad) are amazed that my Archos plays straight up VOB files with no conversion. However most people are very lazy and will give up a lot of great things for the easy way out.

How close to "out of the box" readiness is the 7HT? Was it a better release than the 5A5 with respect to firmware?

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Re: Is the Archos Being Left in The Dust?

Post by buster8079 »

baxjohnson wrote:I tried to find some sales data online but was unsuccessful. Does anyone have any market share info?

http://forum.archosfans.com/viewtopic.php?f=47&t=29350
http://forum.archosfans.com/viewtopic.php?f=47&t=30341
http://forum.archosfans.com/viewtopic.php?f=47&t=29502
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Re: Is the Archos Being Left in The Dust?

Post by formerceo »

Agree with Allen's posts regarding Archos folding and I'll be sad 'cause I love my A5IT. But leaving the technology aside for a moment, I believe, IMHO, that part of Apple's attraction is that you can walk into a retail store and fondle the devices.

As we know, a lot of these gadget things are impulse buys, and excepting a few dusty displays in Best Buy (and BB's lame sales force) Archos is nowhere to be seen or touched in much of the US. I think if people could lay hands on, and compare with other things, Archos would have a lot more US sales.
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Re: Is the Archos Being Left in The Dust?

Post by sweetypie »

formerceo wrote: I believe, IMHO, that part of Apple's attraction is that you can walk into a retail store and fondle the devices.
Any thoughts on Victoria's Secret stores?
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Re: Is the Archos Being Left in The Dust?

Post by baxjohnson »

buster8079 wrote:
baxjohnson wrote:I tried to find some sales data online but was unsuccessful. Does anyone have any market share info?

http://forum.archosfans.com/viewtopic.php?f=47&t=29350
http://forum.archosfans.com/viewtopic.php?f=47&t=30341
http://forum.archosfans.com/viewtopic.php?f=47&t=29502

I guess I should always start with my searches here. This place is a veritable cornucopia of information!!

Gracias!
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Re: Is the Archos Being Left in The Dust?

Post by davep1 »

I have owned a number of different tablets over the years. The Archos 5IT is not meant to be a competitor to the iPad, it is a competitor to the iPod Touch. I find it to be the best ARM based pocketable tablet out there, even today. The key advantage the A5IT has over the iPad is pocketability. Someone on another thread mentioned using the A5IT in a grocery store to go through a shopping list. You wouldn't want to do that with an iPad. To my mind, other than surfing on the couch, I can't really see a good use case for the iPad or many of the big tablets (including the A9).

That said, the 1GHz large screen smartphones like the Dell Streak will push past the A5IT by the end of the summer. The question is, what the next generation of Archos tablets will bring and when they will get here. If the Christmas season comes and goes without Archos selling 8th generation devices, then you can say they have been left in the dust. My hope is that they are early enough along in their production cycle to incorporate the 1.2GHz dual core Snapdragon chip but far enough along to still produce devices in bulk by the early 4th quarter.

BTW, I love tablets but everything with more than a 5 inch screen currently available for under $2k is a toy. If you want to know the power of a tablet, invest in one with an active digitizer. The ability of Win7 to recognize handwriting is the most incredible and least publicized aspect of the OS. Plus, if you think EverNote is a great tool on the A5IT, wait till you see the Windows version.
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Re: Is the Archos Being Left in The Dust?

Post by davep1 »

sweetypie wrote:
formerceo wrote: I believe, IMHO, that part of Apple's attraction is that you can walk into a retail store and fondle the devices.
Any thoughts on Victoria's Secret stores?
None I can share here.
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Re: Is the Archos Being Left in The Dust?

Post by H.P. »

Image
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Re: Is the Archos Being Left in The Dust?

Post by AllenPapapetrou »

baxjohnson wrote: How close to "out of the box" readiness is the 7HT? Was it a better release than the 5A5 with respect to firmware?

Bax
Hi Bax,

I have a 7HT and love it. Out of the box the 7HT looks like it delivers what Archos advertises: A simple internet Appliance for easy home use.

After not much testing I found:
1. Archos provides no facilities for creating new folders. For example: The Photo Frame App is a great little program to turn the 7HT into a Digital Photo Frame. Photo Frame will play all a slide show of all the photos in an "album" and an album is a folder in the file structure. No problem for me, but could be a big problem for novice Home users.

2. Archos confounds a real microSD card with a symbolic link to /flash/sdcard. To make it even worse sometimes Apps use Internal Storage as the "SD Card". What Archos calls Internal Storage on the 5IT, they call "Internal Memory" on the 7HT. Some very confused discussions are going on in the 7HT forum because of this.

3. Archos delivers my favorite visual eReader on the 7HT. Cool, eReading is a primary reason I bought the 7HT. So, I download a book using the Aldiko eBook repositories. Bring it up and it looks great just like the 5IT but on a 7 inch screen.

I continue fiddling and come back to my book in Aldiko later. IT'S GONE - Generic Book Cover and Title are all that remain. Say what? After some research, I find that Aldiko used the Linux Tree not the User Tree (remember "Internal Memory - the User Tree) when there is no SD Card. Installed an 8G microSD Card and it lost all the eBooks (only two ) I DLed before when I had no SD card installed.

