What you need to know
- Samsung just unveiled its lineup of Galaxy S24 series phones at its Unpacked event, including S24 Ultra, S24 Plus, and S24.
- The phones ship a new and sleek design, nifty features, and Galaxy AI (an AI-powered experience designed to enhance intelligence and streamline the mobile user experience).
- While the Galaxy AI experience is currently free across these phones and there are plans to ship it to older models, Samsung might charge for this service in the future.
Samsung recently unveiled a host of new smartphones joining its S-series lineup, including the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra, S24 Plus, and S24 at its Galaxy Unpacked event. As expected, the devices ship with sleek designs, new features, and Qualcomm's impressive Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chipset under the hood.
Besides that, the company has seemingly hopped onto the AI bandwagon as the phones ship with Galaxy AI—a new mobile experience designed to add universal intelligence to the new lineup of smartphones. From the ability to Circle and Search on Google to live translating conversations while you're on call in real-time, the Galaxy AI experience is a force to reckon with.
However, you might have to pay to access these AI-powered features in the future. According to a spot by Android Central, Samsung highlighted that the Galaxy AI mobile experience will be accessible for free on supported devices till the end of 2025. The company pointed this out in a footnote featured in its Samsung Australia newsroom post for the Galaxy S24 series:
While this doesn't exact indicate that the company will start charging users to access the feature, but it also doesn't rule out the possibility entirely.
Why do I need to pay for AI chatbots and features?
ChatGPT is arguably one of the most popular chatbots available, predominantly because of its parent company, OpenAI, which has invested heavily in generative AI. We already know that OpenAI parts with a ridiculous amount of money daily to ensure that ChatGPT continues to run smoothly and efficiently.
While you can access ChatGPT for free, OpenAI also has a paid subscription for the service dubbed ChatGPT Plus. Unlike the free version, ChatGPT Plus has many neat features, including OpenAI's latest LLM GPT-4, which promises better response and accuracy, DALL-E 3 image generation technology, and more.
Using 700,000 dollars daily to run ChatGPT is no easy undertaking; this justifies OpenAI's paid subscription for the service amid claims that it's running on fumes and headed toward bankruptcy.
Microsoft also recently employed this technique for its Copilot chatbot, which comes with a paid subscription — Copilot Pro. Like ChatGPT Plus, Microsoft charges $20 for the new services and promises enhanced image generation capabilities, better performance, and more.
Given the "poor promotion" techniques used when shipping the service to iOS and Android users, how this will affect Microsoft Copilot's market share on mobile remains to be seen. ChatGPT continues to reign over Microsoft Copilot and hasn't impacted its revenue or installations. However, there seems to be a decline in its user base due to the loss of interest in the technology among users coupled with other factors.
That said, we'll have to wait and see whether Samsung will slap a subscription fee on its Galaxy AI experience. This unfolds as Microsoft recently overtook Apple as the world's most valuable company, owing to its immense success following its heavy investment in AI. Apple continues to experience depressed sales of iPhones, especially in China, an avenue and market Samsung could potentially leverage to grow its market share in mobile.
Will Samsung charging for Galaxy AI impact its mobile market share? Share your thoughts with us in the comments.
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Kevin Okemwa is a seasoned tech journalist based in Nairobi, Kenya with lots of experience covering the latest trends and developments in the industry. With a passion for innovation and a keen eye for detail, he has written for leading publications such as OnMSFT, MakeUseOf, and Windows Report, providing insightful analysis and breaking news on everything revolving around the Microsoft ecosystem. While AFK and not busy following the ever-emerging trends in tech, you can find him exploring the world or listening to music.