Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra
Some Galaxy S24 China version will feature Baidu's Ernie Bot. Wikimedia Commons

Samsung will team up with Baidu to integrate the Chinese tech giant's Ernie chatbot capabilities into Galaxy S24 smartphones. As a result, Chinese owners of the Galaxy S24, Galaxy S24 Plus and Galaxy S24 Ultra will be able to translate calls in real-time and access a slew of other exciting AI features.

With Ernie Bot, which surpassed 100 million users earlier this month, Baidu plans to give American AI startup OpenAI's ChatGPT a run for its money. In fact, the Chinese company claims the new version of its AI bot has capabilities that are similar to GPT-4, OpenAI's latest large language model (LLM).

"It has been significantly improved compared to the online version of Ernie bot and now it is not inferior to GPT-4," CEO Robin Li said during the Baidu World 2023 event in October.

China-specific Galaxy S24 series integrates a tailored AI technology

"Now featuring Ernie's understanding and generation capabilities, the upgraded Samsung Note Assistant can translate content and also summarise lengthy content into clear, intelligently organised formats at the click of a button, streamlining the organisation of extensive text," the firms told CNBC in a joint statement.

Samsung's China website highlights the same Google-powered features it announced at its San Jose, CA, launch event last week. These include a transcription helper, photo assistant, real-time call translation and a version of Circle to Search.

Notably, the Chinese Galaxy S24 product pages don't mention Google given that the search giant has limited operations in the country. Currently, the Ernie Bot powers Samsung's Note Assist feature on Galaxy S24 smartphones.

Aside from locking horns with ChatGPT, the Ernie Bot competes with Alibaba's Tongyi Qianwen and Tencent's Hunyuan in China in the generative AI space. So, it doesn't come as a surprise that Samsung was not among the top 5 smartphone manufacturers in China.

According to data shown by the International Data Corporation (IDC), Apple was China's largest smartphone vendor last year, capturing 17.3 per cent market share in the country. Honor took the second spot with 16.8 per cent market share, followed by Vivo, Huawei and Oppo.

Baidu's stock is off to a rocky start in 2024 due to reports that indicated the company's AI technology was tested by a People's Liberation Army-affiliated organisation that oversees cyber warfare. However, Baidu says it has "not engaged in any business collaboration" with the Chinese military group.

Baidu shares are down 7.53% year-to-date. IDC believes more AI functions will be integrated into personal devices like smartphones this year. Another major shift in market leadership saw Intel overtaking Samsung in the global semiconductor chip segment in 2023.

Will Samsung bounce back in 2024?

Much to the chagrin of the Korean tech giant, new figures from Counterpoint Research show Samsung Electronics no longer dominates the chip industry.

The company's revenue from its semiconductor chip division dropped from $70.2 billion (£55.23 billion) in 2022 to $43.4 billion (£34.14 billion) in 2023. This 38 per cent drop year-on-year can be attributed to a market slump for memory chips and Samsung's failure to find clients for its advanced chip fabrication processes.

While Intel and Samsung were neck-and-neck in the computer chip race, Intel managed to overtake the Korean brand in the semiconductor chip revenue department. Intel's revenue dropped 15 per cent from $59.8 billion (£47.05 billion) in 2022 to $50.5 billion (£39.73 billion) in 2023.

Nvidia was one of the few semiconductor chip companies to see increased revenue, which is due to the AI boom and the skyrocketing demand for powerful GPUs for cloud servers.

Last year, Nvidia witnessed a notable growth of 86 per cent in revenue, as its revenue increased to $30.3 billion (£23.84 billion) from $16.3 billion (£12.82 billion) in 2022. As a result, the company's rank improved from tenth in 2022 to third in 2023.

Demand for memory chips is expected to improve in 2024. Moreover, prices of memory chips are also rising compared to 2023. So, it will be interesting to see whether Samsung's revenue will improve this year.