Naver’s AI Speaker WAVE Sold Out in just 5 Days since Start of Preorder

Jul 21, 2017

AI (Artificial Intelligence) speaker called ‘WAVE’, which is developed by Naver and its subsidiary called LINE, was completely sold out in just 5 days since the start of preorder. Although it is just a trial version, it has drawn huge attention than expectations and is showing a positive sign for Naver to grab upper hands of Japanese AI speaker markets.
LINE announced on the 20th that supply of trial version of WAVE was completely sold out through Twitter account of Cloud-based AI voice assistant platform called ‘Clova’. Prepared supply of WAVE completely ran out of stock in just 5 days since the 14th when preorder started. Although LINE did not introduce exact amount that was prepared for preorder, it believes that WAVE is being sold at a rate that is faster than its prediction. Delivery of WAVE will start at the end of July.
WAVE is the first device that is applied with Clova. Trial version of WAVE has functions such as weather, alarm, music, and daily conversation. One can use LINE’s music service called ‘LINE Music’ through voice command. Naver is planning to release the official version of WAVE that has more variety of functions during fall of this year.
“Trial version of Smart Speaker called WAVE that is applied with Clova has induced positive comments from people and it was completely sold out.” said LINE. “Official version of WAVE is expected to be released during this fall.”

Image of WAVE (Database from The Electronic Times) <Image of WAVE (Database from The Electronic Times)>

Fact that trial version of WAVE was completely sold out indicates that this is a positive news for Naver to grab upper hands in Japanese AI speaker markets. South Korean AI speakers such as SK Telecom’s ‘NUGU’ and KT’s ‘GiGA Genie’ are released already in South Korea. Competitions for South Korean AI speaker markets will only get more intense as Kakao is also planning to introduce its AI speaker called ‘Kakao Mini’ during third quarter of this year.
Japan does not have AI speakers that are developed by Japanese companies. Because AI speakers from global companies such as Amazon’s ‘Echo’ and Google’s ‘Google Home’ have yet to support Japanese, it is very important to grab upper hands of Japanese AI speaker markets. It is still unknown if Naver will release WAVE in South Korea. However there is a good chance that it will target South Korean AI voice assistant markets with Clova’s mobile application, which is already released in South Korea, at the center.
Fact that Naver introduced trial version of WAVE before releasing the official version of WAVE indicates that it is its strategy that keeps preoccupancy of Japanese markets in mind. Price of trial version of WAVE is set at $89.31 (100,000 KRW). It is cheaper than the official version of WAVE ($134) and Google Home ($129). When the official version is released, one can use same functions that come with the official version of WAVE on his or her trial version of WAVE through an upgrade. Naver is going to carry out its marketing strategy such as giving 6 months of free membership of LINE Music to people who purchase WAVE which allows them to enjoy 40 million songs unlimitedly. Besides WAVE, Naver and LINE are also going to increase number of devices that allow one to enjoy AI voice assistants from Naver and LINE everywhere.
“We are going to hurry up and secure WAVE users in Japan as WAVE is the only AI speaker that is currently developed within Japan and as there aren’t any businesses that have yet to grab upper hands of Japanese AI speaker markets.”
Staff Reporter Oh, Daeseok | ods@etnews.com

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