Almost all the popular smartphone makers have entered the smart speaker bandwagon this year. The list includes Google, Apple, Xiaomi and Amazon. Microsoft too is there in the market in a way as it has Cortana-based Harman Kardon Invoke.
However, one of the big tech firms that is missing from the list is Samsung. Although there is no official word on such a device, some rumours did bake in July this year, hinting that a Bixby-based smartphone speaker is in works. Now, a report from Bloomberg seems to further cement those claims.
According to the report, Samsung is indeed working on a ‘smart’ speaker that it plans to launch sometime in the first half of 2018. Citing ‘ people briefed on the plans’ the report adds that the South Korean firm will be keeping the focus on the audio quality in its upcoming smart speaker. It will also be able to manage connected home appliances including lights and locks.
As rumoured before, the report confirms that speaker to run on Samsung’s home-brewed AI called Bixby. The AI is supposed to sync TVs, Galaxy smartphones and other Samsung devices together. As for the availability, it has been mentioned that the speaker is likely to arrive in multiple markets including the US. The price point of the device is said to be around $200, which is more than Amazon Echo’s $100 and Apple Homepod, which comes at $349. However, the price is still subject to change.
Previous report by the Wall Street Journal stated that the device carries the internal codename ‘Vega’ and has been a year in the making.
It will be interesting to see how Samsung fares in the smart speaker market, now that it will be arriving late and companies like Google and Amazon are already leading them.
Samsung may also be joined by Facebook, who is also said to be working on a smart speaker. The company is also said to be working on a separate video chat device besides a speaker.