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Samsung In Talks To Axe Bixby For Google Assistant

Samsung Electronics is reportedly in talks to push Google Assistant ahead of its home-grown Bixby smart assistant, with sources stating a commercial deal could close in coming weeks. The new follows the absence of the Galaxy Home smart speaker which was set to run on Bixby voice intelligence.

According to Reuters, Samsung is considering dropping Bixby as part of a broader revenue-sharing deal with Google-parent Alphabet, citing correspondence viewed by the media outlet.

The deal may reportedly also include dropping its Samsung Galaxy Apps Store from mobile devices.

Despite the reports, Samsung asserts the company remains “committed to our own services and ecosystem”, with both Bixby and its Galaxy Apps Store deemed an important part of its platform.

[Samsung Galaxy Home speaker – unveiled August 2018, no commercial release]

The news comes as Google Assistant continues to grow in the smart home market, gaining prevalence via third-party vendor relationships to etch a whole home ecosystem regardless of maker.

Samsung has continued to support Bixby and its Galaxy App Store, despite historically sluggish user uptake, and some consumers even opting to disable the ‘Bixby button’ from Galaxy phones.

Some commentators claim a revenue-sharing deal with Google could benefit Samsung – whose products are likely to mirror industry trends – following the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Google has reportedly further increased its deal incentives for Samsung in latest talks.

Rumblings of new discussions between the two companies emerged via Bloomberg earlier this week, with new sources forecasting deal terms to potentially be finalised later this week.