Samsung, today, penned a press release detailing what to expect from its press conference at CES next week in Las Vegas. The press conference will mostly revolve around artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things. These are two big topics that Samsung has focused on in previous years as well, so it's not a huge surprise to see Samsung continuing that trend. As expected, Samsung is not planning any mobile announcements at the event, as the company typically saves that for Mobile World Congress in late February/early March, in Barcelona.
In its press release, the company didn't let a lot of details slip, essentially only telling everyone that it will showcase the "latest innovative ways its AI and IoT technologies simplify daily life. These include brand new applications for AI and IoT, new ways to make AI do more, as well as new devices that place AI and IoT at the center of users' connected lives." So you can pretty much expect that SmartThings will be a big part of its presentation at CES, which was also true for CES 2018. Now the promotional image that Samsung is using for CES 2019 shows a few mobile devices including the Galaxy Note9 and Galaxy Watch, but its unlikely to be even talked about at CES 2019 this year. However, the Galaxy Home is being shown in that image as well, and that will likely be part of its press conference, since it is full of AI with Bixby, and it has yet to be released.
Samsung's CES focus is generally on appliances and home entertainment
CES is the Consumer Electronics Show, so it only makes sense that Samsung focuses more on its home appliances and home entertainment segments at the show, and that is how it has been in the past for the South Korean company. Though typically its press conference focuses more on appliances than TV's and such, those are generally announced separately but still shown off at the show. In recent years, it has focused on its Family Hub smart refrigerator, which has Bixby included, but also a huge touchscreen on the door with cameras inside, allowing you to see what's in the fridge without opening it up. It has been a pretty popular product for Samsung in recent years, garnering a lot of attention, and that is part of their IoT approach, which is to make all of their appliances compatible with Bixby, which is also on their smartphones, so that you can control them from your smartphone, all within its ecosystem.
Appliances are a big deal at CES, seeing as it's really the only trade-show where they are announced. There are other trade-shows for other products like entertainment and smartphones, but as far as appliances go, CES is the show for that. This is why you'll see a number of announcements from companies like Samsung and LG, about their latest washing machines, refrigerators and much more. And the latest trend has been to make these smart, and tying them to your smartphones and other products in your home.
Expect the Galaxy S10 to be a no-show in Las Vegas
Every single year, there are rumors that Samsung may release its next Galaxy S flagship at CES, and every year, it doesn't happen. Don't expect it to happen this year either. Mobile World Congress is the biggest mobile trade-show of the year, and that is where Samsung typically releases its Spring flagship (aka the Galaxy S) there, instead of CES, as it will get a whole lot more attention than at CES. Seeing as everyone at MWC is covering smartphones and mobile products, while CES attendees are covering all electronics. Not to mention the fact that it would get overshadowed by other products that Samsung is announcing at CES as well.
Now this doesn't mean that the Galaxy S10 will not be in Las Vegas. Samsung typically shows the phone behind closed doors to its partners (typically carriers), in an attempt to sell them on the new smartphone. Though that's not a hard sell for many, seeing as Samsung devices do sell really well - right up there with Apple most times. Every year at CES, we hear that the latest Galaxy S flagship was shown to carrier partners behind closed doors in Las Vegas, and this year likely won't be any different.
However, the Galaxy Home could make an appearance
The Galaxy Home was announced last year, with the Galaxy Note9 at Unpacked in August. Very little detail was given, and it was not even on display for journalists to get hands-on after the event. That means that it was still pretty far off from being available. However, with Samsung's CES press conference being focused on AI and IoT this year, there is a chance that Samsung could show off the Galaxy Home again. Now this doesn't mean that we will get a release date for the Galaxy Home, but we could learn more information about the smart speaker. Seeing as Samsung was pretty quiet on details back in August. There have also been rumors that Samsung might be making a smaller Galaxy Home (aka a Galaxy Home Mini), that would likely be cheaper. This was needed since the Galaxy Home is pretty massive. It is being built along with AKG, which is part of Harman - the company Samsung bought a couple of years ago. So it's going to have some really good sound quality, the only question is price really. Since we all know that it is going to have Bixby included, and that right there is why it could make an appearance at CES this year.
The two topics at its CES press conference this year will likely be Bixby and SmartThings, two things that haven't really worked perfectly together, though that will be changing. And since every other assistant has a smart speaker that acts as a hub, that's the only thing that Samsung is missing, and it has one in the works, it just needs to be made available.