In contrast to rumours earlier this month that Samsung would be launching their own Bixby powered speaker, it appears the company is re-thinking those plans.
According to the usual ‘source familiar with the matter’ Samsung Electronics may not launch an artificial intelligence speaker anytime soon due to marketable issues according to Korean based news company, The Investor. The quote points out the huge head start that Amazon enjoys with their Alexa powered line of speakers which currently has around 70% market share, with the source saying
Samsung currently does not view Al speakers as marketable, as the global market is already dominated by unbeatable Amazon and the Korean market is too small to make profits.
Samsung launched Bixby in the US market for owners of the Galaxy S8/S8+ just yesterday, the first English language market that Samsung has brought Bixby to so far. This is a big factor when looking at launching their own speaker, with Samsung engineers apparently busy developing the English language version of Bixby further, with the source saying
More importantly, Samsung cannot afford to focus on the uncertain market, as most of its AI specialists — whose number is much less than that of the US tech giants — are currently going all out to develop the Bixby version in English
Whether Samsung will move forward with Project Vega, as it’s known behind closed doors, once Bixby is working in more languages isn’t clear. Samsung certainly has scale when it comes to manufacturing, and the proposition of entering the smart speaker market that’s currently generating a lot of sales would certainly be attractive.
At this stage, Samsung hasn’t even managed to get Bixby launched here and we have Google Home here in Australia as of today with a working Google Assistant, Amazon is rumoured to be launching here later this year and will hopefully bring their Echo line of products here as well, and Apple is also planning to launch their Siri powered Home Pod speaker here later this year as well. We’ll have to wait and see on this one.