Samsung confirms Bixby smart speaker for H2 2018, no new foldable smartphone ETA

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Apart from the DeX Pad docking system that enables a desktop experience powered by a Galaxy S9 you can transform into a touchpad, Samsung didn’t unveil any companion devices at its glamorous Unpacked event in Barcelona yesterday.

No smartwatches, no special accessories of any sort, and no word on a prospective Bixby smart speaker that’s been in the works since last summer, if not earlier. There was no official update on “Galaxy X” development either, so we still have no idea when the company’s first ever foldable phone is supposed to see daylight.

For what it’s worth, DJ Koh, the head of the chaebol’s lucrative mobile business, confirmed in yet another interview on the heels of the Galaxy S9 announcement that a foldable Galaxy product is coming… eventually, and the project’s long-reported delays are in fact a good thing.

Instead of rushing a gimmicky device to market, Samsung wants “complete confidence that we’re delivering the best user experience when launching a new category.” So, no, we’re no longer certain this thing is coming by the end of the year. That could well be the case, as Koh literally turned a deaf ear to scheduling questions, but something tells us the release timeline is simply not etched in stone yet.

The Bixby-enabled Echo and HomePod rival is an entirely different story, according to official statements given to multiple publications, as a (slightly) more specific timetable is already being pursued.

Namely, the in-house digital assistant’s first dedicated piece of hardware is due out in stores “later in the year.” Even more specifically, during H2. That’s… not so specific after all, although an introduction alongside the Galaxy Note 9 in August seems like a decent guess. Unfortunately, mum’s the word on both pricing and features.

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Adrian Diaconescu
Adrian has had an insatiable passion for writing since he was in school and found himself writing philosophical essays about the meaning of life and the differences between light and dark beer. Later, he realized this was pretty much his only marketable skill, so he first created a personal blog (in Romanian) and then discovered his true calling, which is writing about all things tech (in English).