The report, citing Samsung Electronics, noted the company sells 500 million units of electronic products each year, which means Bixby will be on billions of the company’s products soon. In addition to smartphones, Bixby will be in televisions, refrigerators and air conditioners, noted the report. Citing comments made at a company conference by Chung Eui-suk, the company’s vice-president in charge of AI development, The Financial Times reported Samsung also plans to make Bixby open to third parties so it can be integrated into other devices. “If consumers can use Bixby with TVs, refrigerators, and ovens, this will provide them with completely different user experiences,” Lee Ji-soo, the company’s vice-president for wireless business, said at the same conference.
While Samsung has had high hopes for Bixby, which launched in March of 2017 with the Galaxy S8 mobile phone, it hasn’t been well received — critics have lamented the lack of functionality. Samsung is behind U.S. rivals including Apple because of the limited set of applications. According to data from market research firm Ovum, Bixby is only used by 6 percent of consumers in the U.S., while Amazon is at 24 percent, Apple is at 22 percent and Google is at 20 percent. Microsoft’s Cortana accounts for 10 percent of the use in the U.S.
To get more users to adopt Bixby, Samsung said it will launch the service in more foreign languages during the next few months. Right now it’s available in U.S. English, Mandarin and Korean, noted the Financial Times. It also plans to roll out a software developer kit so that developers can use Bixby as an interface for their apps. “It is all about expanding its ecosystem, but Samsung has a poor track record with software and services,” said Kim Young-woo at SK Securities in the report. “I am still skeptical about how many languages Bixby can really understand and how many consumers it can attract for its service.”