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Podcast #76: GenAI – The Next Big Thing in Smartphones

Generative AI (GenAI) is emerging as a major trend in the tech industry, finding its way into the latest smartphones and PCs. However, on-device AI has been around for a few years now, and there is some confusion regarding the definition of a smartphone with AI and a GenAI smartphone.

In this latest episode of ‘The Counterpoint Podcast’, host Mohit Agrawal is joined by Tarun Pathak, Research Director at Counterpoint Research, to talk about GenAI smartphones. We discuss our definition of GenAI smartphones, potential impact on pricing and upgrade cycle, role of chipmakers, OEM strategies and our forecast. In this discussion, we also touch upon hardware requirements, ecosystem players that are driving GenAI experiences, regional differences and much more.

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You can read the podcast transcript here.

Key takeaways from the discussion

Counterpoint’s definition of GenAI smartphone

• We define a GenAI smartphone as a mobile device that leverages large-scale, pre-trained GenAI models to create original content or perform context-aware tasks.
• We expect such devices to have multimodal capabilities, allowing them to process text, image, voice and other inputs to generate a variety of output and enable a user experience that is fluid and seamless.
• We also expect the hardware specifications of such devices to evolve as the technology advances. But at present, a device should have hardware capabilities that are comparable to or exceed the performance of current flagship smartphones to effectively run GenAI models.

Hardware requirements

• A GenAI smartphone should have a processor built on the latest process node designed to undertake AI workloads, like Tensor Processing Units (TPUs) or Neural Processing Units (NPUs).
• It should also support faster hardware such as LPDDR5 RAM, UFS 3.1 storage, Wi-Fi 6E or 5G connectivity, and other advanced connectivity options.

GenAI smartphone vs phone with AI

• A GenAI smartphone can create original content and perform a wider range of tasks.
• A regular smartphone with AI focuses on automating tasks.

Impact of GenAI smartphones on pricing, upgrades

• It is uncertain if GenAI will impact the pricing of smartphones, but a slight increase is possible due to powerful hardware.
• OEMs can explore subscription models for advanced AI features.
• Widespread adoption of GenAI features could help drive upgrades.
• User experience, killer use cases, awareness and effective marketing will be key for consumer adoption.

Ecosystem players, regional differences

• Chipset makers like Qualcomm and MediaTek are doing a great job in creating awareness about the GenAI capabilities of chipsets.
• Smartphone maker Samsung has partnered with Google to bring Gemini LLM features to Galaxy devices.
• Xiaomi is developing its own MILM based on 13 billion parameters.
• OPPO has released its AndesGPT based on a 180-billion parameter model.
• User experiences may vary by region, as LLM developers will work on features catering to local users in different languages and dialects.

Counterpoint’s GenAI smartphone forecast

• Counterpoint Research believes GenAI smartphone share will reach 11% of the overall smartphone market in 2024, and 43% by 2027.
• This translates into roughly 550 million units by 2027. The installed base could surpass one billion by 2027.
• Starting now with premium smartphones, GenAI features, we believe, will diffuse to lower price tiers by 2026, especially the $300-$500 band.

Analyst takeaways

• Smartphones of the future will be more personalized to cater to individual needs and preferences, and AI will play a central role in driving these personalized experiences.
• As OEMs differentiate themselves on AI positioning, the key here will be the evolution of AI use cases. Currently, these use cases include enhanced imaging capabilities, translation features, improved app experiences, content recommendations, creating more personalized content, and more.
• These use cases will evolve as the large language models (LLMs) will continue to grow in both size and efficiency.
• Counterpoint believes that the integration of edge (mobile devices) and cloud will be the mainstream model for GenAI in smartphones, and OEMs with an equally strong play in software capabilities and supported by strategic industry partnerships are likely to stay ahead of the competition.

Podcast chapter markers

01:00 – Tarun defines how smartphones with AI features are different from GenAI smartphone.

05:19 – Tarun talks about LLMs and how Counterpoint is defining them with respect to GenAI experiences.

