Samsung’s Galaxy Tab and Galaxy S are among the first devices to seriously challenge Apple’s hegemony in the tablet and smartphone markets, and now it looks like the consumer electronics specialist may be readying a new media player to unleash against the iPod touch. The device would essentially be like its Galaxy S smartphone without the mobile phone capability – much like the difference between the iPhone and the iPod touch.

Dubbed Galaxy Player, it is expected to be unveiled next month at CES boasting Android 2.2 “Froyo”, a 4-inch LCD display (800×480), 1GHz processor, and Wi-Fi connectivity. Other notable features include up to 32GB of storage (with 8GB and 16GB variants also available) a 3.2 megapixel camera on the back and 1.3 megapixel camera on the front, HD video playback, Bluetooth 3.0, on-board GPS, memory expansion via microSD, and access to the Android app market.

Samsung undoubtedly hopes to build upon the success of its Galaxy S smartphones with the Galaxy Player, but muscling into Apple's iPod business won’t be an easy task. Many have tried it before – including Sony, Creative and Microsoft – but failed to make a significant dent in Apple’s market share. Samsung has the advantage of supporting a wide variety of apps through the Android Market but it’s unclear if it will have an integrated music ecosystem a la iTunes.