Sponsored By

Samsung bets the farm on Google AI

Korean tech giant Samsung reckons AI might help it flog more phones, for which it needs a lot of help from Google and Qualcomm.

Scott Bicheno

January 19, 2024

3 Min Read
source: samsung

At its latest iterative flagship smartphone launch, the primary selling point for Samsung's Galaxy S24 series was generative AI, resulting from a new partnership with Google Cloud. “Google and Samsung have long shared deeply-held values around the importance of making technology more helpful and accessible for everyone,” said Janghyun Yoon, Head of the Software Office of the Mobile Experience Business at Samsung Electronics.

“We’re thrilled that the Galaxy S24 series is the first smartphone equipped with Gemini Pro and Imagen 2 on Vertex AI. After months of rigorous testing and competitive evaluation, the Google Cloud and Samsung teams worked together to deliver the best Gemini-powered AI experience on Galaxy.”

Samsung has long been conflicted in its relationship with Google. While it has nearly always been the biggest Android device vendor, margins on the hardware are tiny and the resulting captive market is mainly owned by Google. Samsung has made countless attempts to create apps and services in a bid to redress that balance, including the introduction of virtual assistant Bixby almost seven years ago, but it only ever seemed to be delaying the inevitable.

“Together with Samsung, Google Cloud sees the tremendous opportunity for generative AI to create meaningful mobile experiences that stimulate and strengthen connection and communication for millions,” said Thomas Kurian, CEO of Google Cloud. “With Gemini, Samsung’s developers can leverage Google Cloud’s world-class infrastructure, cutting-edge performance, and flexibility to deliver safe, reliable, and engaging generative AI powered applications on Samsung smartphone devices.”

Sure, but Samsung customers will know they’re getting their AI cleverness from Google. Perhaps the most significant USP will be early access to ‘Circle to Search’, through which you can initiate an AI-infused Google search merely by drawing a circle around something on your smartphone screen with your finger. While that does seem quite cool, we can’t help wondering what it says about Google’s awareness of everything else we do on our Android phones.

Not all the AI will be processed on Google Cloud, however, which is where Qualcomm comes in. The Galaxy S24 phones will be among the first to use Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 SoCs, which are crammed full of AI number-crunching goodness.

“We’re proud to continue working alongside Samsung to lead this new era for the mobile industry and provide consumers with extraordinary premium experiences,” said Chris Patrick, GM of mobile handsets at Qualcomm. “Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 for Galaxy instills its advanced AI capabilities in the Galaxy S24 series, to enable new experiences with AI features to empower users’ everyday life.”

The major disadvantage Android vendors have over Apple is that they’re reliant on Google, and to a slightly lesser extent, Qualcomm for many of their killer features. Usually that means differentiating innovations don’t stay different for long, as they’re flogged to any other Android vendor willing to cough up for them.

However, thanks to China and America’s paranoia and resulting protectionism, there’s a good chance the likes of Xiaomi and Oppo will struggle to compete over AI features, which will likely be obstructed by geopolitical shenanigans. Perhaps that’s what finally pushed Samsung to give up its futile quest to reinvent the Android wheel.

About the Author(s)

Scott Bicheno

As the Editorial Director of Telecoms.com, Scott oversees all editorial activity on the site and also manages the Telecoms.com Intelligence arm, which focuses on analysis and bespoke content.
Scott has been covering the mobile phone and broader technology industries for over ten years. Prior to Telecoms.com Scott was the primary smartphone specialist at industry analyst Strategy Analytics’. Before that Scott was a technology journalist, covering the PC and telecoms sectors from a business perspective.
Follow him @scottbicheno

Get the latest news straight to your inbox.
Register for the Telecoms.com newsletter here.

You May Also Like