Samsung confirms plans for smartspeaker challenging Apple HomePod & Amazon Echo
In addition to premiering the Galaxy Note 8, Samsung on Wednesday said that it's working on its own smartspeaker, which will face off against products like the Apple HomePod, Amazon Echo, and Google Home.
An announcement could happen "soon," Samsung mobile president D.J. Koh told CNBC. Koh provided no additional details, even whether the device will use Bixby, the voice assistant found on the Galaxy S8 and Note 8.
Samsung has set high ambitions in the smarthome space, aiming to connect not just typical accessories but full-scale appliances like refrigerators. Bixby is expected to be a linchpin, though it will also likely have to interact with competing smarthome accessories.
Amazon's Echo speakers have been a surprise hit and the model for rival products. Apple's HomePod, shipping in December for $349, will take a slightly different tack by focusing more on audio quality. It will also serve as a HomeKit hub, potentially replacing an iPad or Apple TV for people wanting features like remote control.
One limitation could be the need for an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch during setup. The Echo and Home can be configured using iOS and Android apps.