Two products were conspicuous by their absence during the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 launch this week; the troubled Galaxy Fold and the delayed Galaxy Home speaker.
Many viewers tuned into the Unpacked event live stream hoping for an update on when the foldable handset and the smart speaker might eventually make their way into the public realm. An update on neither was forthcoming.
However, while Samsung is staying mum on the stricken Galaxy Fold, it has provided an update on the belated arrival of the Galaxy Home, albeit not a very substantial one.
“We’re continuing to refine and enhance the Galaxy Home prior to launch, and look forward to sharing more with Galaxy fans soon,” a Samsung spokesperson told Engadget.
So, there’s still no concrete release date or price tag for the smart speaker, which features the largely unloved Bixby assistant. It was first announced a year ago alongside the Galaxy Note 9 and Samsung had planned to release the speaker in April. Considering it’s August already, Samsung may be course to miss its own revised “mid-second half of the year” release window.
The absence from yesterday’s launch gave some observers the feeling the product, which is tuned by AKG, might never make it to market. Now we know the Galaxy Home isn’t dead, but we still don’t know what the hold up is.
Whether it’s a technical challenge or attempting to bring Bixby up to speed with enough third-party integrations to make it worthwhile, Samsung isn’t saying.
Whether there’s a broad audience of people who care whether it arrives or not is something else to consider. The company plans to enter an already crowded smart speaker market and, given today’s estimates Apple has snared less than 5% of the US market with its HomePod equivalent, the prognosis for Samsung isn’t strong moving forward.