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Samsung cancels Bixby speaker due to ‘unbeatable’ Amazon and Google

SAMSUNG PROBABLY ISN’T launching a Bixby-powered speaker anytime soon, due to “unbeatable” competition from the likes of Amazon and Google. 

The Korea Herald, which was the first to report on Samsung’s apparent ambitions to enter the AI speaker market last month, has now put out a fresh report claiming that, actually, the firm ain’t too bothered.

According to the report, Samsung is putting its plans on hold as it does not see the so-called ‘Vega’ device as “marketable” given Amazon and Google’s dominance in the market.

Amazon’s Echo speaker, which has 10,000 skills that enable it to interact with everything from thermostats to routers, commands around 70 per cent of the AI speaker market, and Google Home’s slice of the pie is reportedly on the rise.

What’s more, the Herald notes that the Korean market is dominated by SK Telecom’s NUGU, which has flogged around 100,000 AI-fuelled speakers.

“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 newspaper. 

“More importantly, Samsung cannot afford to focus on the uncertain market, as most of its AI specialists — whose number is much less than that of the US tech giants — are currently going all out to develop the Bixby version in English.”

Bixby finally launched in the US this week. It was originally set to arrive alongside the Galaxy S8 and S8+, but Samsung delayed the AI assistant’s launch after finding that it was struggling to understand the English language

The problem reportedly stems from a lack of “big data” to make a product that can compare with other English voice assistants such as Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and Apple Siri, so it’s perhaps no surprise that a Bixby speaker ain’t gonna see the light of day anytime soon.

Apple is giving the ‘unbeatable’ market a shot, though, and earlier this year unveiled the Apple HomePod, a 7in tall bin-like device, which can be controlled using its Siri AI assistant. µ 



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