ME-TOO COMPANY Samsung will reportedly launch its long-talked-about Bixby smart speaker at its Unpacked event on 9 August.
So says the Wall Street Journal (paywalled) which citing people familiar with the matter reports that the speaker - codenamed 'Lux' - will debut alongside the Galaxy Note 9 and Galaxy Watch at Samsung's 9 August New York event.
The Bixby-powered speaker "has a bowled shape, with a legged bottom and lights at the top", according to the report, which adds that Samsung will market the device as a "high-end music player" rather than a smart speaker, no doubt due to the lacklustre response its AI assistant has received thus far.
The as-yet-unnamed device will also offer "sound shifting, where the speaker's audio can be beamed in the direction of a person providing verbal commands," according to the WSJ, confirming that Samsung is planning to take on the Apple HomePod, rather than the likes of the Amazon Echo and Google Home.
If earlier rumours are anything to go by, Samsung's speaker will also have a focus on the management of connected home appliances such as lights and locks, and will no doubt support Samsung's SmartThings network.
Speculation also suggests that Samsung could launch a more affordable version with fewer bells and whistles. The full-fledged Bixby speaker won't break the bank, though, as the WSJ claims it'll fetch $300 (around £230) at launch.
Seperately, the WSJ's report adds weight to recent rumours that Samsung's long-rumoured foldable smartphone - the so-called Galaxy X - will make its debut early next year, with a launch likely planned for either CES or MWC.
The device, allegedly codenamed 'Winner', will feature a screen that measures 7in diagonally, according to the report, and come with the ability to be folded in half, "like a wallet". According to early rumours, the device will fetch an eye-watering £1,400 SIM-free.
The WSJ notes that Samsung will initially roll out the device on a "small scale" targeting specific markets like mobile gamers. If successful, it would pave the way for a broader commercial debut in the second half of 2019. µ
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And a ridiculous competition
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