Report: Samsung’s Bixby smart speaker is coming in H2 2018

Report: Samsung’s Bixby smart speaker is coming in H2 2018

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When it comes to smart speakers that control your appliances, answer trivia questions, and order pizza, Amazon had a major head start — the retailer’s Echo lineup still dominates the market. Google introduced its AI speaker tech, Google Home, about two years after the Echo’s launch, and Microsoft debuted the Cortana-powered Harman Kardon invoke shortly after. But despite the field’s increasing crowdedness, Samsung is intent on forging ahead with its smart speaker, which is powered by Bixby. The company has been developing it for a while, but doesn’t look like it will be released until the second half of this year.

We first heard about Samsung’s Bixby speaker back in a report published June 2017. Subsequent rumors suggested that the product wasn’t going to launch anytime soon — the company reportedly didn’t see the smart speaker market as a profit driver, as the global market is already dominated by Amazon, Google, and others.

But shortly after acquiring Harmon for $8 billion, Samsung’s Bixby-powered speaker was suddenly back on track — D.J. Koh, head of Samsung’s mobile business, said it would “unbeatable.” Now, a new report from The Wall Street Journal states the Samsung’s targeting a launch in the second half of 2018.

We also learned from the report that while pricing has yet to be determined for the Bixby speaker, the first model will focus on “premium” rather than “affordable” elements. But Mr. Koh told The Wall Street Journal that it might be sold at different tiers, as Google and Amazon have done with their respective smart speaker portfolios.

It’s unclear exactly how long Samsung has been working on its Bixby-powered smart speaker, and how it’ll work. But it could be an instant buy for casual Samsung fans. Here’s hoping we learn more about the features and pricing in the coming months.

Source: The Wall Street Journal