- Google wants Samsung to use Google Assistant instead of Bixby, according to a report.
- The two companies are said to be in talks regarding the move.
- Google reportedly wants more control over search on Samsung devices.
As per the report, if a deal is struck between the two firms it may see Samsung promote Google Assistant and the Play Store above Bixby and the Galaxy app store when users activate a voice or app search.
Although it would signal a slight reprioritization of its ecosystem efforts, Samsung’s mobile business could benefit from such a deal. Should Google offer the company generous monetary compensation to put its products first, it may help alleviate financial pressure on Samsung’s smartphone efforts. That said, the Korean electronics firm as a whole did see a profit and revenue rise in Q1 2020 despite the pandemic.
For Google, a potential deal would see its search products in the hands of more users across the world. Samsung claimed 20% of the global smartphone market in Q1 2020, according to Counterpoint.
The report fails to discuss terms of the potential deal, but we imagine that the discussion surrounding search on voice assistants rather than app stores could be a key sticking point. Giving users a choice during setup to employ Bixby or Assistant as the default voice assistant could be an option that may appease the firms and users alike. Bixby also plays a key role in coordinating the company’s other digital products and appliances, so it’s unlikely that Samsung would kill off Bixby entirely.
If it were 2017, the choice of a default assistant would be an easy one to make. We had high hopes and second thoughts when Bixby launched on the Galaxy S8 series, but Samsung’s voice assistant has improved by leaps and bounds since then.
In a statement to Bloomberg, Google said it doesn’t intend to change how Android manufacturers employ the platform. “Like all Android device makers, Samsung is free to create its own app store and digital assistant,” said the company’s spokesperson. “That’s one of the great features of the Android platform. And while we regularly talk with partners about ways to improve the user experience, we have no plans to change that.”
Samsung’s spokesperson, in return, reaffirmed the company’s commitment to its “own ecosystem and services.”