Samsung boss clarifies future Galaxy AI payment plans

Samsung may be planning to charge for additional AI features rather than demand money for things your S24 already does

Samsung Galaxy AI
(Image credit: Samsung)

With the launch of the Samsung Galaxy S24 range, Samsung has positioned its latest devices as the flagship AI smartphones – so when news broke that some core AI features would apparently only be free for the first year and chargeable thereafter, it looked like Samsung was treating its customers poorly. Bad publicity ensued, but according to Samsung Mobile boss TM Roh things aren't quite as customer-gouging as they've been reported.

Speaking to ET Telecom, Roh has provided more detail on Samsung's plans to charge for AI features in its Galaxy phones. The short version: it doesn't really know what it's going to do next year just yet, so while AI features are coming not just to the S24 but to the Galaxy S23 series, Z Fold 5 and Z Fold 6, they might not be going away next year after all.

What will happen to Samsung Galaxy AI features in 2025?

In the interview, Roh appeared to suggest that instead of removing AI features next year, Samsung would offer more as optional extras – so while reports that Samsung intended to charge for premium AI features in 2025 seem to be true, that doesn't mean charging for features that are already in your phone. 

However, that does contradict the small print in the Galaxy S24 product page, which says that "some new Galaxy AI features are only free for Galaxy S24 owners until the end of 2025."

As Roh put it: "according to our analysis, there are various needs for mobile AI. So, there will be consumers who will be satisfied with using the AI capabilities for free. Then there could also be customers who wish for even more powerful AI capabilities, and even pay for them. So, in the future decision making, we will take all these factors into consideration."

Roh's explanation is reasonably reassuring, but it hasn't quite provided the clarity that would-be Samsung buyers might want. One reason for that may be that Samsung genuinely doesn't know what the AI market will look like next year: things in the sector are moving so fast, and surrounded by so much hype, that it's hard to predict just what AI features phone firms will be offering. But it's still concerning that, in theory at least, you could be buying a phone today with features that you might not have this time next year.

Carrie Marshall

Writer, musician and broadcaster Carrie Marshall has been covering technology since 1998 and is particularly interested in how tech can help us live our best lives. Her CV is a who’s who of magazines, newspapers, websites and radio programmes ranging from T3, Techradar and MacFormat to the BBC, Sunday Post and People’s Friend. Carrie has written more than a dozen books, ghost-wrote two more and co-wrote seven more books and a Radio 2 documentary series; her memoir, Carrie Kills A Man, was shortlisted for the British Book Awards. When she’s not scribbling, Carrie is the singer in Glaswegian rock band Unquiet Mind (unquietmindmusic).