Despite recent patent filings, Samsung could be delaying the launch of its rumored Bixby-powered smart speaker, if it launches one at all. A source tells the Korea Herald that Samsung is hesitant to launch a smart speaker of its own because the market is becoming increasingly competitive. “Samsung currently does not view Al speakers as marketable, as the global market is already dominated by unbeatable Amazon and the Korean market is too small to make profits,” an anonymous source told The Korea Herald. The source also said one main reason the smart speaker market is looking unattractive to Samsung is because of Amazon’s dominance, making the likelihood of a Bixby speaker being a success “uncertain.”
Bixby To Blame?
Samsung would definitely be late to the party if it launched a smart speaker even later this year. The company also struggled to release an English version of Bixby, which finally launched on the Galaxy S8 yesterday in the US. These problems are making Samsung think twice before it jumps into the competitive smart speaker market. Adding a hardware device simply adds another complication for Samsung’s developers, a technology risk the company may not be willing to take.
It doesn’t help that consumers are already wary of Bixby. Galaxy S8 users frequently complained about how the dedicated Bixby button was useless for months. It also had to do damage control after users complained that Bixby’s voice descriptions were sexist. The company foolishly described Bixby’s female voice as “chipper” and “cheerful” while the male voice was described as “assertive” and “confident.” How did they not see that coming? But to be fair, they did describe both voices as “clear.” What is unclear is what the future holds for Bixby. So far, it’s not looking bright.