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Monday, July 23, 2018
Samsung Confirms Entry Into the Smart Speaker Market This year

Samsung Electronics will introduce an artificial intelligence (AI), Bixby-powered speaker in the second half of this year.

The company will introduce the speaker at an upcoming event to showcase its latest high-end Galaxy Note 9 smartphone in New York, Aug. 9.

According to the Korea Intellectual Property Rights Information Service (KIPRIS), Samsung applied for trademark rights to the name "Magbee" (speaker name) with the Korean Intellectual Property Office, July 13. Samsung also filed for the trademark rights in Europe and the U.S.

A Samsung spokeswoman confirmed the company's plans to launch an AI speaker in the latter half of this year.

According to Canalys, the number of AI speakers across the world is expected to reach 100 million by the end of the year. This is 2.5 times higher than a year earlier and the figure will grow to 225 million by 2020.

Sixty four percent of the AI speakers have been installed in the U.S., followed by China with 10 percent, the U.K. with 8 percent and Germany with 6 percent. Korea is fifth with about 3 million.

It remains to be seen whether Samsung's new AI speaker can compete with its competitors. The global AI speaker market has been led by U.S. tech giants Amazon and Google. Amazon's Echo AI speakers account for 43.6 percent of the market, according to data from Strategy Analytics. Google is next with 26.5 percent, followed by China's Alibaba with 7.6 percent, Apple with 6 percent and Xiaomi with 2.4 percent.

Locally, South Korean tech firms are also competing in the domestic AI speaker market. Ever since SK Telecom, the country's No. 1 mobile carrier, introduced its AI speaker NUGU, No. 2 mobile carrier KT, Samsung's home appliance rival LG and other big name companies have rolled out speakers.

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