Samsung to announce new phones ‘powered by AI’ on Jan. 17

A man walks past the Samsung logo displayed on a glass door at the company’s Seocho building in Seoul on April 7, 2023.

Jung Yeon-je | Afp | Getty Images

Samsung recently announced it will host a news conference in San Jose, California, on Jan. 17 where it will unveil its newest Galaxy phones.

Samsung is Apple’s largest smartphone competitor. The company has a 20% share of the global smartphone market, compared with Apple’s 16% share, according to Counterpoint Research. Meanwhile, Samsung has a 25% share of the U.S. phone market, behind Apple’s 53% share. New features that aren’t available on the iPhone could help it attract more customers.

Samsung said Tuesday evening its latest devices will offer an “all-new mobile experience powered by AI.” While it’s unclear what that means, recent announcements from chipmakers like Qualcomm and competitors like Google may provide some context.

Samsung traditionally uses Qualcomm chips in its U.S. smartphones. The latest devices, likely named the Galaxy S24, Galaxy S24+ and Galaxy S24 Ultra, may take advantage of Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Series 8 Gen 3 for Android phones. Samsung is usually among the first phone makers to use Qualcomm’s latest chips.

Qualcomm said in October that its new Snapdragon chips will allow phones to run generative artificial intelligence applications directly on the phone. It allows for smaller versions of applications like ChatGPT to run without an internet connection. On-device versions of AI chatbots could keep conversations more private since queries wouldn’t need to be sent to the cloud.

Qualcomm also demonstrated how its chips could be used to generate images based on a string of words. So, for example, you might type “create an image that shows a man driving a car” and it’ll generate a picture. That’s similar to what Google’s Tensor G3 chip in the Pixel 8 Pro allows. That phone can create custom phone wallpapers based on a set of words a user selects.

The Pixel 8 Pro also supports Google’s Gemini Nano AI model, which can create replies to text messages, transcribe recorded conversations and more. AI is also often used to improve videos and photos.

CNBC’s Kif Leswing and Jennifer Elias contributed to this report.

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