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Samsung to offer an iPod Touch alternative

Bloomberg News / December 30, 2010

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Samsung Electronics Co. will unveil a digital media player next month that can play video, take photos, and connect to the Internet as the company adds another product to compete with Apple Inc.’s touchscreen devices.

The “Galaxy Player,’’ powered by Google Inc.’s Android software, has a front-facing camera that allows users to have video chats and upload photos online using wireless networks, Samsung said yesterday.

The device will go on sale in the domestic market next month, Nam Ki Yung, a spokesman for the Suwon, South Korea-based company, said by telephone.

Samsung has sought to challenge Apple’s iPhone and iPad with its own Galaxy brand devices, using Android software.

The new product will directly compete with Apple’s iPod Touch and help Samsung lure a wider range of customers with a brand name it established with its Galaxy S smartphone, said Kim Chang Yeul, a Seoul-based analyst at Mirae Asset Securities Co.

“It’s a natural extension of the product lineup,’’ he said. “Apple put out the iPhone and iPad after promoting the iPod as a revolutionary MP3 player. In case of Samsung, their MP3 player didn’t do so well but they have a successful phone, so they’re trying to build their product lineup on it.’’

Samsung has sold more than 8 million units of the Galaxy S handset globally since June.