Samsung Galaxy Players hit U.S. in October, to rival Apple iPod


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Samsung’s Galaxy Players are headed to the U.S., where they will challenge the Apple iPod for handheld gaming, email, Web surfing, app downloading, Twitter tweeting and Facebook poking glory -- or something like that.

The iPod, with as much as a 90% share of the portable music player market, long ago defeated just about every other MP3-player challenger out there with sales that blew away the Zune, the Sony Walkman and iRiver devices.


Still, iPod sales have declined as consumers have left behind dedicated music players and even the iPod Touch. Apple said it sold 7.54 million iPods in the third quarter, a 20% decline from a year earlier.

Nevertheless, touchscreen-based mobile gaming on tablets and phones is on the rise, and Samsung seems to see an opportunity. The consumer electronics giant might be right. The iPod Touch and iPhone, as well as Android devices, are credited with cutting into Nintendo and Sony’s portable gaming business.

Thus, Samsung’s Galaxy Players are headed to the U.S., launching Oct. 16 in two variations.

Like the iPod Touch, which is essentially an iPhone without the phone, the Galaxy Players are much like Galaxy phones without the phone.

Samsung will release the Galaxy Player 4.0, featuring a 4-inch screen, and the Galaxy Player 5.0 with a 5-inch screen. Both will connect to the Web via Wi-Fi networks -- no 3G or 4G is available -- and are outfitted with 3.2-megapixel cameras on the back, VGA cameras on the front for video chatting and Google’s Android Gingerbread mobile operating system.

The Galaxy Player 4.0 will sell for $229 and the 5.0 will sell for $269, each with 8 gigabytes of built-in storage memory and an SD-card slot that can handle up to 32 gigabytes of storage.


The iPod Touch features a 3.5-inch screen and sells for $229 with 8 gigabytes of storage, $299 for 32 gigabytes and $399 for 64 gigabytes.

Samsung on Sunday is bringing its Galaxy Tab 8.9 tablet to the U.S., which is an 8.9-inch screen version of its Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet. The 8.9 will be available with either 16 gigabytes of storage for $469 or 32 gigabytes for $569 and run on Google’s Android Honeycomb operating system.

So, what do you think? Are you looking to pick up a Samsung Galaxy Player or a Galaxy Tab 8.9? Let us know in the comments.


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-- Nathan Olivarez-Giles