Delay in the launch of Samsung Galaxy Home might be a costly mistake
I was strolling in my balcony when this particular question suddenly hit me. And for some reason, I didn’t have a certain answer to it. It didn’t make sense to me. The question was, ‘Why did Samsung not capitalize on the rise of smart speaker sales?’. Samsung has both; a virtual assistant and solid product designing skills that would help them dent the existing leaders. Even the Samsung Galaxy Home that was announced back in August, is yet to see the light of the day.
Smart speakers have emerged to be the next big product in the world of technology. They offer a much-needed amalgamation of an AI assistant and a hands-free experience that can help you with your daily tasks without having to while your time away on a phone. Where they struck a chord with users was their ability to carry a human-like conversation with informational accuracy.
The First Mover
It all started with Amazon’s release of Alexa and Amazon Echo in 2014 (only to Amazon Prime Members). What started as an experiment and an add-on service to their loyal customers, blew up to be a product that is used by millions of households all over the world.
As Amazon has been at this game longer than anyone else, they already have the third generation of their iconic Echo speaker lineup. As of today, they have a much wider range of speakers, some of which, that are accompanied by cameras & screens for a more intuitive/immersive experience.
But while people had loved the idea of a smart speaker and latched on to Echo and its ‘Skills’, the speakers didn’t integrate as well with services and applications that were much more widely used by a broad chunk of the population. That’s where Google stepped in and offered its Home series of Smart speakers (powered by Google Assistant) to a world that was already used to Google Services like Calendar, Gmail, Maps and Search amongst others. This helped Google capture a good pie-sized chunk of the Smart Speaker market.
Apple launches HomePod (‘Siri’-ously Samsung?)
Shortly after Google released its Home speaker, Samsung announced Bixby alongside the Galaxy S8 device in March 2017. Although in its infancy, Bixby was pretty good at being an assistant that could carry a string of tasks and understand complex tasks better than Siri and even Google Assistant in some cases. It took Samsung a year to announce that it was working on a Smart speaker; the Galaxy Home.
What’s more surprising about this is that Apple, with its lagging Siri, managed to announce and even ship their own HomePod before Samsung even announced it was working on the Galaxy Home. And to give you more perspective on how well Samsung could’ve cashed in on this opportunity, let me put some numbers into the mix.
- Apple sold more than 3 million units of the HomePod in the first half of 2018.^
- After reaching 4.4 billion USD revenues in 2017, the market is expected to earn revenues of a whopping 17 billion USD revenues.*
- Google, with its prowess in AI, Data & Assistant managed to get a 30% share of the US Smart Speaker market in only about a year.*
While it can be argued that Samsung doesn’t have the brand appeal of Apple or Google’s prowess in AI Assistant, Samsung can still make big money with its prowess in product designing and cutting-edge features. And let’s not forget that Bixby is not bad at all. With its ability to carry out complex commands, it sure won’t be a bad speaker to buy. Samsung’s partnership with AKG will help the sound be on point too. So what is really keeping Samsung from releasing the Galaxy Home?
^. – http://files.constantcontact.com/150f9af2201/b97fe3a4-8b1c-4286-acfb-f6a08b98e938.pdf
* – https://www.statista.com/topics/4748/smart-speakers/