Samsung is planning to debut its Apple iPod contender, the Galaxy Player, at January's Consumer Electronics Show, according to a Samsung Hub posting.
Samsung, apparently not content to challenge the iPad with
the Samsung Galaxy Tab or the iPhone with its Galaxy S line of smartphones,
will use January's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas to unveil yet another
Apple competitior: the Galaxy Player, a touchscreen multimedia device meant to
take the iPod Touch head-on in the consumer market.
According to the blog Samsung Hub, in
a widely circulated Dec. 27 posting
, the Galaxy Player will run Android 2.2
(Froyo) and include a 1GHz processor, 4-inch touch-screen, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
3.0, front- and rear-facing cameras, HD video playback, and access to apps via
the Android Market. The 1200mAh battery will be removable.
In other words, just as the iPod Touch has been widely
touted as the iPhone without a cellular contract, the Galaxy Player appears in
many ways to be Samsung's Galaxy S smartphone without the 3G
capability-although the presence of Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 3.0 suggests other
avenues for person-to-person calls. That aside, some differences in hardware
are immediately apparent: the Galaxy Player will boast a 3.2-megapixel rear-facing
camera, apparently, in a weaker variation on the Galaxy S's 5-megapixel
The Galaxy Player is not exactly Samsung's stealth weapon in
the portable-device market. Advertisements for the device have circulated
online since at least late October, showing the Player run through various
apps: Google Search by Voice, Google Maps, Android Marketplace, camera,
camcorder, Layar augmented-reality browser and radio. Around that same time,
French retailer Materiel.net offered the "Galaxy Player 50" for pre-order,
although the device's specs on its Website-including
a 2-megapixel camera and Android 2.
1-differed somewhat from those posted
Dec. 27 by Samsung Hub.
If a Samsung Galaxy Player tallied strong sales upon
release, it would shake up a portable-media-device market long dominated by
Apple's iPod line. Other competitors, including Microsoft's Zune HD, have
earned strong reviews from critics but generally middling sales.
But Samsung has ample reason to believe its Galaxy Player
will succeed where similar devices have crashed and burned: Despite
mixed reviews from some publications
, its 7-inch Galaxy Tab managed to sell
more than 1 million units worldwide within two months of its first release,
along with more than 5 million Galaxy S smartphones over the course of 2010.
The Galaxy franchise, in other words, seems to have gained some traction with
IMS Research expects Android tablets like the Tab to swallow
up 15 percent of the worldwide market in 2011, eating away at the Apple iPad's
dominant share. Samsung may be hoping the same Android-based magic can happen
in the portable-media-device market. But some tech pundits, including eWEEK's
Clint Boulton, seem
more ambivalent about the Galaxy Player's appeal