08:15 – How could hardware requirements for GenAI affect smartphone pricing? Tarun explains.

12:05 – Tarun weighs in on whether GenAI can drive smartphone upgrades and shorten replacement cycles.

15:50 – Apple is currently missing from the GenAI space, but what to look forward to with the upcoming WWDC developer conference.

18:14 – Tarun talks about the role of ecosystem players, from chipmakers to smartphone OEMs and developers, and what they are doing in the GenAI space.

22:35 – Can GenAI experiences differ from one region to another, to cater to local audience? Tarun weighs in on regional efforts.

24:30 – Tarun talks about Counterpoint’s forecast with respect to GenAI smartphones.

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Podcast #75: Exploring The Benefits of 5G Advanced for Operators

5G technology offers a significant leap over 4G, unlocking low-latency, high-upload and high-download speeds in today’s connected era. But as we rely more on connectivity for new and immersive experiences for applications like Extended Reality (XR), connected cars and even generative AI applications, 5G Advanced will push the boundaries of what is possible.

5G Advanced Release 18 is nearing completion with finalization expected in June 2024, whereas Release 19 is estimated to be completed in the second half of 2025. From massive network capacity to ultra-low latency and speeds, 5G Advanced enhances network performance, reduces energy consumption, which is good for sustainability, and brings new use cases like non-terrestrial network (NTN) integration.

In the latest episode of The Counterpoint Podcast, host Gareth Owen is joined by Danny Tseng, Technical Director of Marketing at Qualcomm, to discuss 5G Advanced and current and future advancements in the 5G technology. The discussion focuses on how 5G Advanced will play a crucial role in network performance and energy efficiency, while also integrating new applications like IoT and AI. The conversation also briefly touches upon 6G and beyond.

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You can read the podcast transcript here.

Podcast chapter markers

00:58 – Gareth kickstarts the discussion by asking Danny about the status of Release 18 and Release 19.

03:03 – Danny talks about new capabilities and performance improvements of 5G Advanced that will benefit the operators.

04:53 – Danny on new energy-saving features that will be introduced in Release 18 and Release 19.

07:06 – Danny highlights the opportunities for both operators and the satellite industry.

11:22 – AI in air interface is a hot topic. Gareth asks Danny to give the latest information on Qualcomm’s tests on various AI-based air interface use cases.

17:47 – Danny wraps up thoughts on Release 20, followed by Release 21, which is when work on 6G is expected to start.

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Podcast #74: The Future of eSIM, Travel With eSIM Plus

Continuing our eSIM podcast series, we talk to eSIM Plus, a worldwide virtual phone number and mobile data provider. It uses eSIM to overcome digital boundaries and offer comprehensive solutions. eSIM Plus offers a virtual phone number along with flexible mobile data plans tailored to the specific needs of both individuals and businesses.

eSIM Plus seeks to catapult customers into a new era of mobile connectivity based on vast global reach, adaptable solutions and local pricing for global connectivity. The price and convenience of deployment will improve the user experience and serve as the foundation for an “always connected” society.

In this latest Counterpoint podcast, host Ankit Malhotra is joined by eSIM Plus CEO Dina Tsybulskaya to delve into how eSIM Plus plans to go beyond present-day connectivity. The discussion also covers how eSIM Plus is forming synergies between critical sectors like finance and telecom to support advanced technologies like cryptocurrency and leverage the power of blockchain for efficient operations. Dina also emphasizes integrating eSIM with satellite services, disrupting the existing network core and shifting towards global balancing of prices.

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You can read the podcast transcript here.

Podcast Chapter Markers:

00:54 – Dina introduces eSIM Plus and the solutions it offers.

02:39 – Dina highlights some of the eSIM industry trends.

09:15 – Dina talks about advancements and innovations from eSIM Plus.

15:28 – Dina talks about traditional telcos, eSIM app and balancing global pricing.

18:30 – Dina on how eSIM is becoming a traveler’s backpack essential.

