Samsung delays its Bixby-powered HomePod competitor into second half of 2018

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in General Discussion
Samsung's attempt to take on Apple's HomePod, Amazon's Alexa range and other smart speakers will apparently arrive far later than originally expected, after Samsung's mobile chief advised the Bixby-powered audio device will be making its debut in the second half of this year.

Samsung's R1 wireless multiroom speaker, which may hint at what its Bixby-powered smart speaker may look like
Samsung's R1 wireless multiroom speaker, which may hint at what its Bixby-powered smart speaker may look like


D.J. Koh, the head of Samsung's mobile division, informed the Wall Street Journal that its attempt to enter the digital assistant-equipped smart speaker market will launch in the latter half of 2018. The interview, which primarily concerns the recently-revealed Galaxy S9, confirms the smart speaker is still being developed, but will hit the market later than the first half of this year, as initially reported in December 2017.

Based on the original launch period, Samsung's speaker could potentially have launched around the time of HomePod, to more directly compete against Apple's audio offering. The shift into the second half of the year gives the HomePod more time to establish itself in the speaker marketplace before Samsung's version has a chance to take off.

The delay is not only beneficial to Apple, as speakers from Google, Amazon, Sonos, and other firms will be able to increase their customer base during the same time. The longer Samsung waits before releasing its speaker, the more saturated the market will be, making it tougher for Samsung's product to find customers.

Koh did hint in the conversation that Samsung's speaker will be a more expensive product, suggesting "When I introduce the first model, I don't want to give the impression that Samsung delivered another affordable mass model. I want to focus on more premium."

Even so, Koh admits that pricing for the device has yet to be determined. It is also suggested there may be more than one speaker offered to customers, set at different pricing tiers.

Rumors about Samsung's speaker suggests it will follow the HomePod route of focusing on audio quality, as well as the management of smart home appliances, such as those supporting Samsung's SmartThings platform. A prototype said to be undergoing testing is claimed to not have a touchscreen, but will instead have a visual feedback system using a set of lights at the top of the chassis.

Just as HomePod includes Siri, Samsung's device is expected to use the company's own digital assistant. Created to compete with Siri, Bixby was introduced with the Galaxy S8 last year as an assistant capable of recognizing commands with incomplete information and contextual awareness, but smartphone users in the United States did not get to try out the assistant until three months after the phone's launch.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 19
    Let me translate from Samsung... "We need more time to reverse engineer Apple's HomePod since we don't have an original idea anywhere in the company. Thank you..."
    lkruppphone-ui-guydewmeGG1anantksundarampscooter63RobPalmer9MacPro[Deleted User]racerhomie3
  • Reply 2 of 19
    Clearly they're just as terrible as Apple was for delaying HomePod!

  • Reply 3 of 19
    entropysentropys Posts: 3,106member
    Samsung would have seen the bad press regarding SIRI on HomePod and don’t want Bixbi to be exposed as even worse than SIRI.
  • Reply 4 of 19
    So now they are copying Apple's delays as well. May as well, copying everything else has worked for them so far.
    RobPalmer9[Deleted User]xzurandominternetperson
  • Reply 5 of 19
    Let me translate from Samsung... "We need more time to reverse engineer Apple's HomePod since we don't have an original idea anywhere in the company. Thank you..."
    “No no no it’s been in development for years, we didn’t copy anyone.”
    anantksundarampscooter63SpamSandwichwatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 19
    Wonder if the same people who are saying Apple are too late to the game with the HomePod will be saying the same thing when Samsung eventually release this.
    phone-ui-guyleavingthebiggwatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 19
    GG1GG1 Posts: 452member
    Let me translate from Samsung... "We need more time to reverse engineer Apple's HomePod since we don't have an original idea anywhere in the company. Thank you..."
    “No no no it’s been in development for years, we didn’t copy anyone.”
    Or from Koh's very confusing statement (to me; maybe just a Korean translation issue) from the AI article earlier today http://appleinsider.com/articles/18/02/26/samsung-defends-galaxy-s9s-ar-emoji-says-feature-doesnt-copy-iphone-xs-animoji:

    "Their [Apple's] approach and my approach is totally different," he said. "I do work seriously based off my own roadmap."

    Sounds like he's trying to distance himself from comments about Samsung copying Apple.

    Edit: clarification.
    edited February 2018 watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 19
    So, is this thing pronounced 'Bix-bee' or 'Bix-bye'?!
    edited February 2018
  • Reply 9 of 19
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 5,005member
    Let me translate from Samsung... "We need more time to reverse engineer Apple's HomePod since we don't have an original idea anywhere in the company. Thank you..."

