A5a_bb It's hard to believe that it's been nearly a year since Archos introduced its first Android-based device, the Archos 5 Internet Tablet, but not only does time fly, it also brings an end to all good things. We just may be reaching that point now that Best Buy is apparently letting its inventory of the 16GB A5A dwindle down, with most stores now out of the 5-inch tablets that were in plentiful supply for the past several months.

I've seen over the past week or so that most of my local BB stores no longer have a demo unit on display, where before they were always easy to spot right next to the huge failure known as FLO TV. A quick look at the BB website shows that only two of the eight stores in my area have stock, but one other thing I noticed was an additional $30 price drop from the already on-sale price of $279.99, so now the A5A is an even better bargain at $249.99.

Most online retailers still have the larger capacities available, as the 16GB model was exclusive to BB, so I might be reading too much into the sudden disappearance from the store shelves, but I have a feeling BB has some inside knowledge of a new Archos model on the way. To be honest, we all know by now that Archos has quite a few new products in the pipeline, with some of them already available and others close to being released.

For now, the A5A is still a great choice for a 5-inch tablet, as long as the resistive screen can be tolerated, and pretty much the only one besides the perennially-delayed Dell Streak that is just being released in the US at the end of this week. Archos has done a better-than-expected job of keeping the firmware updates flowing than they did on their prior generation devices, and who knows, maybe an upgrade to Android 2.1 or even Android 2.2 could still happen.