updated 09:45 am EDT, Mon May 18, 2009
Archos Event June 11
Archos has said it will hold a special press event in its home country of France on June 11th that is believed planned for the company's Android tablet launch. While the company itself doesn't say what will appear at the Paris gathering, the green background of the graphic along with the company's stated plans for the summer suggest its first device based on Google's platform will appear at the conference. Archos has historically had one major press event per year and usually depends on these for unveiling new media players and tablet devices.
The company has previously promised that its flagship for 2009 would be an Android-based device that would offer phone functionality through an unusual method. Although it would be too large to hold to the ear with a 5-inch touchscreen and up to a 500GB hard drive, it would include internal 3G for both voice and data. Also promised are a faster TI processor based on ARM's Cortex designs, in-browser Flash and HD video playback outside of the browser. The size of the handheld may permit up to 7 hours of video playback.
It's not known if the Android tablet will ship to the US, as the need for carrier support has usually led Archos to strip out earlier 3G data features when bringing devices to the US. However, Archos hasn't detailed any of its other tablets for 2009 and may introduce Wi-Fi or offline-only versions.
Archos is often regarded as Apple's primary competitor in the touchscreen media player market but has so far depended on a custom operating system that doesn't support third-party apps and has a relatively limited feature set of its own, hurting its ability to compete with the iPod touch. Android would both simplify Archos' development as well as give true third-party app support. [via ArchosLounge]