Samsung trying to gain control of the Android market in more ways than one

Samsung is serious about Android. They've already got the most mainstream Android tablet (the Galaxy Tab) on the market, and a strong Android phone (the Galaxy S) but with CES just a week away we're hearing about a couple of new Android products that Samsung will likely unveil. The more solid news is of the new Galaxy Player, a PMP that is analogous to the iPod Touch. Looking at it another way, it's a Galaxy S with the cellular connectivity removed. SamsungHub brings us the full details, but basically we're expecting an Android 2.2 device with a 1 GHz CPU and a 4" screen (800x480). It has front and rear facing cameras, GPS, a microSD slot and it'll come in 8GB, 16GB and 32GB models. It will have full Android Market support. Looks like this could be a nice Android alternative to the iPod Touch.

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Next is some thin news from the Korea Times that suggests Samsung will be showing off the Galaxy Tab 2. The full quote from Korea Times is:

"Samsung is expected to reveal the newer version of its Galaxy Tab at the CES, as it looks to exploit a global tablet market that will reach 50 million units in 2011, from 15 million this year, according to the estimations by technology research firm Gartner."

Android and Me puts this bit of news together with recent reports that Samsung has placed a large order for Nvidia Tegra 2 chips and suggests that we'll see a Tegra 2 powered Galaxy Tab at CES. That makes sense to me; let's hope we see some kind of price drop while they're at it. After all the Android tablet business is about to get a lot more crowded. So that's the good Samsung news. Here's the bad. According to Electronista, Samsung may be rolling out new firmware for the existing Galaxy Tab that locks down the device and makes it hard to hack. Electronista says the Tab will be locked down more tightly than an iPad! To dig into the nitty gritty of the issue check the source link, a forum thread at XDA-Developers. It was started by some poor Tab owner who bricked his tablet. If this new firmware is official and a Galaxy Tab 2 is announced at CES, would the locked down firmware make you less interested in a Samsung tablet?

Peter Smith writes about personal technology for ITworld. Follow him on Twitter @pasmith.

Front-page thumbnail courtesy of Pierre Lecourt

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