Finally, the iPod Touch has received some noteworthy competition.
Samsung has titled it the Galaxy Player. ‘Galaxy’ having been presumably taken from Samsung’s popular Android smartphone line (Galaxy S).
The Galaxy Player is a pocket computer/media device running Android version 2.1, and it looks like the first device to really be in contention with Apple’s iPod Touch. It packs a 2MP camera, 8GB or 16GB internal memory along with a microSD slot, an FM radio, GPS, Wi-Fi, a 3.2-inch screen, and built-in DivX support.
Below is a video provided by Samsung that effectively displays the Galaxy Player’s features and capabilities, which include Google Maps integration, a sleek media player, an external speaker, and beautiful hardware.
To the dismay of many Android enthusiasts, the Galaxy Player is really the first competitor (let alone Android) that is directly targeting Apple’s media player, which has sat in its own market niche since it was launched back in 2007.
Now, it looks like someone has launched a device that comes with enough features (and advertising) to really challenge the iPod Touch’s market share. Pricing hasn’t yet been announced in the U.S, but it’s currently available for 200 Euros overseas, meaning we can expect to see it ship for about $200-250 before the holidays.
Still, Samsung’s honorable initiative will face more obstacles than just serving as a solid alternative to Apple’s iPod line. Android fanboys will inevitably love the Galaxy Player, but the real question for Samsung will be how to market and ultimately sell this product. The obvious answer here is to knock $50-100 bucks off the price, and hope that appeals to the non-tech savvy Christmas-shopping parents who are looking for a modern music player.
Samsung will have to answer the question, what would entice shoppers to go with an unproven product over the behemoth that is the iPod? Apple’s marketing machine is too good and their head start is too advanced for any company to go toe to toe with them in terms of pricing. Another challenge for the Samsung team is not having or even providing a desktop syncing software like iTunes.
For everyone who can’t wait to get their hands on the first Android media player (off contract), the Galaxy Player should effectively assume its role as an excellent alternative to the iPod Touch.
For more on new Android releases, check out Motorola Droid Pro Announced and Desire HD Becomes HTC’s Android Flagship in Europe