Can you imagine the reaction of the new 7HT Home user when she can't find any of the 30 books she DLed before she bought an SD Card. Major Flaw.

4. Movies which play fine on my 5IT, simple .avi files, won't play on the 7HT. Okay, I can live with that. I use the samples Archos bundled on the 7HT and MediaInfo, then convert to what works. I didn't get the 7HT to play videos much so I don't care, but to new Home Owners of the 7HT, after they see the beauty of the sample videos (Big Buck Bunny, for one of two only) can you imagine the disappointment when their videos won't play?

5. The User Manual for the 7HT is more like a Quick Start Sheet on 8 SMALL pages. Even with its Limited Feature Set, the novice Home owner needs a Large, in number of pages and Size, User Manual which explains everything simply and thoroughly to novices. Gosh, the current UG doesn't even include a Trouble Shooting section.

I could go on, but I think you get the idea. Archos has done a 1/2 {you know what}ed job for novice purchasers - their target market{?}. No problem for me, but I feel for novice owners.

IMO, the kicker is this: Archos doesn't have the resources to fix the 7HT. All the reviews so far have been very superficial. Any in depth reviews will readily reveal its flaws.

Given what to me should have been a no-brainer money maker for Archos. They've messed up really bad. (I won't go into the FW update required out of the box due to a bunch of different builds getting to new purchasers). Compared to the initial release of the 5IT the 7HT APPEARS fantastic. And for me it is. All the tweaking I've done is simple after the 5IT.

If Archos continues in a similar mindset, either from ignorance or lack of staff, then Gen 8 could well be their final short act. I hope not, I don't want to see them fail.

Oh Well . . .

Allen

PS: Ah luvs mah 5IT and mah 7HT
-An old geek 8)
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Re: Is the Archos Being Left in The Dust?

Post by arielgon »

Pocketbility is the best thing Archos has going on for them. I am planning on buying the Sprint EVO this Friday and it seems like the closest thing to an Archos + a Phone to boot. I understand that Archos has much more storage capacity, but if the EVO can take the new 32GB microsd cards then it is closing the gap. The cards are expansive now, but not for long.
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Re: Is the Archos Being Left in The Dust?

Post by pmarin »

AllenPapapetrou wrote:I could go on, but I think you get the idea. Archos has done a 1/2 {you know what}ed job for novice purchasers - their target market{?}. No problem for me, but I feel for novice owners.

IMO, the kicker is this: Archos doesn't have the resources to fix the 7HT. All the reviews so far have been very superficial. Any in depth reviews will readily reveal its flaws.

Given what to me should have been a no-brainer money maker for Archos. They've messed up really bad. (I won't go into the FW update required out of the box due to a bunch of different builds getting to new purchasers).

I agree 100% with Allen, they are great devices for power-users, for techies, but many of the potential buyers won't even upgrade its firmware... it you are going for a mainstream product, you have to tailor it for that, and only relase it if it works well enough.

Archos should at least release a sort of "iTunes" that would let inexperienced users know that they have an update available, or just upload pictures, ebooks, etc. Just an upgrade notification would change the user experience a lot...

The other thing they could do is "open source" their development, use the community to improve its firmwares. If you crowdsource it, they could very well survive Gen8 as Allen says, or at least stablish Archos in an interesting niche of really open tablets. The firmware they released for the 5IT that lets us install other OSes is a great move in the right direction, lets hope they do that for the 7HT.

I've said this in another post, and I still think its a good idea, they should unify the hardware, just change the screen size, that way they code once and release firmwares for all their lineup...

Patrick
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A Famous American President Once Said...

Post by formerceo »

"ask not what your country can do for you but.... What can we do for Archos so that they won't be "left in the dust".

Perhaps a reasoned approach from members of this forum - that is some well thought out proposals combined with maybe some test and development volunteers?

I don't have ready answers but there are some bright and dedicated members here and surely we can figure out some way to help them survive.
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Re: Is the Archos Being Left in The Dust?

Post by AllenPapapetrou »

I doubt if very many, if any, Archos execs read our Forum. How about a couple of Open Letters to the Archos Execs in our Wiki. We get some good open letters, then all Wiki members can sign on the bottom with our Member Names and Archos devices we've owned, like:

AllenPapapetrou: Archos - JukeBox, 5IMT, 5IT, 7HT
Jane8831: Archos - 605, 7HT
. . .

. . .

. . .

Then we send an Email to the Archos Execs with a link to the Open Letters

Allen
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Re: Is the Archos Being Left in The Dust?

Post by formerceo »

Allen:

Letters are a great idea, but instead of the Wiki, why not send directly to Archos execs. When I was CEO, i always read intelligent letters from either customers or shareholders, particularly when they offered help.

In any event, whether via link or direct, I bet that a letter with some reasonable ideas, and from the only real support forum, might get their attention and start an open dialog. I certainly would be glad to help out.
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