23:40 – Dina talks about how eSIM can be beneficial in mission-critical use cases.

26:20 – Dina on future eSIM growth expectations.

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Podcast #73: Thales – Driving Digital Security, Identity Innovations in a Connected World

Continuing our eSIM podcast series, this time we talk to Thales, one of the eSIM provisioning landscape leaders according to Counterpoint’s CORE report. Being in the industry for over 30 years, Thales has played a foundational role in organizations like Trusted Connectivity Alliance (TCA). Thales also deployed the world’s first GSMA-certified eSIM activation solution on Google Cloud.

Thales adopts a hybrid architecture, combining the benefits of public cloud and private cloud for operational excellence and security. It also offers a wide range of activation methods for the consumer market, thus enhancing the end-user journey through various channels. Thales’ strategic focus is on providing eSIM services with a comprehensive portfolio, addressing both consumer and IoT markets, eSIM discovery service, real-time profile adaptation and supply chain optimization.

In the latest episode of ‘The Counterpoint Podcast’, host Ankit Malhotra is joined by Pascal Di Girolamo, Marketing Director at Thales, to talk about eSIM innovations, digital security and more that Thales is working on. The conversation dives into the challenges faced by the eSIM industry, including the need for enhanced customer awareness and a seamless transition from M2M to IoT. Pascal also emphasizes the importance of certification and collaboration with partners like Qualcomm, and much more.

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You can read the podcast transcript here.

Podcast Chapter Markers

00:58: Pascal on Thales’ reaction after learning that it had emerged as a leader in the eSIM provisioning landscape in the CORE report.

01:56: Pascal gives a brief introduction of what Thales does and its journey in becoming one of the industry leaders.

09:38: Pascal talks about some of the major trends we have seen in the eSIM industry over the past few years.

13:51: Pascal on eSIM-only smartphones, and how the 2022 iPhone 14 launch was an inflection point.

15:51: In 2023, eSIM-only iPhone 15 was expected in more regions, but that did not happen. Pascal talks about possible reasons behind it.

18:18: Switching gears to IoT, Pascal talks about the new SGP.32 standard.

20:17: Pascal highlights some of the challenges faced by the industry currently.

24:00: Pascal talks about the differences between eSIM and iSIM.

26:24: Pascal concludes the podcast with his thoughts on the commercial availability of iSIM, industry trends, and expectations for 2024.

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Podcast #72: G+D – Growth + Disruption in Connectivity, Security and Beyond

The launch of the eSIM-only iPhone 14 in the US in 2022 was a landmark moment in eSIM growth and adoption. In our previous podcast series, we talked to experts about eSIM testing, interoperability, and how component shortages were leading to migration from physical SIM to eSIM. Continuing with the eSIM theme, we talked to Giesecke+Devrient (G+D), one of the leaders in Counterpoint’s Global eSIM Scorecard.

G+D has a long 170-year history going from banknote security to becoming a leading eSIM technology innovator. We discuss G+D’s pioneering role in delivering the world’s first commercial SIM card and its subsequent leadership in eSIM solutions. The conversation also highlights eSIM complexities, emphasis on education, industry collaborations for streamlined adoption, and future trends, including IoT advancements with SGP.32.

In this latest episode of ‘The Counterpoint Podcast’, host Mohit Agrawal is joined by Sören Haubold, Head of Market Intelligence and Analyst Relations at G+D to discuss G+D’s journey, the early days of eSIM introduction, subscription management, and testing. They also touch upon the inflection point of the eSIM-only iPhone 14, and more.

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You can read the podcast transcript here.

Podcast Chapter Markers

 01:42 – Sören talks about G+D’s history, background in the industry, and digital transformation.

04:53 – Sören talks about G+D’s 32-year journey from SIM cards to eSIM.

06:15 – Sören talks about what puts G+D ahead of the competition and makes it a leader in this field.

07:20 – G+D was one of the first eSIM players. Sören talks about how it all happened, from subscription management to testing with telecom operators and more.

