Business Standard

Phones smarter with GENAI give industry hope to ring in sales

Technology improves videos and photos on devices, enables multiple tasks to be done in a single prompt from the user


In a flat market for smartphone­s, the hope is that generative artificial intelligen­ce (GENAI) will make the difference for better sales.

A preliminar­y forecast by research group IDC said that 170 million smartphone­s with GENAI will be shipped in 2024, comprising almost 15 per cent of total shipments and compared to 51 million shipments in 2023. The forecast should cheer up original equipment manufactur­ers (OEM) who have been struggling with a global sales slowdown.

Smartphone shipments in India were flat in 2023 at 152 million units, according to Counterpoi­nt Research. Sales improved in Q4 of 2023 but largely in the premium segment and people upgrading to 5G devices. GENAI improves a smartphone but it eats up more power. Ai-enabled smartphone­s have been around for years, but GENAI enables a device is to do much more.

“GENAI brings several advantages including seamless performanc­e, greater privacy, better security and reliabilit­y, lower latency, the ability to work in areas with little to no connectivi­ty, and lower operation cost,” said Anku Jain, managing director at Mediatek India, which is part of the Taiwanese chipset maker.

“GENAI needs 10 to 100 time greater performanc­e than convention­al AI. Its limitation­s currently stem more from available memory capacity and performanc­e constraint­s. While Cloud (service) can address this issue, confining generative AI services solely to the Cloud is both expensive and often restrictiv­e in its applicatio­n range.”

Meditek, at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in February, announced a series of GENAI features in the AI Processing Unit (APU) of its chipset for improving video and animation in smartphone­s. APU, along with Neural Processing Unit, in smartphone chipsets accelerate AI tasks, particular­ly machine learning algorithms.

Technology experts said as GENAI improves it can be used to run many apps on a smartphone with a single prompt by the user. “The experience of using a smartphone becomes more intuitive, reducing pain points and merging tasks that people undertake. We have not seen smart apps run by smart bots yet. It will become one instructio­n running many apps,” said Ranjit Atwal, senior director analyst at Gartner.

Premium smartphone­s, such as Samsung’s S24 ultra, have ondevice GENAI now. Chipmaker Qualcomm has introduced a slate of features for the S24, including live translatio­n and transcript­ion. Google search on the phone is more intuitive and can be done with just a gesture. It has Note Assist, which simplifies and organises complex texts, and Generative Edit, which allows a user to freely resize or reposition subjects within photos.

Will GENAI improve smartphone sales? Ankit Malhotra, senior analyst at Counterpoi­nt said: “If you take a look at the period from 2016 to 2019, we moved from single camera devices for five megapixel to quad camera devices. The display got bigger, the batteries got bigger, processing power got really fast. But over the last two years that growth has not been sustained because there have not been many hardware advancemen­ts in smartphone­s, So, for OEMS this is a very good avenue to attract consumers,” said Ankit Malhotra, senior analyst at Counterpoi­nt.

Experts said the global demand for Genai-powered smartphone­s will help Indian manufactur­ing.

“The local production of these smartphone­s will empower Indian companies to acquire expertise in the developmen­t of cutting-edge Ai-driven devices, and raise India's competence as a global manufactur­ing hub,” said Jain.

 ?? Compiled by Shivani Shinde ?? Source: Think Teal’s Tealscope ‘2024 State of BCDR, India’ report;
Compiled by Shivani Shinde Source: Think Teal’s Tealscope ‘2024 State of BCDR, India’ report;

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