Samsung to Release Galaxy Media Player...

SEOUL—Samsung Electronics Co. will sell a stripped-down version of its successful Galaxy S smartphone as a digital media player, the first major product introduction since its cellphone division took control of the portable media player business earlier this year.

With the move, Samsung will round out a series of Galaxy-named gadgets that matches product for product with Apple Inc.'s line of iPods, iPad and iPhone.

Samsung will have the Galaxy Player, Galaxy Tab and Galaxy smartphone. All use a variation of Google Inc.'s Android operating system and work with apps developed for it.

The product has been rumored for months and some Internet shopping sites in South Korea have created Web pages for it that said "coming soon." Samsung formally announced it on Monday and said it would be available in South Korea next month, though it didn't set a shipping date. No price was announced, but pricing will depend on amount of built-in storage.

Samsung is aiming to roll it out in other countries in the April to June period and will display it at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas next week.

The product, called the Galaxy Player YP-GB1, matches most of the specifications of its Galaxy S phone, though its 4-inch touchscreen uses a liquid crystal display instead of newer organic LED and its operating system will be a more advanced version of Android. The gadget is 9.9 millimeters thick and weighs 121 grams.

The Android-based media player gives Samsung a chance to breathe new life into its media player business, which has long languished behind Apple and, for several years, a small South Korean manufacturer called iRiver Inc.

Samsung's phone division took control of development and sale of media player products earlier this year from the company's main consumer electronics division, which is the largest maker of TVs and also makes audio gear, computers and printers. Executives had long struggled with the direction of the portable player business.

Kim Jong-in, a vice president of product planning, said the company would not use the Yepp name, which it has used for other digital media players, for the Android-based media players. "We will use a Galaxy Player brand for the Galaxy series world-wide and the Yepp brand for normal media players in Korea," Mr. Kim said.

In an initial statement earlier this week, Samsung said it would sell the media player only through wireless carriers, but Mr. Kim said the company will offer it through retailers as well.