Samsung Galaxy S24 series
A new study suggest Galaxy AI was the driving force behind some Samsung fans' decision to purchase a Galaxy S24 series phone. Wikimedia Commons

Despite some shortcomings, Samsung's latest Galaxy S24 series smartphones managed to garner huge popularity among smartphone users. A new study has attributed the lineup's success to its AI-powered functionalities.

Samsung is the first major smartphone manufacturer to cash in on the popularity of artificial intelligence (AI) by integrating its technology into the Galaxy S24 series. On top of that, the Korean brand embraced AI as a strategy to lure more buyers.

The Galaxy S24 series was the first to embrace Galaxy AI, which alludes to a suite of built-in and cloud-based AI features. Samsung aggressively promoted its AI features, including Circle to Search (search by drawing a circle!), with a skywriting stunt above Cape Town's Table Mountain.

The gamble on AI has paid off for Samsung. A new study reveals that one-fourth of Galaxy S24 buyers chose the phone specifically for its exclusive AI features. A study by Worldpanel ComTech (via MobileEurope) shows AI was a central selling point for Samsung's Galaxy S24 in crucial markets, including France, Germany, the UK, Italy, Spain, the USA, and Australia.

In fact, the study suggests one in four buyers there chose the phone for its AI features. Among Galaxy S24 buyers swayed by AI features, the study found Interpreter drew the most interest (28 per cent), followed by AI Camera & Gallery improvements (24%) and Circle to Search (17 per cent).

A quarter of Galaxy S24 buyers (27 per cent in Australia) cited AI as a major buying factor, compared to just 6 per cent of all smartphone buyers. Among these AI-focused S24 users, real-time translation (28 per cent) was the most desired feature, followed by camera improvements (24 per cent) and the aforementioned Circle to Search (17 per cent).

AI is coming to more smartphones

Unsurprisingly, Samsung extended these AI-powered features to older Galaxy devices, including the Galaxy S24 series' predecessor - the Galaxy S23, Galaxy S23 Plus and Galaxy S24 Ultra. Much to their chagrin, the Galaxy S22 owners were left out.

There's no doubt that Samsung intends to include Galaxy AI features on their upcoming foldable phones, the Galaxy Z Fold 6 and Flip 6. However, it's unclear if these AI features will be available on devices released before 2023.

While Samsung was the first to heavily promote AI as a central feature of a new flagship phone, other mobile manufacturers are jumping on the AI bandwagon in a bid to mimic the Korean brand's success with Galaxy AI. Industry analysts expect these manufacturers to adapt their strategies accordingly.

Regrettably, not all Galaxy AI features will be free. Samsung is reportedly developing more advanced AI features that will require a fee. This strategy follows the company's analysis of customer needs and how AI can further enhance the user experience. In other words, expect to pay extra for the future's more powerful and sophisticated AI tools.

The AI smartphone battle heats up

In the meantime, Google has announced a slew of exciting AI features in its latest Pixel 8 lineup. The search giant's 2024 Superbowl ad showcased "Guided Frame," an AI-powered audio prompt that assists low-vision users when taking photos.

According to Worldpanel ComTech's data, this has influenced consumer choice, with Pixel buyers more likely to prioritise AI features than a standard smartphone.

"As more smartphone manufacturers develop, embed and successfully convince customers of the benefits of generative AI, we will start to see a shift in consumer awareness and behaviour," said Worldpanel global consumer insights director Jack Hamlin.