Steve Dinneen
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Samsung and Panasonic upped the ante in their battle with Apple yesterday, both eleasing products that will directly compete with Steve Jobs' core stable of products.

Samsung, the firm that has come closest to offering a viable challenge in the tablet wars with its Galaxy Tab, unveiled a slick new device designed to compete with Apple's sleeper success, the iPod Touch.

The Galaxy Player (left) is the first non-smartphone to run Google’s Android operating system. The wi-fi device will allow users to access a database of apps in the same way iPod Touch users can download from the Apple Store.

Samsung also announced a new phone it hopes will help knock the iPhone 4 from its perch. The firm says the phone is the thinnest in its stable and will sit alongside the Google Nexus S – which it also manufactures – at the top of its range.

In a bid to attract users to buy multiple Samsung devices, the Korean firm has also launched a Media Hub that will allow easy syncing between units.

City A.M. got a sneak preview of the new products ahead of their official launch at the Consumer Electronics show in Las Vegas today.

Samsung has already chipped away at Apple’s dominance of the tablet market with its Galaxy Tab, which has shifted an impressive 1.5m units since its release. The firm announced it will begin shipping wi-fi only versions of the device in the first quarter of 2011 but did not give pricing information.

Panasonic also announced its arrival in the tablet market yesterday with its Viera Tablet (above right). The device is designed to interact with its new range of smart TVs, as well as access the internet. The device will be available later this year.