Archos, a French company best known for portable media players, announced its “first line of Google certified smartphones”, which are set for availability by the end of May 2013.
The company is offering three devices, Archos 35 Carbon, Archos 50 Platinum, and Archos 53 Platinum, all of which use an “unskinned” version of Android. The devices are also dual-SIM, with the intention of selling through retail channels.
Loic Poirier, CEO of Archos, said: “The smartphone market is shifting, as SIM-free sales versus subsidised sales are increasing. Archos is prepared to respond to this change, as we can offer retail channels affordable, unlocked and feature-rich smartphones without the heavy price tag.”
Archos 50 Platinum and Archos 53 Platinum have 5.0-inch and 5.3-inch screens respectively, and are powered by 1.2GHz quadcore Qualcomm processors. The company said that Archos 50 Platinum will offer “an experience similar to a Samsung Galaxy SIII for half the price”.
The Archos 35 Carbon is an entry-level device, with 1GHz Qualcomm processor, running Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich), with a 3.5-inch display.
The devices will be priced at €79.99 (Archos 35 Carbon), €199.99 (Archos 50 Platinum) and €249.99 (Archos 53 Platinum).
The company has previously offered a number of media players powered by Android, including tablets.
Poirier continued: “Smartphones and tablets are interrelated markets that have quickly crossed over with the arrival of phablets – half phone, half tablet. It makes sense that this should be our next phase of products as it’s a natural fit for our brand and long term growth plans.”