Ignoring the Zune HD (as most consumers seemed to have done), the dominance of Apple’s iPod Touch over the touchscreen media player market has gone essentially unchallenged ever since it first debuted in fall of 2007… but Samsung — makers of the popular Galaxy S smartphone and the Galaxy Tab — are looking to change that at this year’s CES, when they unveil the Galaxy Player.
The Galaxy Player will be based upon the Galaxy S smartphone’s hardware, albeit with the telephony abilities stripped out. That means it will have a 1GHz Hummingbird ARM Cortex A8 CPU, 512MB of RAM and a Super AMOLED display running at a resolution of 800×480, along with an internal accelerometer and gyroscope. Running Android 2.2 FroYo, the Galaxy Player will boasts a front-facing VGA camera, rear-facing 3.2 megapixel cam and come in 8, 16 and 32GB varieties.
This is an interesting move on Samsung’s part, albeit one that has been inevitable ever since they introduced the Galaxy Tab. One thing that is not particularly clear is if Android is even suited as the OS for a media player device: the built-in media player software is notoriously sketchy compared to the iPod Touch’s software.
Another thing I’m curious about here is whether or not the Galaxy Player will have a 3G option. If so, the Galaxy Player might be the first PMP that can truly obviate the need to carry around a cell phone by leveraging VoIP services like Skype and Google Voice. That would make it an attractive device indeed even to a die-hard Apple fan.