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Coy Castle expands development team

By Chris Williams. Published: 7th Apr 2005, 15:34:36 | Permalink | Printable

Cuts prices on Iyonix range

Castle logoTematic, Castle's embedded development team, have boasted of new premises and staff in an announcement issued earlier today. From what we can gather, Tematic have moved about 400 metres down the road from their previous location, in Cambridge, to Signet Court. They've also confirmed taking on new coders after appealing for software engineers.

It's believed that Castle have been working with Pace to deploy RISC OS powered set top boxes, appearing at least one major trade show to demonstrate their kit. Castle's Peter Wild assured us that they've been working on "significant improvements to RISC OS", although Castle were too shy to specifically list any further details. Of course, we'll note this is not the first time Wild has said some pretty, um, wild things on the subject of RISC OS development.

He added today, "Our deployment of IP Set Top Box solutions to key clients over the last few months has been successfully executed on time, and are now shipping in significant volumes giving us a very bright future."

This brings us along to Castle's other news this week of yet another limited special offer on the Iyonix. Castle have slashed 350 quid off the price of their XScale powered computer, bringing the price of the basic Iyonix unit (128MB of RAM, 40GB hard disc and plain CD drive) to under 900 quid. The offer expires on May 5th, just weeks before the Wakefield show.

We've speculated on the various reasons why Castle can afford now to cut their prices so dramatically: As hinted by Peter Wild today, Castle could be shipping hardware at such a volume that they can now haggle lower component prices. They could also have new hardware kit planned and are attempting to clear existing stock. They could be hoping to get punters' cash before the May event in Wakefield, in an attempt to preempt any rival hardware launches scheduled for the show. They could also have simply earned enough money now from the Iyonix, released in late 2002, to pay off its development costs.

Hopefully, all should be revealed by May.


Iyonix website

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"We've speculated on the various reasons why Castle can afford now to cut their prices so dramatically" Perhaps sales are beginning to dry up, so they've decided to reduce the most like stupidly massive mark-up? Development costs? Eh?

 is a RISC OS Usernunfetishist on 7/4/05 4:05PM
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Sounds like all very positive news :)

I wonder where the significant numbers of set top boxes will end up? Are they destined for a particular place or use?

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 7/4/05 4:05PM
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Always the "is there new hardware around the corner" risk in taking an offer like this (let's hope that's the reason!) In other computer markets new machines come out fast enough that there's no point in even thinking about it, but with new RISC OS ones being few and far between I'd kick myself if I spent that much money and just missed out on something better.

 is a RISC OS UserSimonC on 7/4/05 4:12PM
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SimonC> except everyone who says "I won't take up this offer because I'd like to spend it on a new RISC OS computer" then refuses to buy the new one because it's "too expensive".

 is a RISC OS Userjonix on 7/4/05 5:24PM
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just orderd myself an Iyonix, happy days. At this price i couldn't afford to miss out.

 is a RISC OS Userleeshep on 7/4/05 5:38PM
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If there is another machine around the corner (I do hope so) then I doubt that means the end of the current Iyonix. I would expect Castle to retain the Iyonix in their range but at a different price point, perhaps the sale price announced here.

Now wouldn't that be nice? Iyonix as the "entry-level" XScale RISC OS machine at UKP800 or less and its bigger, faster brother at maybe the original Iyonix price point.

But personally I don't expect it yet :-(

 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 7/4/05 6:06PM
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but you can still get a mac-mini for ~250ukp (500usd)

 is a RISC OS Usersimo on 7/4/05 6:38PM
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simo: This is not a fair comparison. Apple is non-computer liturate persons automatic alternive to Microsoft PCS, and as a result is a considerably larger concern than Castle. It can afford to offer a product like the Mac-Mini at UKP250, I doubt Castle could.

 is a RISC OS UserJWCR on 7/4/05 7:21PM
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excellent news :-D

you will find it somewhat quicker... ;-)

JWCR: agreed

& an A9home might be difficult to do for 250 too for the same reason

 is a RISC OS UserROHC on 7/4/05 7:33PM
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Castle have put out a steady stream of one off package deals, (I+monitor, I+printer & camera), special price reductions and even a DIY version.

It's good marketing to keep your product repeatedly bubbling up in the news in this way - I like it - and if real or imagined competition is a partial motivator to keep Castle on its toes in this department then so much the better.

O.K. : so I paid more for my Iyonix a year and a half ago than I could buy one for now but I've had good use out of it over that time and am not complaining.

 is a RISC OS Usermartin on 7/4/05 7:40PM
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I have no idea what the A9Home will be launched at. I hope that the basic unit will be priced at UKP400 +/- UKP50.

 is a RISC OS UserJWCR on 7/4/05 8:46PM
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Apple, despite their size, aren't able to offer a Mac Mini for 250. Here in the UK it starts at 339 for the base model which doesn't include either a keyboard or mouse. If you opt for an Apple wired mouse and keyboard to go with it that brings the total to 377. It's still very cheap by Apple standards but it's not 250 ...

As for the A9 Home - a base price of 400 would be outstanding bearing in mind that this is the same price that APDL retailed their "Exclusive Special Edition Mico". I'm hoping that a price of 450-550 isn't wishful thinking ^_^ I'm very keen to see what specifications the A9 Home will have and hope that we'll learn more at Wakefield given that STD/AD6 did say they'd be there with bells on !

It's also good to see Castle continuing to push the Iyonix as well seeing successful deployment of RISC OS in markets other than our own. 2005 is shaping up to be a very promising year.

 is a RISC OS UserJohnB on 7/4/05 9:39PM
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Well done to Tematic and lets hope it brings in more new items to RISC OS.

 is a RISC OS UserRevin Kevin on 8/4/05 5:36PM
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JohnB Everything about the A9home is speculation as all the release info has been based on the A9 before a reseller has asked for fast(er), cheap(er) version with or without x, y, z and in a, b, c case. What we're offered will be...? But that doesn't stop us saying what we'd like. ;-)

 is a RISC OS Userjc on 8/4/05 9:00PM
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Apple offer the mac mini to students at 260+ VAT. Perhaps thats what he meant...

 is a RISC OS UserTTX9 on 8/4/05 9:08PM
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"Apple offer the mac mini to students at 260+ VAT. Perhaps thats what he meant..."

No, actually I was talking about over here in the States, Mini's retail for 499usd including shipping, plus about 8% tax, which equates to about 250-300ukp

 is a RISC OS Usersimo on 9/4/05 2:31AM
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People seem to be randomly mis-moderating this week. How unusual.

 is a RISC OS Usernunfetishist on 9/4/05 1:40PM
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