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Tablet maker Archos recently announced a new line of Android-based smartphones featuring a slim design, Qualcomm processor, an IPS display and two SIM slots to allow customers to use the phone with two different carriers seamlessly. All of the new handsets will ship unlocked out of the box and support 3G only, we're told.
The handsets in question include the Archos 35 Carbon, Archos 50 Platinum and Archos 53 Platinum, retailing for $99.99, $219.99 and $249.99, respectively. The Archos 35 Carbon carries a 3.5-inch display, built-in Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS and a microSD card slot. The handset will ship standard with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.
The Archos 50 Platinum and 53 Platinum will ship with 5-inch and 5.3-inch displays, respectively. Both include an 8-megapixel camera, a quad-core 1.2GHz Qualcomm processor, 1GB of RAM and an expansion slot that boosts overall storage space to 64GB. These handsets will ship with Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean.
Archos CEO Loïc Poirier said the smartphone market is shifting as SIM-free sales versus subsidizes sales are increasing. As such, Archos is prepared to respond as they can offer retail chains affordable, unlocked and feature-rich smartphones without the need to subsidize. The executive further notes that smartphone and tablet markets are crossing over with the arrival of phablets - half phone, half tablet devices. It only makes sense that this should be Archos' next phase of products.
All three handsets are expected to launch in Europe next month contract-free. No word yet on when the smartphones will make their way to other regions.