Samsung preps first real Android alternative to iPod touch

Samsung logoSamsung is near releasing what should be the first true competitor to the iPod touch to use Android. Listed at South Korea's Daum store, the YP-MB2 would have the same features as the Galaxy S but targeted at MP3 players. The player would center on the same large, outdoor-friendly four-inch Super AMOLED screen and 1GHz processor but would depend on Wi-Fi alone to get online.

The MB2 will use Android 2.1 with Samsung's customized TouchWiz (now 3.1) interface layered on top, but it should get extra features to compensate for the absence of a phone. Built-in storage should double to 32GB, and the Korean model will get DMB over-the-air TV tuning. Unusually for this class of device, GPS would remain intact and could give the player an edge when navigating with offline apps.

In Korea, the MB2 should ship August 11. It hasn't been formally unveiled but is likely to reach other countries.

The existence of the player is significant to the MP3 player field as, until now, no major electronics firm has based an MP3 player on the platform. Google's stock media playback features are currently basic and often miss out on multiple formats and common features on even basic MP3 hardware, including podcast support. Without significant opposition, Apple has dominated the touchscreen MP3 player category where challengers such as Samsung and iRiver often have little sway.

Most Android devices are either pure smartphones or else tablet-sized devices such as the Dell Streak or Samsung's upcoming Galaxy Tab.

Tags: Android, Samsung

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