Galaxy S24 Users May Have to Pay for AI Features After 2025

Galaxy S24 series, boast a range of AI-powered features that enhance the user experience and productivity. However, these features may not remain free forever, as Samsung has hinted at a possible subscription model in the future.

The Galaxy S24, S24+, and S24 Ultra come with Galaxy AI, a suite of generative AI features that can do things like translate face-to-face conversations and phone calls, generate summaries from long reports, edit out or add objects in photos, and more. These features run on the cloud, except for the live translation feature that works on the device.

Samsung claims that these features are powered by its own neural network models, which are trained on large amounts of data and can produce high-quality results. Samsung also says that these features are secure and respect the user’s privacy, as the data is encrypted and deleted after processing.

However, there is a catch. According to a footnote on Samsung’s Galaxy S24 promotional page, “Galaxy AI features will be provided for free until the end of 2025 on supported Samsung Galaxy devices. Different terms may apply for AI features provided by third parties.” This means that Samsung reserves the right to charge for Galaxy AI after 2025, either partially or fully.

Samsung has not revealed any details about the pricing or the terms of the subscription model, nor has it clarified which features will be affected by it. It is possible that some features will remain free, while others will require a premium account or a one-time purchase. It is also possible that Samsung will offer different plans or bundles for different users or regions.

Samsung’s move to monetize its Galaxy AI features is not surprising, as the smartphone industry is facing a slowdown in hardware sales and a shift to software and services. Samsung’s main rival, Apple, has been expanding its services portfolio, which includes Apple Music, Apple TV+, Apple Arcade, iCloud, and more. Apple’s services revenue reached $69.5 billion in 2023, up 25% year-over-year.

Samsung, on the other hand, has been lagging behind in the services segment, as its offerings like Samsung Pay, Samsung Health, and Bixby have not gained much traction among users. Samsung’s services revenue was only $6.7 billion in 2023, down 4% year-over-year.

By introducing a subscription model for its Galaxy AI features, Samsung hopes to generate more recurring revenue from its devices and to create more loyalty and engagement among its users. Samsung also hopes to differentiate its devices from other Android competitors, who may not have access to the same level of AI capabilities.

However, Samsung also faces some challenges and risks in implementing this strategy. First, Samsung will have to convince its users that the Galaxy AI features are worth paying for, and that they offer a significant value proposition over the free or cheaper alternatives available in the market. Second, Samsung will have to ensure that the Galaxy AI features are reliable, consistent, and secure, and that they do not compromise the user’s privacy or data. Third, Samsung will have to deal with the potential backlash or dissatisfaction from its existing or potential customers, who may feel betrayed or disappointed by the change in terms.

Samsung’s Galaxy S24 series is expected to launch in India on February 1, 2024, with prices starting from Rs. 69,999 for the Galaxy S24, Rs. 79,999 for the Galaxy S24+, and Rs. 99,999 for the Galaxy S24 Ultra. The pre-orders are already open, and the customers who pre-order will get a free pair of Galaxy Buds Pro wireless earphones. The Galaxy S24 series will also come with a one-year subscription to Microsoft 365 Personal, which includes access to Office apps, OneDrive, and Skype.

Samsung’s Galaxy S24 series comes with Galaxy AI, a suite of generative AI features that can do various tasks like translation, summarization, and photo editing. However, these features may not be free after 2025, as Samsung has hinted at a possible subscription model in the future. Samsung aims to generate more revenue and differentiation from its devices, but it also faces some challenges and risks in convincing and retaining its customers.

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