Strategy Analytics in a newly published report, Smartphones: Global Artificial Intelligence Technologies Forecast to 2025, finds that on-device Artificial Intelligence (AI) is being rapidly implemented by smartphone vendors.
AI is used in various functions inside smartphones such as intelligent power optimization, imaging, virtual assistants, and to enhance device performance. The report highlights the fact that AI has become the most important technology in modern smartphones. The push to add on-device AI computational power to enable Edge AI computing is a priority for smartphone and chipset vendors.
“Strategy Analytics estimates that 71% of all smartphones sold worldwide in 2021 will have on-device AI,” says Associate Director Ville-Petteri Ukonaho. “Advantages of on-device AI computing include lower latency, better data privacy and overall lower power consumption.”
An Artificial Intelligence (AI) smartphone is one that uses an AI core/processor designed to run machine learning and deep learning tasks. AI smartphones run AI tasks locally on the device with the help of dedicated AI cores and AI co-processors with little or no data transmitted to the cloud. Examples of AI smartphones include Apple’s iPhone 12 Pro Max and Samsung’s Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G.
“Artificial Intelligence has become a key technology in higher-end smartphones,” says Ken Hyers, Director at Strategy Analytics. “A smartphone equipped with on-device AI can significantly improve important tasks like helping users take better pictures, deliver longer battery life through efficient power management, improve the speed of response by digital assistants, and power Augmented Reality, among other tasks. This makes smartphones more useful tools for users.”
“Modern smartphones give consumers access to their own personal AI powered super-computer,” says Ville-Petteri Ukonaho. “With the help of on-device Artificial Intelligence, virtual assistants like Siri and Google’s Assistant have become more intelligent and aware of their environment.” Strategy Analytics new report estimates that in 2021 over 80% of smartphones globally will have virtual assistants and the share will grow to 97% by 2025.
“With the enhanced AI capabilities on-device, virtual assistants have become more intelligent and aware of their environment,” comments Ken Hyers. Strategy Analytics’ report finds that Google’s Assistant is the top virtual assistant in 2021 with over 60% share followed by Apple’s Siri.
On-device AI is powered by physical silicon cores such as Apple’s Neural Engine or distributed software frameworks such as Qualcomm Neural Processing Engine (NPE) that use algorithms to offload AI computation to several processors (CPU, GPU and DSP). “Physical AI cores have greater capability to handle complex AI computations, thus those are being introduced by all major chip vendors such as Mediatek, Samsung and HiSilicon,” says Ville-Petteri Ukonaho.
“Camera AI has become one of the key selling points of imaging-focused smartphones,” says Ken Hyers and continues, “Artificial Intelligence features such as object recognition or motion detection are becoming growingly important in premium smartphones.” In the report Strategy Analytics concludes that over 30% of smartphones already have AI-enhanced camera functionalities.
Strategy Analytics finds in its latest report that technologies such as 5G will greatly benefit from the new capabilities improved by AI and vice versa. With the help of 5G and AI, smartphones have become an integral part of a large device ecosystem enabling them to share data and communicate with each other.
The report Smartphones: Global Artificial Intelligence Technologies Forecast to 2025 is available to Strategy Analytics clients.
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