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Samsung Bixby Speakers Delayed, IFA Launch Tipped

Samsung who has chosen to go down the proprietary route when it comes to voice activated devices has been forced to delay a new range of Bixby speakers according to sources at Mobile World Congress.

Currently most Android phone makers are adopting Google voice and the Amazon developed Alexa technology, they include brands such as Motorola, HTC and Sony.

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. In Australia many people have complained that Bixby technology that is built into the Galaxy S8 is “annoying” and often pops up when they don’t want it.

D.J. Koh, the head of Samsung’s mobile division said that the Bixby-powered audio device will make its debut in the second half of this year with IFA tipped as the launch platform for the new speakers that are being developed with input from Harman audio engineers.

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.

Koh confirmed that their smart speaker is still in development, despite Harman a 100% Samsung owned Company, having already launched Alexa and Google Assist speakers.

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 claims analysts.

They claim that 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.”

ChannelNews understands that there will be a range of speakers including both large and small speakers for distribution around a house or office.

Rumours 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.

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