After debuting in August, Samsung’s Galaxy Home smart speaker still isn’t available for sale in the U.S. But a smaller version could be on the way.
According to SamMobile, Samsung is working on another Bixby-powered speaker with the model number SM-V310. Because the Galaxy Home has the model number SM-V510, this newer device could be a Galaxy Home Mini.
The smaller Galaxy Home speaker will come in black, but that’s the only other tidbit SamMobile says that it knows about the device. Given that CES 2019 is just a week away, the site says that the new speaker could debut at the event.
The larger Galaxy Home is being positioned as a premium product, complete with AKG audio technology, six speaker drivers, eight microphones and directional sound capability. In other words, the music could be aimed directly at you instead of the rest of the room. There's also a Samsung SmartThings hub built in for controlling smart home devices.
A lower-end Galaxy Home mini would likely lose some of the drivers and microphones and feature a smaller price to better compete with the latest Amazon Echo Dot and Google Home Mini. Samsung has said that it’s partnering with Spotify on the Galaxy Home, so that partnership would likely stay in tact on the Mini.
The biggest question mark with the Galaxy Home and purported Galaxy Home Mini is whether consumers will want a smart speaker with Bixby inside. The Alexa-powered Echo Dot and Echo and the Google Assistant-powered Google Home line dominate the market.
According to a forecast by eMarketer, the Amazon Echo will capture 63.3 percent of smart speaker users in 2019, while Google Home will account for 31 percent. Smaller players, such as the Sonos One and Apple HomePod, will take 12 percent. And the Galaxy Home line will be fighting for a slice of that 12 percent at the outset.
Samsung has yet to demonstrate why Bixby would be a better assistant, though it would come in handy for controlling other Samsung devices. Samsung is rumored to be integrating both Bixby and Google Assistant in its smart TVs for CES 2019, so it’s possible that it could do the same for its speaker lineup.