The Galaxy Home was a no-show at Unpacked earlier this week in Brooklyn. Many thought that might mean that Samsung has given up on its Bixby-powered smart speaker. But that is not the case.
Samsung said in a statement "continuing to refine and enhance the Galaxy Home prior to launch, and look forward to sharing more with Galaxy fans soon."
The Galaxy Home was announced last year, with the Galaxy Note 9 at Unpacked. It was originally supposed to be made available in April. Since then, it has been delayed a few times and now, there's no release date set for the smart speaker. It shows that Samsung is really having some trouble getting the Galaxy Home to work well. It's unclear if that's Bixby, or possibly the hardware that's to blame.
This smart speaker is one of the few that offers 360-degree sound, and Samsung is also using its acquisition of HARMAN to make sure this speaker has the best sound possible. The AKG division of HARMAN is tuning the Galaxy Home. The same division that has been tuning the speakers for Samsung's smartphones and tablets for the past few years.
What makes it a smart speaker, is Bixby. That's Samsung's own virtual assistant that has been included on its smartphones since the Galaxy S8, two years ago. It's not a fantastic assistant, but it is better than say Cortana and Siri. It's just not up there with Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant, just yet. And that could be what is delaying the Galaxy Home. As Samsung wants to make sure that the Galaxy Home is good enough for people to use everyday. Since this one isn't going to be cheap.
Samsung has not yet releasing any pricing on the Galaxy Home, but given its size and features, it likely won't be under $100. It'll likely be closer to the Apple HomePod price of about $300 (it was originally $349, but has dropped down to $299 now).
The company has not said what the holdup is with the Galaxy Home, and it's unlikely that it ever would. But it is good to know that Samsung is still working hard to get the Galaxy Home ready for release. We have already seen the Galaxy Home pass through the FCC, as well as a smaller Galaxy Home. So it's very possible that when the Galaxy Home does eventually become available, that it could come in two sizes – like its smartphones.
Samsung is already pretty far behind in the smart speaker race. With Google and Amazon already having a pretty sizeable lead over just about everyone. Of course, a big part of that is the fact that the two have been around for a few years with its smart speakers. As well as practically giving away those smart speakers to buyers of other products. On top of that, Bixby hasn't been getting the kind of love that Samsung wants it to be getting. That's primarily because it's just not up to par with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. But, Samsung is not giving up on it.