Samsung will release a Bixby-powered smart speaker in the second half of the year, Samsung mobile chief DJ Koh has confirmed. Koh made the comments during an interview at MWC 2018 via The Wall Street Journal [paywall], and touched on the product’s price structure.
“When I introduce the first model, I don’t want to give the impression that Samsung delivered another affordable mass model,” Koh said. “I want to focus on more premium.”
Current prices for these devices range from something like the Amazon Echo Dot and Google Home Mini at $50, all the way up to the likes of the Apple HomePod ($349) and Google Home Max ($399). The Wall Street Journal also indicated that the device could come in at different price tiers, so Samsung may be taking a Google-like approach with the most expensive device having the best audio setup.
Smart speakers are a growing market and it’s no surprise Samsung—one of the world’s largest consumer technology manufacturers—is having a go. That being said, the AI behind the long-rumored device, Bixby, hasn’t been particularly well-received since launch and has only been slightly improved on the recently unveiled Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus. People were at one time going to lengths to remap Bixby’s dedicated button on the Galaxy S8; it’s going to have to receive a substantial improvement if Samsung wants people to buy a smart speaker based on it.
February 26, 2018 at 06:04AM