Facebook smart speaker delayed until October due to Cambridge Analytica, privacy concerns

acebook will not launch its smart speakers at its annual developers conference F8 2018, which is scheduled to be held in California on May 1 and May 2. The social media giant has reportedly delayed the launch of its smart speakers until October following the Cambridge Analytica scandal and widespread public outrage regarding the companys privacy policy. The scandal recently forced Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to testify before the US lawmakers earlier this month.

Amazon was the first big tech company to debut its smart speaker Amazon Echo back in 2014 and it was followed by Google that launched its Google Home in 2016 and Apple that introduced HomePod in 2017. Facebook was reportedly going to be the next big player entering this niche space. However, according to a report by Digitimes, the tech giant will begin the mass production of its smart speaker only in June. Also, while the order volumes for the year 2018 have been cut by nearly 20 per cent, the order volumes for 2019 have been kept unchanged.

Facebook is reportedly planning to launch two smart speakers this year codenamed Aloha and Fiona. While both the smart speakers are equipped with a 15-inch screen from LG Display, Aloha will cost more to the users due to its adjustable display. Both the devices will be manufactured by Taiwanese electronics manufacturing firm Pegatron.This is not the first time that reports of Facebook delaying the launch of its smart speakers have surfaced online. Earlier in March, a Bloomberg report quoted a Facebook spokesperson saying the company decided not to unveil its new home products in May because of the public outrage over the social networks data privacy policy. The spokesperson, while indicating a fall launch of the home products, had said the companys connected speakers with digital assistant and video chat capabilities were undergoing a deep review to ensure that they make the right trade-off regarding the user data.

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