About 110 million smartphones with on-device generative AI capabilities will be shipped this year, according to a new report from ABI Research. By 2030, 90% of smartphones will have on-device generative AI.

Google already has brought generative AI capability to its smartphone platform and Apple is expected to do so later this year, the researchers said. Additionally, ABI expects enterprises to conduct smartphone AI proofs-of-concept this year.

AI technology will help spur the continued growth of smartphone shipments, according to ABI. Researchers expect smartphone sales to grow by 4.7% this year to 1.21 billion, with further growth to 1.41 billion units by 2030, a compound annual growth rate of 2.6%.

Smartphone AI

Generative AI, which has captured broad industry and consumer attention over the last year or two, uses algorithms to create new content.

ABI researchers believe it could drive consumers to replace their smartphones sooner than they would otherwise. The researchers see consumers embracing “new and innovative mobile experiences, making the move from entertainment to productivity devices.”

Smartphones have actually had some form of AI since 2015, when online AI emerged. That type of AI uses the cloud for “inference and training” to support voice recognition, voice assistants, translation and image classification, ABI noted.

On-device generative AI is much newer.

Telecom providers could see $30 million in value created this year as a result of generative AI and that could jump to $102 million by 2027, ABI said.

However, there are also large operational risks and a skill gap, according to the report. Accordingly, telecom providers may not widely embrace the technology until mature generative AI solutions are available that effectively address “hallucinations,” which are incorrect or misleading generative AI results.

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