Archos eyes budget tablet PC buyers in PH

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By Alexander Villafania

QUEZON CITY, METRO MANILA – The rat race to dominate the tablet PC market has gotten even more intense as US consumer device manufacturer Archos announced its official entry in the Philippines.

The device maker recently introduced its previous versions of its successful Archos Generation 8 series and the more recent Generation 9.

Archos will be distributed in the Philippines through Axis Global.

According to Axis Global Product Manager Angelo Ricardo Mendoza, Archos will be targeting the much wider demographics of Filipino users who want to purchase tablet PCs at a much lower cost, a fact that he said most current tablet PC manufacturers are missing.

“We’re trying to get a larger user base of people who can utilize a tablet. The sweet spot is for them is to maximize their hardware’s potential without spending more,” Mendoza said.

The hardware itself is not scrimped. The older Generation 8 Archos models, particularly the 70 Internet Tablet, and the 101 Internet Tablet, were already running Google Android 2.2 (upgradeable to 2.3) with a 1 Gigahertz processor. At the time of the Generation 8 model launch in 2010, these were already among the most advanced.

Likewise, the more recent Archos 80 and 101 G9 series are using much more powerful hardware; the central processing unit for all models is the Texas Instruments OMAP 4 dual-core with base speed at 1 GHz.

Higher models of the G9 series have the faster OMAP 4 processor running at 1.5 Ghz.

As for price, the G8 series have a starting price of P7,999 for the Archos 7c Home Tablet, P11,999 for the Archos 70 Internet Tablet, and P14,999 for the Archos 101. A unique version of the Archos 70 has a 250 gigabyte internal hard disk drive and costs P13,999.

The G9 series start at P16,999 for the Archos 80 G9, and P19,999 for the Archos 101 G9. Another unique version of the Archos 80 G9 with a similar 250 Gb drive also costs P19,999. A future version of the Archos 101 G9 also with a hard drive is targeted for release next year.

“We’ve not broken the P20,000 price point that most tablet PC manufacturers have. At the same time, the hardware specifications are even better than most tablets,” Mendoza said.

Mendoza stressed that the tablet PC market in the Philippines is potentially huge, especially since many users of social network services are converting to touch screen devices from laptops or PCs. He also said some schools are also looking to use tablet PCs as alternatives to books.

“There are a lot of applications that we can use for tablet PCs and it’s up to software developers and system integrators to come up with compelling services that utilize tablet PCs. We’re bringing devices that allow for such services to happen,” Mendoza said.

Get more information on Axis Global

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