Galaxy S24's biggest AI features could be stuck behind a paywall

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra in front of bush showing cameras
(Image credit: Future)

Like every other major tech company out there, Samsung is betting big on AI. The Korean tech giant recently announced plans to bake AI functionality directly into its mobile software and integrate Google Bard or OpenAI’s ChatGPT into next year's Galaxy S24 lineup. But before you get too excited, a new rumor suggests you'll have to fork over a subscription fee to access these fancy new AI features. 

Instead of relying on third-party services to drive the Galaxy S24 lineup’s AI features, the company has said it's working on integrating what it calls "on-device AI" to add powerful AI capabilities to photos, messages, voice recognition, and more. According to well-known tipster Revegnus (via Android Headlines), Samsung is "actively pursuing" locking these features behind a paywall. The tipster doesn’t provide any additional details about the rumored subscription service, so its features and cost remain unclear.

The idea that Samsung would charge users for on-device features available out of the box seems like a stretch. Especially if Samsung is looking to unseat Apple in the flagship market, a competitor that is also pushing heavily into AI. Apple CEO Tim Cook recently said the company plans to integrate generative AI into its product line starting next year.

If this rumor does hold water, odds are we're more likely to see Samsung put its cloud-based AI features behind a paywall, with the logic being that offloading some AI processing tasks to the cloud could potentially boost the device's speed and performance. 

The Korean tech giant said on Monday that it’s forecasting 35 million Galaxy S24 unit sales in 2024, a projection it credits to its plans to directly integrate AI into the phone lineup. Samsung is slated to announce its flagship Galaxy S24 lineup in January or February next year, and it's expected to unveil a handful of versions, headlined by the Galaxy S24 Ultra. The company is also planning a lower-powered Galaxy S24 Plus and Galaxy S24, according to reports. Potential price tags remain to be seen but could range from $799 to $1,199, depending on the model.

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Alyse Stanley
News Editor

Alyse Stanley is a news editor at Tom’s Guide overseeing weekend coverage and writing about the latest in tech, gaming and entertainment. Prior to joining Tom’s Guide, Alyse worked as an editor for the Washington Post’s sunsetted video game section, Launcher. She previously led Gizmodo’s weekend news desk, where she covered breaking tech news — everything from the latest spec rumors and gadget launches to social media policy and cybersecurity threats.  She has also written game reviews and features as a freelance reporter for outlets like Polygon, Unwinnable, and Rock, Paper, Shotgun. She’s a big fan of horror movies, cartoons, and miniature painting.