It is an open secret that Samsung is working on a voice-activated smart speaker powered by its digital assistant Bixby. The company officially confirmed that the speaker would launch sometime in the second half of 2018. Now, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal, it is just a few weeks away from launch.
Furthermore, the report says the speaker will be a bowl-shaped device with legs at the bottom and LED lights at the top. It will be apparently marketed as a high-end music player with added smart speaker capabilities. The strategy seems to be similar to Apple’s HomePod which prioritizes sound quality over smart features. The Bixby speaker will also reportedly come with the ‘sound shifting’ feature which directs sound towards the person issuing the command. Interestingly, many of the details in the report match with our exclusive story on the Bixby speaker’s features published last month.
Bixby Speaker price to be around $300
The WSJ report says that the speaker will be priced around $300, which puts it in the Google Home Max and HomePod pricing territory. Google and Amazon already have a first-mover advantage in the market and have a growing device and services ecosystem around their smart speakers. Unless Samsung’s speaker has some compelling and innovative features, it may turn out to be a difficult job for Samsung to sell a large number of speakers at that price.
While the report doesn’t mention any specific date, there is a strong possibility that the Bixby speaker might be unveiled alongside the Galaxy Note 9 on August 9 in New York. Samsung had earlier announced that Bixby 2.0 is coming later this year. If the company unveils Bixby 2.0 at the Galaxy Note 9 launch event, it makes sense to launch a smart speaker along with it. If the speaker doesn’t make a debut on August 9, then it is almost certain it will make an appearance at the IFA event in Berlin, scheduled towards the end of August.
What do you think about the rumored price? Will you buy a Bixby smart speaker at that price?