I hate to say it, but I told you so. Two weeks ago when Samsung unveiled its voice-powered assistant Bixby, I wrote an article about how I did not believe that its voice control component was going to be ready to ship with the Galaxy S8. In a company statement released today, Samsung writes:
Key features of Bixby, including Vision, Home and Reminder, will be available with the global launch of the Samsung Galaxy S8 on 21 April. Bixby Voice will be available in the US on the Galaxy S8 later this spring.
So the Galaxy S8 will ship without English voice control. The Korean version however, will not be delayed. But this a big problem for Samsung as the Google assistant will be readily available to users as soon as they get their hands on the phone. As I wrote in my previous article, this could turn Samsung customers into loyal Google Assistant users, something Samsung certainly does not want as it tries to get out from under Google’s thumb.
A Voiceless Bixby Could Be the Best Move For Samsung
But it might actually be better for Bixby’s future in the long run to delay the voice component if it is not up to par. It is far worse for a consumer to have no experience with Bixby Voice than to have a terrible one. That could ensure that Galaxy S8 users would turn to the Google Assistant and never give it another try. But this is also based on the assumption that Bixby’s voice technology will be on the same level as Google Assistant. We’ll have to wait until later this spring to see how this plays out. Stay tuned.