Samsung confirms second half of 2018 release date for the Bixby smart speaker. REUTERS/Yves Herman

Back in December, it was reported that Samsung’s Bixby smart speaker would arrive sometime in the first half of 2018. However, Samsung’s mobile division president DJ Koh has confirmed that will no longer be the case.

Speaking with The Wall Street Journal, Koh confirmed that the voice-activated Bixby smart speaker will be released sometime during the second half of 2018. Koh didn’t give out any more details about the upcoming smart speaker, but he did say that Samsung is aiming to release a premium device.

“When I introduce the first model, I don’t want to give the impression that Samsung delivered another affordable mass model,” Koh said. “I want to focus on more premium.”

Samsung first confirmed that it was working on its Apple HomePod rival way back in August when it announced the Galaxy Note 8. In December, it was reported that Samsung was considering a price point of around $200, which would put it between the $349 HomePod and the $130 Google Home. Now that Samsung is planning to release a premium smart speaker, it’s possible it may cost more than $200.

There’s currently no word yet on how the Samsung Bixby smart speaker will work, but it’s presumed that it may offer functions similar to what the Google Home, Apple HomePod and Amazon Echo are able to offer. This includes streaming music, setting reminders and alarms. The Samsung Bixby smart speaker will most likely function as a SmartThings hub to control smart home devices. It’s also being rumored that the Samsung smart speaker would be able to synchronize seamlessly with the company’s line of TV’s, Galaxy phones and other products.

The success or failure of Samsung’s smart speaker may hinge on how Bixby will improve over time. Bixby is Samsung’s digital voice assistant and is available on the company’s latest Galaxy Android phones. Samsung pushed Bixby to consumers by including a dedicated physical button on the Galaxy S8 and the Galaxy Note 8 last year. The Bixby button is still on the recently announced Galaxy S9 and S9+, and Samsung doesn’t appear to be giving up on it anytime soon despite its poor reception.

Samsung confirmed during MWC 2018 that Bixby 2.0 will arrive later this year alongside the Galaxy Note 9. The company said that Bixby 2.0 would support more devices and that the company’s goal is to make it ubiquitous. “For Bixby 1.0, we focused on a fast rollout to the market. Expanding the ecosystem was difficult. So Bixby 2.0 will strengthen this aspect and we are working intensely,” Koh was quoted as saying by ZDNet.