The company confirmed that it was developing a speaker back in August; the plan is get it to work with Samsung’s voice assistant, and also connect various devices from the South Korean brand, including its phones and TVs. It’s slated to be a screenless device that’s larger than an Amazon Echo, and get a $200 price tag – but that may well change by the time 2018 rolls around.
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If it finally arrives next year, it’ll be fairly late to the game. Since the launch of its first Alexa-powered speaker back in 2015, Amazon has released a slew of Echo devices; Google now has a range of Home speakers, and third-party gadget brands have also begun selling speakers powered by those companies’ voice-activated assistants. Heck, even Microsoft’s got a Cortana-powered speaker out in the wild already.
It’ll be interesting to see if Samsung can significantly affect the smart speaker market with its upcoming product. Beyond building a solid speaker, it’ll have to allow for compatibility with a wide range of services – something Apple’s HomePod is believed to have trouble with – and be available widely across the globe: Amazon’s doing a better job of that than the rest right now.