Archos to unveil Android tablet PC and build HD Apps Store

20 Aug 2009

Cutting edge media player manufacturer Archos is expected to unveil an Android-based tablet PC on 15 September that will bring about a sea change in low cost computing.

The company already has a brash array of Windows 7 based tablet PCs due to hit the market such as the Archos 9 which comes with an 80GB hard drive and Intel Atom Z515 processor.

Rumours are circulating about a tablet device that runs on Google’s Android operating system and which will come with a 5-inch screen, pipping Apple which has in recent days denied it will unveil a tablet computer device in September.

Archos is also understood to be launching its own Android Apps Store. However the proposed store with the working title AppsLib will differentiate itself from Android Market, as well as competitors like the iPhone’s App Store, by focusing on high-end devices.

It is believed that every app will need to support an 800×480 resolution (480×800 when rotated) and should be prepared to support 720p video over HDMI for either large-resolution apps or HD movies.

Speaking with in March the managing director of Archos Europe Tony Limrick said: “This is an area we strongly believe we have a role to play in. We recently launched the Archos 5 media tablet, which is probably the fastest media device for Wi-Fi and gives users a full internet experience.

“97pc of video on the web is flash, and therefore we can compete against the mobile handset manufacturers.

“We’ve looked at the market and the key to our future is to provide users with an internet experience superior to any other mobile device out there.”

Limrick said that in January the company released its first netbook, the Archos 10 which featured the Intel Atom CPU, a 10.2-inch screen, 1GB of RAM and a 160GB hard drive.

“In the third and fourth quarter we will be launching internet media devices that will be based on Google’s Android technology.”

Limrick wouldn’t reveal too many details about the new device, but emphasised screen quality, size and ultra-portability as factors.

“If you look at internet media devices and take the voice element of phones out, the iPod touch is the only product that competes with Archos in the market, and the Archos 5’s functionality is so much better than the iPod Touch.

“In terms of the forthcoming ultra-mobile PC, we are not releasing the final specifications, except we will be incorporating Google Android into one very smart piece of kit.”

By John Kennedy

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years