Samsung is adding another screen size to its growing arsenal of mobile devices: The Samsung Galaxy Player measures 5.8 inches, placing it in between the first edition of the Galaxy Note (5.3 inches) and the 7.1-inch version of the Galaxy Tab.
The Galaxy Player has been rapidly growing in size since it was introduced at the IFA conference in Berlin in 2010, with 3.6-inch, 4-inch, 4.2-inch and 5-inch versions.
Range of Screen Sizes Increasing
The Wi-Fi -only Galaxy Player 5.8 is powered by Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich). The South Korea tech giant's personal media player is intended to take on Apple's iPod Touch. The announcement comes just before the confirmed launch date at IFA Berlin of the Aug. 29 Galaxy Note 2, which is believed to have a slightly larger screen size than the current Note at 5.5 inches.
Apple is also believed to be on the verge of releasing a smaller iPad, likely measuring 7.85 inches, according to widespread speculation based on supposed leaks.
The range of screen sizes may better help differentiate Samsung's future products, especially since it lost a tablet and smartphone patent-infringement suit filed by Apple. A jury ordered Samsung to pay $1 billion in damages and Apple on Monday demanded that a list of eight Samsung smartphones be banned in the U.S. The Wi-fi version of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 was also found to be an infringement.
Counting both phones and tablets, Samsung now has a range of 26 screen sizes from 1.5 inches to 10.1 inches, according to research by the blog PhoneScoop.
"There will be as many size tablets as there are paper tablets in the stationery store," Gartner Research wireless analyst Ken Dulaney told us. "Everyone wants something that works for them, and who are we to say that is wrong?"
Consumers Showing Interest
Unique screen sizes seem to have served Samsung well. The company says it has already sold 7 million of its Galaxy Note phone-tablets "phablets" in less than a year since its October release.
Samsung introduced the new Player 5.8 in South Korea. According to a translation of the press release, the device is equipped with front stereo speakers for "a rich multimedia experience," and "TV quality technology optimized for mobile Samsung's own sound field technology."
The Player 5.8 also offers a "learning hub" and dictionary and Samsung's TouchWiz user interface. It has a VGA front-facing camera, one gigabyte of RAM, the choice of 16 GB or 32 GB of storage expandable with a microSD card, a 2,500 mAh high-capacity battery , Bluetooth 4.0, as well as pre-installed educational content.
The price and distribution partners have yet to be released, nor has the U.S. release date, if any.
The prices of previous versions of the player are $149.99 (3.6), $199.99 (4.2) $219.99 (5.0) and $229.99 (4.0).
Samsung says it plans marketing activities such as "learning hub giveaways" and a fan club next month to coincide with the release of the Galaxy Player 5.8.