Building out its family of products, Samsung Electronics has confirmed that it will debut a personal media player based on its Galaxy smartphones at next week's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The four-inch touchscreen Samsung Galaxy Player has Wi-Fi, front- and back-facing cameras, and comes with eight, 16 or 32 gigabytes of data storage -- much like Apple's iPod touch -- according to a blog that covers Samsung products.
Samsung Hub also reported that the player is 9.9mm thick and runs Android 2.2 with a one-gigahertz processor, a microSD card slot, and access to Samsung Apps and the Android Market, which has more than 200,000 offerings. The South Korea-based Samsung previously released the Galaxy Player 50 at the IFA conference in Berlin in September, with a smaller 3.2-inch display, only a rear-facing camera, and running Android 2.1. A similar device, the GB-70, is also expected at CES.
Eye on Apple
Having launched the Galaxy Tab in September -- a seven-inch answer to Apple's 9.7-inch iPad tablet, with one million sold in the first two months, as well as a line of Galaxy smartphones that have sold more than five million units on all major carriers, Samsung seems poised to try to match the Cupertino, Calif., computer giant product for product in the aggressive consumer electronics arena.
"Samsung is trying to match Apple family by family," said technology consultant and analyst Rob Enderle. "Samsung is one of the few companies that can match Apple's distribution. Although they don't have their own stores like Apple, in terms of being able to [compete] in the same kind of stores, they can do that."
Enderle added that other companies trying to match Apple's success have done so "piecemeal, without going after the full set of products."
"Samsung is one of the most powerful consumer electronics companies in the world and the one that scares Sony the most. If you had to pick the company most capable of taking on Apple, Samsung would probably be it."
Samsung Electronics, a division of the Samsung Group, also makes semiconductors, smart televisions, home appliances, computing products, and printers.
Price, Features Are Key
Apple's line of iPods, which includes the Shuffle, Nano, Classic and touch, have sold more than 260 million units since 2001, according to the company.
To compete, the Galaxy Player will need to be "at least price competitive with Apple's line," said analyst Michael Gartenberg of Gartner Research.
"It's in many ways the first competitor to the iPod touch," Gartenberg said, while noting that the newcomer lacks some elements of the iPod's appeal. "First, it's going to need a simple sync solution to get content on the device as well as a robust media marketplace. It's also going to need a much stronger story for games, which remain a weak part of the Android operating system."