    Actually, he is sorry his engineers need more time than just a few weeks to reverse engineer what apple did, since they just got their hands on one two weeks ago.
    macxpress
  • Reply 10 of 19
    mavemufc said:
    Wonder if the same people who are saying Apple are too late to the game with the HomePod will be saying the same thing when Samsung eventually release this.
    You know that Samsung already released two smart speakers right? The HK Invoke and the Allure. I'm not saying they are good but you can't say they are late.
  • Reply 11 of 19
    mavemufc said:
    Wonder if the same people who are saying Apple are too late to the game with the HomePod will be saying the same thing when Samsung eventually release this.
    You know that Samsung already released two smart speakers right? The HK Invoke and the Allure. I'm not saying they are good but you can't say they are late.
    ‘Not good’ < Late. 
  • Reply 12 of 19
    jcs2305jcs2305 Posts: 1,216member
    mavemufc said:
    Wonder if the same people who are saying Apple are too late to the game with the HomePod will be saying the same thing when Samsung eventually release this.
    You know that Samsung already released two smart speakers right? The HK Invoke and the Allure. I'm not saying they are good but you can't say they are late.
    Samsung bought Harman International in March of 2017. HK Invoke was released with Microsoft in October of 2017. I know this ( The acquisition date ) because I used to love HK stuff and when I heard Samsung was buying them I was saddened   :'(   So I kept up with it...


    https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2017/10/harman-kardon-invoke-review-cortana-isnt-too-comfortable-in-the-home-yet/


    The Allure was announced in August of 2017... and Since this also isn't running Bixby I would say this is an HK collaboration that Samsung bought, but did not design.. 


    https://www.theverge.com/circuitbreaker/2017/8/31/16232912/harman-kardon-allure-alexa-speaker-cortana-speaker





    edited February 2018 Rayz2016watto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 19
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,380member
    Let me translate from Samsung... "We need more time to reverse engineer Apple's HomePod since we don't have an original idea anywhere in the company. Thank you..."
    Meanwhile they are depending on Gatorguy to keep the interest in HomePad as low as possible ;)
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 19
    I will never get a smartspeaker from ad companies. But usually Samsung makes its money from hardware, so its nice having a choice between Samsung & Apple.
    edited February 2018 watto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 19
    GG1 said:
    Let me translate from Samsung... "We need more time to reverse engineer Apple's HomePod since we don't have an original idea anywhere in the company. Thank you..."
    “No no no it’s been in development for years, we didn’t copy anyone.”
    Or from Koh's very confusing statement (to me; maybe just a Korean translation issue) from the AI article earlier today http://appleinsider.com/articles/18/02/26/samsung-defends-galaxy-s9s-ar-emoji-says-feature-doesnt-copy-iphone-xs-animoji:

    "Their [Apple's] approach and my approach is totally different," he said. "I do work seriously based off my own roadmap."

    Sounds like he's trying to distance himself from comments about Samsung copying Apple.

    Edit: clarification.
    He should've said "Sorry.... never heard of HomePod". It's more believable.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 19
    Let me translate from Samsung... "We need more time to reverse engineer Apple's HomePod since we don't have an original idea anywhere in the company. Thank you..."
    “No no no it’s been in development for years, we didn’t copy anyone.”
    “Our engineering delays are completely original!”
    watto_cobraravnorodom
  • Reply 17 of 19
    mavemufc said:
    Wonder if the same people who are saying Apple are too late to the game with the HomePod will be saying the same thing when Samsung eventually release this.
    You know that Samsung already released two smart speakers right? The HK Invoke and the Allure. I'm not saying they are good but you can't say they are late.
    Didn't they just purchase the companies who made them?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 19
    So, is this thing pronounced 'Bix-bee' or 'Bix-bye'?!
    WTF would say "bix buy"?
    watto_cobramavemufc
  • Reply 19 of 19
    brucemcbrucemc Posts: 1,541member
    An honest question - what does Samsung hope to accomplish?  They have not been able to translate their smartphone sales success into meaningful sales of other consumer electronics (yes, I know they are a top TV vendor - but it is not at all related to the smartphone).  Tablets, PC's, smart watches...all went nowhere.  

    In the rather broad "smart speaker" category - which ranges from the $20/30-on-sale Echo Dot, to over $500 Sonos + Alexa offerings - Samsung would be at best 5th, behind Amazon, Apple, Google, Sonus.  Note: yes, I will place Apple 2nd here, as I expect that by revenue, they will be a close second to Amazon (due to large ASP differences); and by units they may pull ahead of Google in year 2.

    In the consumer premium sound category, they likely would be 3rd.

    Samsung just seems to jump into the latest 'cool' category to be there, but they don't make much money.
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