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Facebook’s Smart Speakers Fiona and Aloha’s Launch Pushed To October

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Facebook’s launch of its smart speakers has reportedly been pushed back until the fall.

According to Digi Times, mass production on the two smart speakers — codenamed Fiona and Aloha — will still begin in June as planned. However, the order volumes for this year have been cut by around 20 percent, and the official launch won’t come until October.

The order volumes for 2019 remain unchanged.

Earlier this year, it was revealed that both devices would feature 15-inch touchscreens. The speakers will be aimed at helping family and friends stay in touch and will include video chat and other social media features.

The devices are expected to use touchscreen panels from LG Display, and Taiwan’s Pegatron is the only contract assembler for the devices.

The Aloha is expected to be the more high-end model and will officially be called Portal. It will use voice commands — as well as facial recognition — to identify users so they can access Facebook. With Portal, Facebook has also inked music licensing deals with Sony and Universal Music.

The two devices are expected to be part of an ecosystem of video consumer devices that Facebook plans to launch during the next five years. In fact, the smart speakers are just the first two initial-stage devices for the social media giant.

Supply chain sources told DigiTimes at the time that Facebook initially planned on rolling out the smart speakers in May, but opted to delay the launch to perfect the acoustic quality and for software changes.

Of course, Facebook is also dealing with the fallout from a series of data breach scandals, including 87 million users having their data improperly shared with political firm Cambridge Analytica and the revelation that “malicious actors” were able to use search tools to discover the identities and collect information on most of its 2 billion users worldwide.

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