updated 10:10 am EST, Tue December 11, 2007
At least one manufacturer is hoping to ride the coattails of the iPod touch through a low-cost alternative, a listing at the online store MP4 Nation reveals. The Optimus Touch is consciously designed to replicate the iPod's touchscreen controls, including very similar icons and music navigation, but includes a few added features common to low-cost players but absent in the iPod touch. A miniSD card slot allows extra storage past the 4GB built into the device; users can also record voice with a built-in microphone, take photos with a 1.3-megapixel camera, and watch DivX- or XviD-formatted video clips at up to 24 frames per second, the manufacturer boasts.
The player reduces several features significantly to undercut its authentic Apple rival. Beyond the lower-quality construction, the handheld's display resolution is reduced to 320x240 (from 480x320) on a smaller 2.8-inch screen and likely strips out the multi-touch input from the iPod. The Optimus' audio support is limited to just MP3 and WMA with a battery life of just 8-10 hours of continuous playback. Video runtime is rated at 3-4 hours between charges.
The exact manufacturer is unknown and is likely to have its roots in China, but helps reduce the price as a result: the Optimus Touch is on sale today from MP4 Nation today for $109, nearly a third the cost of the $299 Apple model it targets.