10:15 – Sören talks about the eSIM inflection point and factors leading to its growth.

13:51 – The eSIM-only iPhone in 2022 was a landmark moment for eSIMs, but what exactly changed leading to so many transactions, Sören explains.

20:23 – Sören on what the industry should be doing to increase eSIM awareness.

 24:36 – Sören talks about the exciting eSIM trends for IoT and the overall industry to look for in 2024.

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Podcast #71: Key Takeaways from Qualcomm Snapdragon Summit 2023

Qualcomm recently hosted its annual Snapdragon Summit in Maui, Hawaii, where it made several interesting announcements. AI, more specifically on-device generative AI, was a key theme. Qualcomm demonstrated the AI-on-edge capabilities on both smartphone and laptop reference designs, and they were impressive.

Key announcements included the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 mobile platform, and the all-new Snapdragon X Elite compute platform powered by Oryon CPU cores. Qualcomm also announced the S7 and S7 Pro Gen 1 sound platforms, with the Pro version adding the XPAN feature for streaming audio using Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. Lastly, we also saw Snapdragon Seamless, a technology to link multiple devices across OEMs and multiple operating systems for audio and peripherical connectivity and file transfer.

In the latest episode of “The Counterpoint Podcast”, Research Director Tom Kang and VP of Research Neil Shah discuss their key takeaways from the Snapdragon Summit 2023. They touch upon the industry’s transformation towards AI-driven experiences, partnerships, the reduced gap between chipset release and chipset adoption, and much more.

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Podcast Chapter Markers

00:33 – Neil talks about how this year’s Snapdragon Summit was different than the previous ones.

01:39 – Tom adds his views on what was interesting at the Snapdragon Summit this year.

02:53 – Neil shares his views on the Snapdragon X Elite with on-device generative AI, and how it can be revolutionary for the AI PC industry.

05:06 – Tom talks about Meta’s Llama 2 model unlocking new AI capabilities and experiences.

05:53 – Neil touches on Qualcomm’s partnerships for optimizing over 30 AI models for the X Elite and Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 platforms.

07:01 – Tom talks about AI experiences showcased by Qualcomm at the summit, and OEMs launching new devices at the same time as the chipset launch.

09:01 – Neil talks about the Snapdragon X Elite, its Oryon core, and ARM-based chipsets from competitors like AMD, NVIDIA, and Intel.

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Podcast #70: Qualcomm Driving On-device Generative AI to Power Intelligent Experiences at the Edge

Generative AI like ChatGPT and Google’s Bard have disrupted the industry. However, they are still limited to browser windows and smartphone apps, where the processing is done through cloud computing. That is about to change soon as Qualcomm Snapdragon-powered devices will soon be able to run on-device generative AI.

At MWC 2023, Qualcomm showcased Stable Diffusion on a Snapdragon 8 Gen 2-powered Android smartphone. The demo showed how a smartphone can generate a new image with text commands or even change the background, without connecting to the internet. Running generative AI apps directly on a device offers several advantages, including lower operational costs, better privacy, security, and reliability of working without internet connectivity.

ALSO LISTEN: Podcast #69: ChatGPT and Generative AI: Differences, Ecosystem, Challenges, Opportunities

In the latest episode of ‘The Counterpoint Podcast’, host Peter Richardson is joined by Qualcomm’s Senior Vice President of Product Management Ziad Asghar to talk about on-device generative AI. The discussion covers a range of topics from day-to-day use cases to scaling issues for computing resources and working with partners and the community to unlock new generative AI experiences across the Snapdragon product line.

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You can read the transcript here.

Podcast Chapter Markers

01:35: Ziad starts by defining generative AI and comparing it with machine learning and other types of AI.

03:56: Ziad talks about AI experiences that are already present in Snapdragon-powered devices.

06:24: Ziad addresses the scaling issue for computing resources used to train large language models.

