Samsung is targeting the second half of this year for its first smart speaker with Bixby inside. D.J. Koh, Samsung’s mobile chief, confirmed the timing to the Wall Street Journal, and said the plan is to lead with a premium product, followed by more devices in a range of price tiers.
In December, Bloomberg reported that Samsung wanted to launch its Bixby speaker in the first half of 2018. It’s unclear why Samsung may have delayed the product, but one source told Bloomberg that the company was still trying to improve the speaker’s web search capabilities.
Meanwhile, Google and Amazon are selling tens of millions of smart speakers, Apple has entered the fray with HomePod, Roku will launch its own smart speaker platform in the fall, and Microsoft is still trying to establish a toehold for Cortana-powered speakers. (Incidentally, the only Cortana speaker available today is made by Harman Kardon, which Samsung owns.) The crowded field and late launch leave Samsung with precious little room to stand out, especially as it tries to build an ecosystem around its phones, TVs, appliances, and SmartThings connected home platform.