Smartphones are increasingly about foundational models, generative AI features and the ability to leverage AI locally. The latest example is Samsung's Galaxy S24 launch, which also served as a showcase for Google's Gemini Pro and Imagen 2 on Vertex AI.

The consumer electronics giant unveiled the Galaxy S24 Ultra, Galaxy S24+ and Galaxy S24 and touted Galaxy AI experiences. Features included Interpreter, which can translate live conversations, Chat Assist, to ensure communication comes off well, Note Assist, which will feature AI-generated summaries, and other features baked into the camera.

With the Samsung launch, two of the primary Android flagship devices will come equipped with generative AI experiences. If you've been following any of the recent hardware launches the next battle is on device model processing. The Google Pixel 8 Pro is designed to show off Google’s models and AI processing. Amazon's Alexa event also had a heavy LLM spin, Apple touched on running AI and machine learning models locally and PC makers are betting (more like praying) that there will be an upgrade cycle due to model training. Microsoft's Surface event was really about a barrage of Microsoft 365 Copilot launches. Samsung said it will be the first Google Cloud partner to deploy Gemini Pro and Imagen 2 on Vertex AI via the cloud to smartphone devices.

According to Samsung, the Galaxy S24 Ultra will be equipped with Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 Mobile Platform for Galaxy, an optimized chipset for AI processing. The Galaxy S24 starts at $799.99 for Galaxy S24, the $999.99 Galaxy S24 Plus, and $1,299.99 Galaxy S24 Ultra. All devices have AI features. 

Janghyun Yoon, Corporate EVP and Head of Software Office of Mobile Experience Business at Samsung Electronics, said Google Cloud and Samsung teams worked together on the Galaxy S24 launch and conducted "months of rigorous testing and competitive evaluation."

While Samsung and Google touted consumer features on the Galaxy S24, the long-term takeaway for enterprises is that they'll eventually be able to leverage the processing power in smartphones for generative AI applications. Local AI processing is more secure, efficient and cost effective.

Bottom line: Smartphones are going to compete on generative AI. Smart enterprises will figure out ways to use local processing for personalized individual use cases.

Constellation Research's take

Constellation Research analyst Holger Mueller said:

"The interesting thing on Galaxy S24 is how many AI features are Google's including Circle to Search were seamless. Google's ability to push capabilties on Android seems to finally be working beyond Pixel devices to Samsung flagship smartphones. Samsung committed to 7 years of support with Google on the backend is definitely an inflection point."

Andy Thurai at Constellation Research added:

"The Samsung-Google and Google Cloud partnership is a win-win for both companies. Google's partnership with Samsung allows them to take Apple head-on. It will be interesting to see what Microsoft will do. Samsung will also deploy Gemini Nano, an LLM that is purpose-built for mobile devices. Because Samsung uses Android as its OS, this partnership and technology alliance was fairly easy.

While Microsoft/Azure is trying to capture the search market that Google owns with its AI advancements, Google is trying to go after the mobile market. Gemini Pro and Imagen 2 on Samsung Galaxy S24 will certainly challenge iPhone.

I wouldn't be surprised if Apple and Microsoft explore an alliance on mobile as they both need each other. While Apple has done some AI-related things such as facial ID unlock with facial recognition, A15 bionic AI chip, and some basic Siri auto-correct and photo editing, etc., the walled garden of Apple's ecosystem hasn't done much on the AI front."