Philips Tries Its Hand at an “Android Touch”

One of the great mysteries of consumer electronics at the moment is why Apple’s extremely popular iPod Touch has had so little competition. It’ll get some in September, when Philips plans to release a media player called the GoGear Connect. I saw it today at a Philips event; it’s not the same gizmo as one of the same name which Philips demoed last Fall at the IFA conference in Berlin.

Unlike Samsung’s announced-but-as-yet-unreleased Galaxy Player, the GoGear Connect doesn’t bear an uncanny resemblance to the iPod Touch. At 3.2″, its capacitive screen is smaller, and a largish percentage of the front is devoted to hardware buttons. It has Wi-Fi, but doesn’t sport any cameras.

Philips says that the GoGear will run Android 2.3 and (unlike many Android devices that aren’t phones) will come with the full Android Market. It’ll have 8GB of storage for $179.99, fifty bucks less than the comparable iPod Touch.

I like the idea of iPod Touch alternatives and am happy to see Philips get into the game–but I still can’t help but think that a Windows Phone 7 “Zune Touch“–with the WP7 interface and Microsoft’s music and movie services–would make for the most compelling Touch rival. I wonder if Microsoft is at least considering the idea?


4 comments

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  1. David April 19, 2011 at 3:41 pm #

    We'll see. Each time something like this is announced, we hear "Apple will get some competition." What is released always sounds good on paper and always seem to disappoint in reality.

    Poor competition is not competition.

  2. Mike Cerm April 19, 2011 at 6:56 pm #

    Given the dismal quality of the Android app ecosystem, Android's lackluster media playback software, and the poor quality of this device, I don't think you find a lot of suckers at this price. 3.2" resistive, QVGA screen? Maybe if it were still 2007! Even at $50 less than an iPod Touch, you'd either have to be insane, or you'd have to just really, really hate Apple.

    It's actually a real problem for this industry. Android is a fine low-cost competitor, but apparently it's just not possible to deliver a device that's good enough to compete with the iPod Touch, and do it for a price that's low enough that people are willing to overlook Android's deficiencies.

  3. Hang Fire April 21, 2011 at 11:09 am #

    So little competition, such as the entire lineup of Archos tablets? Perhaps because Google wouldn’t certify a device as Android (and direct access to Android Market) unless it ships with phone hardware.

  4. Arnum July 12, 2011 at 4:09 am #

    It is hard to believe that Microsoft wouldn't consider a Windows 7 phone, it makes sense.