Samsung currently has no plans to take on HomePod with a smart speaker of its own.
Recent rumors have claimed the South Korean company is working on a standalone Bixby device, but a source familiar with its plans says the market is too small to be profitable.
Samsung finally launched Bixby Voice in the U.S. this week, bringing speech support to its latest Siri rival. You can only enjoy it if you have a Galaxy S8 or Galaxy S8+, but an earlier report from The Wall Street Journal claimed that could soon change.
Sources familiar with Samsung’s plans said the company was developing its own Bixby smart speaker to take on Amazon Alexa, Google Home, and of course, Apple’s upcoming HomePod. Codename “Vega,” the device has reportedly been in development for over two years.
But another source claims that’s all rubbish. The Korea Herald reports that Samsung has no interest in launching a smart speaker anytime soon. Its focus right now is on making Bixby Voice available in English-speaking markets.
“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” said.
“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.”
Although a smart speaker may not be a part of Samsung’s immediate plans, WSJ is incredibly reliable, so it’s likely the company has at least been exploring similar devices for the future. After all, it will want Bixby to compete wherever rival virtual assistants are available.