09:46: Ziad deep dives into the types of day-to-day applications for generative AI on devices like a smartphone.

13:34: Ziad talks about the hybrid AI model, involving both cloud interaction and edge.

15:43: Ziad on how Qualcomm is leveraging its silicon chip capabilities to unlock generative AI experiences.

19:20: Ziad on how Qualcomm is working with its ecosystem and the developer community.

21:57: Ziad touches on the privacy and security aspect with respect to on-device generative AI.

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Podcast #69: ChatGPT and Generative AI: Differences, Ecosystem, Challenges, Opportunities

Generative AI has been a hot topic, especially after the launch of ChatGPT by OpenAI. It has even exceeded Metaverse in popularity. From top tech firms like Google, Microsoft and Adobe to chipmakers like Qualcomm, Intel, and NVIDIA, all are integrating generative AI models in their products and services. So, why is generative AI attracting interest from all these companies?

While generative AI and ChatGPT are both used for generating content, what are the key differences between them? The content generated can include solutions to problems, essays, email or resume templates, or a short summary of a big report to name a few. But it also poses certain challenges like training complexity, bias, deep fakes, intellectual property rights, and so on.

In the latest episode of ‘The Counterpoint Podcast’, host Maurice Klaehne is joined by Counterpoint Associate Director Mohit Agrawal and Senior Analyst Akshara Bassi to talk about generative AI. The discussion covers topics including the ecosystem, companies that are active in the generative AI space, challenges, infrastructure, and hardware. It also focuses on emerging opportunities and how the ecosystem could evolve going forward.

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Click here to read the podcast transcript.

Podcast Chapter Markers

01:37 – Akshara on what is generative AI.

03:26 – Mohit on differences between ChatGPT and generative AI.

04:56 – Mohit talks about the issue of bias and companies working on generative AI right now.

07:43 – Akshara on the generative AI ecosystem.

11:36 – Akshara on what Chinese companies are doing in the AI space.

13:41 – Mohit on the challenges associated with generative AI.

17:32 – Akshara on the AI infrastructure and hardware being used.

22:07 – Mohit on chipset players and what they are actively doing in the AI space.

24:31 – Akshara on how the ecosystem could evolve going forward.

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Podcast #68: How Software Intelligence is Driving Safer, Sustainable Battery Management

As more and more carmakers are now introducing electric vehicles (EVs), the battery and its charging and safety have gained the utmost importance. Counterpoint Research’s data shows EV sales crossed 10 million units in 2022. And as more users and fleet owners consider EVs, be it passenger cars, taxis, or even electric trucks, the range anxiety and charging infrastructure are where many are held back. So, what are companies doing to address these issues?

In a discussion with Qnovo, a company that specializes in developing intelligent lithium-ion battery management software, we gained some interesting insights on how it improves the battery performance in EVs. The desired user experience, be it charging or performance that replicates internal combustion engines, is essential for EV adoption. But how are carmakers and battery companies working together to deliver the best experience?

 In the latest episode of ‘The Counterpoint Podcast’, host Jeff Fieldhack is joined by Qnovo CEO Nadim Maluf to talk about the intelligent battery management platform and more. They discuss topics including EVs, battery charging and performance, safety, and much more. The discussion also focuses on Qnovo’s technology implementation beyond EVs.

Click to listen to the podcast

You can read the podcast transcript here.

Podcast Chapter Markers

00:56 – Nadim introduces Qnovo and his role.

02:32 – Nadim talks about the growth drivers within the EV space.

05:22 – Nadim breaks down the various facets of battery performance.

07:55 – Nadim explains the need for quick charging times for fleet vehicles, delivery trucks, and taxis.

10:08 – Nadim talks about the short-term fix for EV charging infrastructure.

13:56 – Nadim highlights some of the key implementations by EV players that could accelerate adoption.

15:30 – Nadim sheds light on where we can see Qnovo’s technology beyond EVs.

17:54 – Nadim on how battery tech is progressing in the smartphone space from a sustainability point of view.

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