Samsung has big plans and is pushing its engineers and flash memory fabs to become the number one in the MP3 player market by the end of 2007.
One of the first new products will come in August. The YP-T8 will be a flash-based MP3 player with a 1.8-inch color screen and it will be able to play MPEG4 video. The company is also working together with an unnamed game publisher to launch '70s and '80s arcade games for the YP-T8 which will come with 512MB ($200), 1GB ($250) and 2GB ($300) of memory.
The first flash-based players with 4GB memory are expected for early 2006 and 10GB flash players will ship in 2007.
Meanwhile, Samsung will slowly stop producing small MP3 players with mini hard drives.
"Once you hit the sweet spot of 4GB with flash, you have parity," with mini drive players, Farish said. Samsung, however, will continue to produce portable players with 1.8-inch drives.
Currently the number one in the MP3 player is without a doubt Apple, with its enormously popular (although a bit overrated) line of iPod players. However, Samsung hopes to get a lead over over digital music player manufacturers by using the same formula it used to become a big player in the mobile phone and television market.
The company is the world's biggest manufacturer of flash memory and LCD screens. During the past few years, Samsung has also built up an extensive worldwide design group. Having the two divisions work together has allowed Samsung, at times, to generate a fairly extensive product array, and then capitalize on the designs that sell the best.
By September the company will launch a new flash-based MP3 player that can double as a USB drive. The 512MB version will ship for $99. More details at CNET