Where is Android’s iPod Touch?

Although I’ve been an Android user for nearly two years now I’ve had an iPod Touch for around six months and use it every day. I bought it mainly because I wanted a new gadget and thought it’d be a good way to try out iOS and get a real feel for it’s positives and negatives.

Over time I’ve grown to really love it. Yes, iOS is a bit limited and Apple’s restrictions can be totally infuriating at times but the things it does, it does exceptionally well. I’m still not one of Apple’s biggest fans but I have to grudgingly give them the thumbs up for producing a great device that offers an extremely slick and polished experience.

The best thing about the Touch is that you get the full iOS experience without the ridiculous cost of an iPhone or the contract fees. It lowers the entry requirements for iOS and allows Apple to expand its iOS user base. Many people can’t even buy a new phone if they want to, given that they’re often tied to long term contracts. So why haven’t any Android manufacturers released an equivalent device?

It seems like a no brainer. A cheaper device without any phone functionality that provides a great all round media experience: music, video, web and apps. I’m sure HTC could have fairly successful stab at it. Back at CES Samsung even announced a Galaxy Player based on the Galaxy S which would have fit the bill perfectly. Four months later they’ve managed to release the S2 but the player seems to have all but disappeared. They did release a cheaper version called the Galaxy Player 50 but the reviews weren’t exactly glowing.

Do the manufacturer’s not think there’s a big enough market to justify these Android media players? Given that Apple just announced that they’ve sold 60 million Touches to date I’d guess there’s a fairly large user base that would be interested. Having said that, where’s the WP7 equivalent too? The Zune HD appears to be nearing the end of it’s life and even then it never offered the full WP7 experience. I’d love to give WP7 a go in the same way the Touch let me do with iOS but I can’t. I’ve got money to spend but no one seems to want it.

 

 

  • Anonymous

    The real reason you haven’t seen one is basically because every high end Android phone does media just as well as everything else, so there is no reason for a separate media device.

    • SomeGuy

      Yeah, but the point is, like the article says, that many people don’t want / can’t afford a smartphone and the monthly fees they entail. I want to be able to keep my PAYG dumbphone and have a separate device that allows me to enjoy all of Android’s media functionality and apps without having to commit myself to a contract. A Galaxy player seemed like the obvious way to fill that niche, but I don’t know whay it hasn’t taken off…

  • longox

    when? we are going to start to see androids as a browser / games / media players.
    Is a very good question.
    that I had tryng to reply to myself
    I would say that was the idea that sell the psp, but failed. great “hardcore ” games combined with a bad browser & and difficult way to transfer your media.
    and don’t let me talk about the silly camera. i bought for it.back to the android for kids that don’t have money for a data plan but they would love to use it on wifi mode,

  • M_w_clarke

    Why do you think the Samsung player has all but disappeared?!?

    My local Tesco’s Extra sells them. So does my local Argos. And they are online in Argos:

    http://www.argos.co.uk/static/Product/partNumber/9292118/c_1/1%7Ccategory_root%7CHome+entertainment+and+sat+nav%7C14419512/c_2/2%7C14419512%7CMP3+and+MP4+players%7C14419653.htm

    This fits the Android equivalent ot the iPod touch perfectly and at the right price point as well.

    But what you HAVE to consider, is that when you can get a cheap as chips Android device (The Orange San Francisco) that has all that plus GPS (remember the iPod touch doesnt!) and a GSM connection for under £100 then why bother with anything else?!

    Apple HAD to release an iPod touch because the iPhone is out of the price bracket for the majority of people. And they had to keep there hand in somewhere.

    • iPhone fan

      Sorry, but I disagree – Apple didn’t HAVE to release an iPod touch to keep it’s hand in. The iPod range is still selling well. The iPod touch is the natural progression from the original iPod’s towards being a gaming device where Apple is trying to take a stake of the market.

    • iPhone fan

      Sorry, but I disagree – Apple didn’t HAVE to release an iPod touch to keep it’s hand in. The iPod range is still selling well. The iPod touch is the natural progression from the original iPod’s towards being a gaming device where Apple is trying to take a stake of the market.

    • Anonymous


      why bother with anything else?”

      Battery life. If you listen to a lot of music or watch a lot of video, a second media only device will save some drain on your phone’s battery.

