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Samsung Launches MP3 Headset Player

9/01/2006 02:01:00 PM Eastern

Ridgefield Park, N.J. – Samsung Electronics introduced today a new headset portable that has its own built-in, slide out speaker for sound that is “loud enough to fill a room,” said the company.

The new K5 MP3 player is about the size of Apple’s nano, if slightly thicker. Its speaker slides out along the side of the K5 and pivots to an angle so that the handheld device can rest on a flat surface. Samsung claims the unit doubles as a “mini-boom box.”

The K5 also has a built-in alarm clock function to wake users to music stored in the K5.With these two add-on functions, Samsung has included two of the more popular MP3-add-on devices into its player.

The unit also includes a 1.7-inch OLED LCD display with picture viewing and slide show capability. It claims a battery life of up to 30 hours using earphones or six hours in speaker mode.It supports music sites such as Napster, Rhapsody, Yahoo, and Urge and will be available on September 10 at $209.99 suggested retail price for a 2GB version and $259.99 for a 4GB version.

Samsung said the product was the result of consumer research on a group of early adopters and on a second group of experts in music, sports, entertainment, fashion and technology. It said findings showed that people want to share their music.

The company is supporting the product with a new “MPFreedom” campaign that seems to target market rival Apple. The campaign highlights “the freedom of choice music subscription services offer consumers” and “the benefit of not being held down to one particular outlet.” The Apple iPod, with 75.6 percent market share, according to NPD, is, of course, tied to the one Apple iTunes music download site.

The K5 will also work seamlessly with a Samsung music download website being introduced in Europe.No plans have been announced to offer that music download service in the U.S.

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