Samsung Bixby, Apple 3D Sensing Won't Be Ready for Latest Smartphones - Page 2

"If the initial goal with Bixby is to sell more Android smartphones, it will drive interest, but the hardware innovations in the devices are likely what buyers will primarily focus on," said Silva. "Software innovations, while interesting, will probably be of secondary importance, giving Samsung some time to continue polishing those features."

Another analyst, Richard Windsor, of Edison Investment Research, wrote in a research note that Samsung's delay of its core Bixby voice assistant feature "is a strong indication of just how far behind Samsung is when it comes to artificial intelligence, reinforcing our view that the investment case still lives and dies with hardware."

The likely reason for Samsung's Bixby delay "is that the voice recognition system in English is not nearly good enough and substantially lags behind Bixby's performance in Korean," Windsor said.

He calls the problems "a significant blunder on Samsung's part" because "it appears that Samsung has put more effort into making Bixby work in Korean than English. We think that this was not a very sensible choice," Windsor said, As Samsung will sell the vast majority of Galaxy s8 handsets to people around the world who don't speak Korean.

In addition, the Bixby delay "is a sure indicator of just how far behind Samsung is compared to everyone else when it comes to developing intelligent services," he wrote. "Despite much fanfare at the launch of the Galaxy S8 just a few weeks ago, it turns out that Bixby's functionality at launch will be greatly curtailed as Samsung can't get it to work properly."

Samsung had publicized its upcoming Bixby features in late March, touting Bixby's artificial intelligence capabilities and features in the upcoming Galaxy S8 smartphones, according to an earlier eWEEK report.

The idea behind Bixby is to reinvent Samsung devices so they learn and adapt to the behaviors of their users, rather than requiring users to adapt to the devices, according to the company.

That means being able to properly and appropriately respond to voice commands to provide functions for users, rather than users having to search through deep and often complicated command menus to operate their devices.

Samsung has said that Bixby will also be deployed by Samsung over the coming months in many of the company's other products, from home appliances such as air conditioners to televisions and more, giving users new ways to control their devices.

Samsung has been eyeing the use of artificial intelligence in its devices for some time, according to a November 2016 eWEEK report.

The Bixby delays follow Samsung's Galaxy Note7 smartphone disaster in the fall of 2016, when it was forced to recall all of its approximately 2.5 million Galaxy Note7 phablets due to fire and explosion issues around the world. For Samsung, moving on to the new Galaxy S8 smartphones likely can't come quickly enough after the Note7 fiasco.

Samsung's interest in AI was deepened in October 2016 when the company acquired Viv Labs, an artificial intelligence company started by the creators of Apple's Siri digital assistant, to bolster AI capabilities in its smartphones and other consumer products.

Viv Labs' open AI platform lets third-party developers use and build conversational assistants and integrate a natural language interface into applications and services, which can extend mobile devices and services for users.

Samsung's own previous personal assistant product, S-voice, never captured as much attention from smartphone buyers as did Apple's Siri personal assistant.