Samsung-Google AI Competition
With the debut of the Samsung Galaxy S8 around the corner, competition is likely to heat up between Samsung Electronics and Google in the AI assistant market.
The AI assistant that Samsung Electronics is currently working on, which is expected to be called Bixby, executes every command regarding smartphone functions that can be controlled by touching by using Samsung Electronics’ voice command service S Voice.
At present, Google Assistant is available on its Pixel smartphone. The LG G6 is using Google Assistant, too. However, the Google Assistant features that are available on the LG G6 are limited as of now.
Google recently announced that Android phone users in the United States, Australia, Canada, Britain and Germany can use Google Assistant once they update their phones to Android 6.0 or Android 7.0. According to experts, this is for Google to expand the ecosystem of Google Assistant. The AI assistant is based on machine learning, which means its gets smarter as the number of people who use it increases. Then, more and more external service providers join the service, leading to a further increase in the number of users.
Under the circumstances, much attention is being paid to which one of the two will take the lead in the market. Samsung Electronics’ AI assistant is based on hardware whereas that of Google has its root in software.
According to market research firm Strategy Analytics, Samsung Electronics’ global smartphone market share was 24.6%, second to none, as of the end of last month. The share of the Android OS in the same market amounted to 81.7% at the end of last year. Simple comparison between the figures shows that Google has the inside track. However, industry experts point out that it is too soon to say for sure in that AI assistants are characterized by requiring perfect interworking between hardware and software and the one that ensures more ecosystem elements for various AI assistant-based services, such as search, travel, delivery and shopping, is likely to get the last laugh.
In the meantime, Amazon is expanding its Alexa in the smartphone market as well. Amazon recently added the AI assistant to the iPhone Amazon app. Alexa is already in popular use among American households via the Amazon Echo speaker. With the iPhone Amazon app, Echo users in the United States can search for products on Amazon by voice recognition although payment based on Alexa is not available yet. The Huawei Mate 9 is expected to adopt Alexa in the near future, too.