After taking the internet by storm earlier in the week, it looks like Samsung’s Sam virtual assistant won’t be replacing Bixby or coming to any Galaxy phones. Once images of the virtual assistant appeared online, the internet immediately responded with approval for the look and design. At the time, it remained unclear if the virtual assistant was a real and officially endorsed Samsung design.
Samsung’s current virtual assistant is Bixby and can be used to gain answers to questions and provide feedback in general. This is in addition to also managing and controlling various smart home products compatible with the assistant and Galaxy devices. However, compared to the likes of Amazon’s Alexa, Google Assistant, and even Apple’s Siri, Bixby has not proven to be quite as popular. This has led to some speculation in the past over whether Samsung might be looking to replace Bixby in the future.
While that might be the case, it doesn’t look like Sam is Samsung’s answer to a Bixby replacement. In spite of the virtual assistant making headlines over the last few days, there are references to Sam on some of Samsung’s international websites, including Samsung Belgium. These web pages provide a clearer picture of what Sam is and intended for. Although Sam is a virtual assistant, Sam is simply a Samsung chatbot.
Sam & Bixby Are Two Different Assistants
Samsung has not only explained the purpose of Sam, but also what Sam is not designed to be. Specifically, Samsung confirms that Sam is not a replacement for Bixby. In explaining this, Samsung highlights that, in contrast to Bixby being installed on consumer devices, including Galaxy Phones, Sam is “the chatbot of the Samsung Service team.” When attempting to communicate with Samsung via one of many online platforms, including Facebook Messenger, Sam is the chatbot that’s designed to auto-respond to consumer questions and queries. Furthermore, depending on the consumer’s location, Sam might appear totally different to the one showcased in images from this week, as seen in the official Samsung Philippines customer service promotional video shown below.
This last point may actually help to explain the recent images of Samsung’s Sam that have gone viral online. It may just be the case that Samsung partners with different companies to come up with various chatbot designs to suit individual markets, with the recent renders of Sam one such type of design. Possibly one that won’t ever make it to any promotional videos and materials. In fact, the original Sam post — that has since been taken down — specifically referenced the previous 2D versions and how the recent Sam design was a reimagining in 3D form. In other words, Sam is not new and the recent images are simply a concept for a 3D version of the existing Sam chatbot. Regardless of whether the viral Sam design is adopted by Samsung in the future, it doesn’t look like Sam will be replacing Bixby, or ending up as a virtual assistant on a Galaxy smartphone either.