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Samsung aims to adopt AI in 100m Galaxy phones

Mobile chief also hints at imminent debut of Galaxy Ring health tracker this year

By Jo He-rim

Published : Jan. 18, 2024 - 15:43

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Samsung Electronics President and Head of Mobile eXperience Business Roh Tae-moon speaks at a press conference after the Galaxy S24 Unpacked event in San Jose, California, on Wednesday. (Samsung Electronics) Samsung Electronics President and Head of Mobile eXperience Business Roh Tae-moon speaks at a press conference after the Galaxy S24 Unpacked event in San Jose, California, on Wednesday. (Samsung Electronics)

SAN JOSE, California – Samsung Electronics will carry out software updates for its Galaxy AI to be featured in 100 million Galaxy smartphones this year, the company’s mobile business chief said Wednesday.

“Galaxy AI in the Galaxy S24 series is a hybrid AI using both on-device and cloud-based AI. This year, we will introduce Galaxy AI to about 100 million Galaxy smartphones for the global expansion of mobile AI,” Roh Tae-moon, president and head of the mobile business division, told reporters on the sidelines of the Galaxy Unpacked event held in San Jose, California.

The latest Galaxy S24 is the first AI-powered smartphone that features brand-new functions such as real-time translation, upgraded photo editing and Google’s Circle to Search.

Roh also showed confidence in securing double-digit growth in sales compared to last year’s S23, saying that the new phone will become a game changer to beat its archrival Apple in the new category of AI smartphones. Last year, Apple dethroned Samsung to become the best-selling smartphone maker in terms of shipments – for the first time in 13 years.

"We are taking the (decrease) in shipment volume seriously, and are working consistently to make improvements in all sectors of sales, marketing and product competitiveness," Roh said.

According to Roh, Samsung plans to start software updates for Galaxy AI in the first half of this year and expand the lineups in phases.

Over concerns that the on-device AI could take a toll on battery life, Roh said the latest Galaxy series has been optimized for AI, and that, battery consumption is "not at all a problem."

And this optimization is what makes Samsung's Galaxy AI different from the AI talked by everyone in the IT sector, Roh said, noting that Galaxy AI is specially developed and optimized for the best performance of mobile devices.

On the idea of paid AI services, Roh confirmed Samsung is not yet reviewing that option. But that idea could be discussed when AI features become more advanced and need much more investment than now, he said.

Over the company's decision to extend the support periods to seven years for security and operating system upgrades, Roh explained it came to address the growing needs in the market.

"The overall smartphone market is slow, but the demand for high-end premium products is continuously growing. From this, we found that there are customer needs where they buy more expensive products to use for a longer time and experience the premium features," Roh said.

Samsung Electronics teases Galaxy Ring, a wearable health tracker, at the Galaxy Unpacked 2024 held in SAP Center in San Jose, California in US on Wednesday. (Jo He-rim/The Korea Herald) Samsung Electronics teases Galaxy Ring, a wearable health tracker, at the Galaxy Unpacked 2024 held in SAP Center in San Jose, California in US on Wednesday. (Jo He-rim/The Korea Herald)

During the Unpacked event, Samsung made a surprise announcement about the Galaxy Ring, a health tracker in the form of a ring. Roh said the product could be launched this year.

"We ran surveys and learned that customers find it inconvenient to wear a watch all the time. And we found that the ring form factor would be more optimal to track health indicators, that can be worn for a longer time and is less cumbersome (than a digital watch),” he said.