Samsung Electronics is set to integrate Ernie Bot, an artificial intelligence-powered chatbot developed by Chinese tech giant Baidu, in its latest flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S24 series, in China.
The South Korean consumer electronics maker has positioned its newest handset family as the inaugural AI-powered product that will usher in “a new era that will forever change how mobile devices empower users.” During the launch on January 18, the company said that the S24 series would leverage AI to “amplify” the user experience. Ernie Bot is expected to play a crucial role in achieving this goal, utilizing its understanding and generation capabilities to provide support in text summarization, organization, and translation.
This integration will also provide backend support for Samsung’s “circle to search” feature, which will be managed by Alphabet’s Google in other markets.
While Google’s Android software serves as the foundation for the majority of smartphones in China, the company’s add-on mobile services and app store are inaccessible to users within the country due to government restrictions. This situation has created market gaps, presenting opportunities for local companies to capitalize by offering alternatives. For Baidu, the integration of Ernie Bot into the S24 series is anticipated to drive adoption of the chatbot service, solidifying its position as a competitor to OpenAI’s ChatGPT and similar alternatives developed by entities such as Elon Musk’s xAI, Anthropic from the US, and France’s Mistral AI, among others.
With the launch of the S24 series, Samsung is aiming to secure more market share in China, the world’s largest smartphone market. Despite differentiating itself in the premium segment with its foldable devices, data from the International Data Corporation (IDC) and Canalys indicate that Samsung lost its position as the leader of the global smartphone market last year, yielding to Apple.
Incorporating AI features at the software level is ostensibly a first in the smartphone industry, and it can be viewed as Samsung’s attempt to attract consumers currently using devices from other brands, with the goal of regaining market share. Utilizing local services, such as Baidu’s Ernie Bot, may also help the S24 series better resonate with user needs in China and increase its overall appeal in the market.