This is the next smartphone race.

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Apple has the iPhone 16 Pro, Samsung has the Galaxy Z Fold 6 and Google has the Pixel 9 Pro. But which upcoming phone will lead the race for the dominant AI smartphone?

As we head into the second half of 2024, let's examine three of the biggest players in the smartphone space and how they're approaching the use of creative artificial intelligence.

While Google was the first to launch an AI-powered smartphone in October 2023, the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro handsets cannot match the market share of Apple or Samsung. The real value of the Pixels is to show Google's pure vision of the smartphone to the public and its partners. As Android's guardian, it can steer the ecosystem in a direction that is most beneficial to Google.

Last year was all about introducing AI to the masses. The Pixel 8 Pro showcased the tools and apps that will become familiar to all smartphones over the next year. Of course, Google's focus on AI was enough to start a revolution and change the conversation about what a smartphone should be capable of.

With the launch of the Pixel 9 series in August, Google may apply a course correction in AI to smartphones. It could build on last year's gains, introduce new tools to Android at the OS level, and ensure that Google remains at the forefront of AI development and adoption.

Samsung has brought forward the launch of the Galaxy S24 family to January 2024 and launched handsets with Galaxy AI. This time has proven to be successful, with the South Korean company taking the lead in AI smartphone sales. While the Galaxy S25 launch is six months away, Samsung is not sleeping.

Early July will see the launch of the Galaxy Z Fold6 and Z Flip6. While the foldable market is smaller than typical candy bar phones, it allows Samsung to continue talking about the current success of the Galaxy AI and what's to come in its second wave of AI. Notably, Samsung will introduce this next generation of AI a month before Google unveils its next steps.

And the popular Galaxy S24 family isn't dying out. Samsung continues to promote the handset and entice customers with special offers discounts and bonus peripherals when purchasing the new handset, all of which will support Galaxy AI development.

Apple is in an unusual position. While AI and machine learning routines can be traced back several years to iOS, the current focus on generative AI and large language modules has carried over to the iPhone. The Pixel was introduced a few weeks after the iPhone 15 launched, and Tim Cook made no mention of the tidal wave that was about to hit smartphones. It wasn't until this month's Worldwide Developers Conference that Apple confirmed its AI plans.

Some Apple Intelligence AI features are expected to arrive in the iPhone 16 family when they launch in September, but most of the software announced last month won't arrive until the first quarter of 2025, and even then they'll be backported. Will not be done. Any iPhone except the iPhone 15 Pro and 15 Pro Max.

Apple has the advantage of its own walled garden of consumers; iPhone owners have nowhere else to go if they want to stay within Apple's ecosystem, but that means they'll have an iPhone for about 18 months after the technology reaches the public. The complete AI smartphone package won't.

Google can show the direction of Android, and it can benefit Google. Samsung has the numerical advantage and is taking the first step in the second half of the year. Apple has a captive audience but is a year behind its competitors.

Consumers have three different perspectives and innovation driven by competition means the real winners will be the public. Even if it takes years to decide which manufacturer made the right call.

Read more about Samsung's Galaxy AI in your device ecosystem now.

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