      • Matt

        Hmm. Maybe.
        I have both a San Fran and an iPod Touch.With the GSM radio turned off, I get about the same battery life on the SF to that of the Touch (in normal use, around 3-4 days) Video is a killer for any media player. But the AMOLED screen of the SF uses less battery power than the Touch.

        • http://www.facebook.com/ravi.patel Ravi Patel

          That’s one of the key benefits for me too. I use the iPod Touch for all my music, video and news reading which means that I don’t have to worry about my Desire dying. Even then I still charge it every night and the iPod at least every other day.

    • http://www.facebook.com/ravi.patel Ravi Patel

      That looks like the Galaxy Player 50 which I link to in the article and from what I’ve read it really doesn’t seem to stand comparison with the iPod Touch.

      I’ve had a San Francisco and although I agree it’s a complete bargain it also doesn’t offer the full Android experience. It’s great for the money but the limited specs mean that it can’t handle flash or a lot of the more powerful games on Android.

      You only have to see Infinity Blade on an iPod Touch to realise that it’s a serious piece of hardware.

  • http://www.mrceri.co.uk MrCeri

    What about something like the Archos 32?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001850994497 Hating Armpit-Beeper

    who cares?

    • Jascollins

      you do, you read the artical.

  • Anonymous

    Have a look at Archos’s 28,32 or 40
    http://www.archos.com/

    They are Android equivalents of the iPod touch. I’m guessing Archos calls them “internet tablets” because the phrase “internet tablet” is trendy while “portable media player” is not.

    • http://www.facebook.com/ravi.patel Ravi Patel

      Do they have access to the Android Market?

  • Bob Chandler

    Dont also forget that Creative Zen II are an Android 2.2 based Media Player. They can be a bit pricey, but are both touchscreen and internet (and in one case GPS) enabled!! Check out the Creative website!

    • http://www.facebook.com/ravi.patel Ravi Patel

      But the Zen doesn’t have access to the Market which basically means you lose Android’d biggest benefit.

  • Bob Chandler

    Dont also forget that Creative Zen II are an Android 2.2 based Media Player. They can be a bit pricey, but are both touchscreen and internet (and in one case GPS) enabled!! Check out the Creative website!

  • http://www.britishcitizenshiptest.co.uk/ Life in the UK Test

    Good !!!

  • Rob

    they call it that to differentiate from the portable media players they’ve been making for years and to make it clear that they have stuff like touch screens and can access the internet

  • Scottus

    Its called the t-mobile comet.   $125 new,  $99  refurb.  
    http://www.t-mobile.com/shop/phones/prepaid.aspx#T-Mobile-Comet-Black-Prepaid-Refurbished
    $100 less than cheapest ipod touch. You can increase storage with internal SD card. Since it a “phone” you get andriod market, I also installed the amazon market on it. And since I purchased it prepaid I never had to use it as a phone. (except when I use it with with sipdriod and google voice). What is interesting is that I have an ipod touch but this is much better. 

    Being able to get fm radio, swype works like a dream.  

  • @DWDevelopments

    I would like to see one from HTC,  I have an Aria and love the HTC overlay on Android it is the perfect phone just has one drawback (Data Plans),  need to go back to a dumb phone to get a smart bill!

  • http://profiles.google.com/mwilkes512 Matt Wilkes

    I’d buy one.

  • Bluemgt06

    Samsung has released a Galaxy Player 5″ and 4″, I’ve got the 5″ and its awesome. Its fast, runs Android 2.3.5, has two cameras(front and rear) with a flash on the back (the 4″ doesn’t have a flash) It takes really good photos compared to the iPod, expandable memory, up to 32GB. The 4″ model a a higher quality screen than the 5″, about the same as Apple’s retina display. The screen on the 5″ is about the size of the whole iPod Touch. I have an iPod touch 4G but I haven’t used it since I got the Galaxy Player because of its really short battery life, the battery life of the Galaxy Player 5″ is about 18hrs even playing games and using the internet. It’s got a 1GHz Processor and 512MB of RAM compared to the iPod touch 4G’s 800MHz and 256MB of RAM. Oh and it has stereo speakers(2), the iPod just has one. The iPod had the ability to locate you if you have internet, but the Galaxy Player actually has a GPS chip in it that can find you without needing a connection.
    Galaxy Player 5: http://www.samsung.com/us/mobile/mp3-players/YP-G70CWY/XAAGalaxy Player 4: http://www.samsung.com/us/mobile/mp3-players/YP-G1CWY/XAA