Survey: Generative AI Smartphone Shipments to Quadruple by 2027

Smartphones equipped with generative AI features have become the new buzzword for high-end models. But can AI smartphones really attract so many users?

According to the latest report from research firm Counterpoint Research, generative AI smartphones will account for 11% of total smartphone shipments by 2024, reaching 43% by 2027, with shipments exceeding 550 million units, showing a fourfold increase. This number surpasses their earlier forecast in December 2023.

Counterpoint Research defines generative AI smartphones as “mobile devices that use large, pre-trained generative AI models to create new content or perform scene-related tasks.” These devices have multimodal capabilities to handle text, images, voice, and other content, generating diverse outputs and providing a seamless user experience. As technology advances and mobile device hardware specifications evolve, currently only flagship smartphones or those with high-end hardware can effectively run generative AI models.

Tarun Pathak, Research Director at Counterpoint Research, stated that over 10 OEMs have already introduced more than 30 generative AI-enabled smartphones. AI has been a hot topic in smartphones, especially after the launch of the Samsung Galaxy S24 series, which spurred market trends for AI smartphones.

Counterpoint Research predicts that Samsung will lead the market in generative AI smartphones by 2024. This marks another achievement for Samsung in recent years, following its pioneering role in the foldable smartphone market. The AI advantage empowers Samsung in the mid to high-end smartphone market, making generative AI smartphones more accessible to the masses. Apart from Samsung, Apple is also expected to enter the generative AI smartphone market to drive growth.

Counterpoint Research anticipates that starting from 2025, all new mid to high-end smartphones must have AI functionalities. However, consumers are still evaluating the future impact of AI on mobile devices, including usage scenarios.

(Source: Counterpoint Research)

Mohit Agrawal, Associate Director at Counterpoint Research, mentioned that future smartphones will be more personalized to meet individual needs and preferences, with AI playing a central role in personalized experiences. With the differentiation of AI positioning among smartphone OEMs, the evolution of AI in usage scenarios is evident.

Current usage scenarios include enhanced photo generation capabilities, translation functions, improved app experiences, content recommendations, and the creation of more personalized content. As large language models (LLMs) continue to develop and become more efficient, usage scenarios will further evolve. Generative AI in smartphones will integrate mobile devices and cloud computing as the mainstream mode. However, OEMs with equally powerful software capabilities and strategic partnerships may lead their competitors.

Looking ahead, Counterpoint Research predicts a turning point for generative AI smartphones by 2025, as these devices expand into a broader price range, especially in the $400-599 price segment. Smartphones priced at ≥$600 and in the $400-599 range are expected to dominate the sales of generative AI smartphones in 2024, accounting for 90%.

Leading mobile chip companies like MediaTek and Qualcomm have made significant strides in generative AI smartphones. They have launched multiple mobile computing platforms supporting large multimodal AI models on devices. Qualcomm is expected to lead the AI smartphone System-on-Chip (SoC) market in 2024, with generative AI smartphone shipments capturing half of the market, while MediaTek is projected to have a 13% market share.

(Image source: Tech News)

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