Smartphone makers bet on AI to boost sales

Smartphone makers bet on AI to boost sales

Smartphone makers are packing flashy new artificial intelligence tools like real-time voice translation and advanced photo editing into their latest devices to reignite consumer demand.

This trend was also evident at the four-day Mobile World Congress (MWC), the telecoms industry's largest annual trade show, which kicked off in Barcelona on Monday, with handset makers focusing on unique AI-powered features in their new flagship devices. I guessed it.

“Phones have just become boring, they're not as exciting as they used to be. The changes from one model to the next aren't that great,” Ben Wood, head of research at CCS Insight, told AFP.

Although cameras, battery life and screens are “slightly better” than before, companies need to add more “exciting” features to their products to encourage people to upgrade their phones, Wood said. added.

“AI is the way to do that,” he said.

At the Korean giant Samsung's stand at MWC, the new premium AI-powered Galaxy S24 series is prominently connected, allowing users to make and receive calls in languages ​​they don't speak, and with both voice and audio Receive live translations of your calls. screen.

This feature can handle 13 languages ​​including French, Japanese, and Hindi.

The new device, launched in January, also includes AI-powered photo editing tools that let you easily move or erase objects and people from photos, and fill in empty spaces to match your surroundings. You can also generate content.

– “Change everything” –
Smaller device manufacturers are also betting big on AI.

China's Honor launched its new flagship smartphone “Magic 6 Pro” with built-in AI in Barcelona. This smartphone is equipped with a camera equipped with a motion sensing function that can detect quick movements such as sports and automatically capture the perfect moment.

This device anticipates your needs to help you interact with apps more efficiently. For example, it can recognize addresses in text messages and automatically direct you to a maps app.

Honor CEO George Chao said, “AI will change everything,” adding, “AI can do amazing things.”

Analysts say that the computing power of AI chips has improved so much that smartphone manufacturers can now deliver this type of AI-powered functionality to devices, often without relying on cloud computing, which is more time-consuming and costly. It is said that it can be provided directly on the website.

“This could potentially be the beginning of a new era for smartphones,” said Paolo Pescatore, an analyst at PP Foresight, adding that the challenge for device makers is to educate consumers about new AI-powered tools. He added that he wanted to let them know.

“Explaining the benefits and new features of AI to users is not an easy task. Not all users necessarily know about AI and will be skeptical at first,” he told AFP. .

~Decrease in sales~
The focus on AI comes at a time when smartphone sales are sluggish as consumers are taking longer to upgrade their devices due to a lack of significant innovation, high inflation and economic uncertainty. There is.

According to the IDC consulting firm, global smartphone shipments in 2023 will decline by 3.2% to 1.17 billion units, the second consecutive year of decline, but are expected to recover slightly this year.

AI-powered tools also have the potential to become a new source of revenue for device manufacturers. Samsung has hinted that it may introduce more powerful AI features for paid members in the future.

“We don't feel the value it adds is enough to justify spending money on it. But Samsung believes that AI will reach a completely different level of experience, become even more powerful, and that people will pay for it.” We are looking more towards the future where we might be prepared to pay,” Wood said.

“Everyone wants to grow their services revenue. They're all looking at Apple, especially the mobile phone business, and they're all very jealous that Apple can generate so much revenue from the services model. “There is,” he added.

Apple charges iPhone users for various services such as additional cloud storage, which boosts profits.


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