Samsung to show iPod Touch killer at CES

Samsung went after the iPhone with the Epic 4G, the iPad with the Galaxy Tab, and now Samsung has its sights set on the iPod Touch with the Galaxy Player. Samsung is expected to announce American ship dates for its Android-based entertainment player during the Consumer Electronics Show in January.

The Galaxy Player will be available in 8GB, 16GB, and 32GB storage sizes, according to Samsung Hub.

The Galaxy Player launched earlier this year in Europe with a 3.2-inch display, 2-megapixel camera and Android OS 2.1 (Eclair). The U.S. version will reportedly have bumped up specs including Android OS 2.2 (Froyo), 4-inch LCD display with 800 by 480 WVGA resolution, 3.2-megapixel rear-facing camera, front-facing camera for video chat, 1GHz processor, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 3.0, GPS, and a microSD card slot.

Samsung’s new entertainment device will also have access to the Android Market as well as Samsung’s own app storefront. Presumably, the Galaxy Player will also come loaded with Media Hub — the company’s digital retail outlet for TV shows and movies — as well as an integrated music store. These three pieces will be key for Samsung if it wants to beat out Apple’s iPod Touch.

While device features are important, Apple’s strength has always been the way iPods, iPhones, and iPads seamlessly load content through iTunes.

Sure, you can complain about the fact that iTunes lacks wireless sync, the software is bloated and Apple is ruthless about cutting undesirable apps from the App Store. But millions of people around the world are still heavily invested in the platform because it’s so easy to use. For the first seven months of 2010, Apple held about 77 per cent of the U.S. MP3 player market (which includes the iPod Touch), according to research firm NPD Group. The closest competitor to the iPod was SanDisk with eight per cent of the U.S. market, followed by Mach Speed, a href=”” target=”_blank”>Sony, and Coby.

So it may be better to describe the Galaxy Player’s challenge, should it choose to accept it, not as an attempt to unseat the iPod Touch but an attempt to unseat iTunes. And that is a much harder proposition.

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