SAMSUNG HAS TAKEN a break from bigging-up its Galaxy S9 flagship at MWC to confirm that the rumours that it's working on a Bixby-powered smart speaker.
This contradicts an Samsung would launch the speaker early in the year.which claimed that
Koh told the WSJ that the firm wants to "focus on more premium," for the upcoming speaker, which could indicate that the firm is looking to take on Apple's HomePod in the high-end smart speaker market, rather than Amazon and Google's entry-level Home and Echo devices.
While Koh didn't give much else away, the WSJ reports that the Bixby speaker, codenamed 'Vega', could have different pricing tiers, hinting that Samsung could launch a more affordable version with fewer bells and whistles, alongside a premium HomePod-rivalling device.
According to earlier rumours, like Apple's debut smart speaker, the so-called Vega will have a "strong focus" on audio quality and the management of connected home appliances such as lights and locks, and will no doubt support Samsung's SmartThings network.
In terms of looks, the speaker will allegedly be between the size of the Amazon Echo and Apple HomePod and will be released in multiple colours, including matte black.
Samsung had reportedly considered developing a speaker with a touchscreen similar to Amazon's Echo Show, it has reportedly decided not to equip the device with a screen, instead opting for lights on top for visual feedback.
These earlier reports also appear to debunk speculation of pricing tiers, having claimed that the Bixby speaker will sell for $200 (around £150).
Samsung isn't the only firm looking to enter the smart speaker market, as Spotify is also said to be developing its own hardware in a bid to take on Apple's HomePod. In multiple job listings, Spotify says its "on its way" to creating its first-ever physical product.
However, there are online mutterings that Spotify could be a wearable device like headphones, rather than a rival to the Apple HomePod.
An earlier job listing from the firm, spotted back in April last year, said: "You will be leading an initiative to deliver hardware directly from Spotify to existing and new customers; a category-defining product akin to Pebble Watch, Amazon Echo, and Snap Spectacles." µ
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