Equipment vendor Lenovo selected Baidu’s Ernie AI platform to power its line of smartphones, a third major win for China’s search giant and leading AI developer, Reuters reported.

Lenovo’s PC and tablets currently use Baidu’s Ernie large-language model (LLM). It sells smartphones under its own brand and the Motorola label.

At CES in Las Vegas last month, Lenovo unveiled a lineup of mostly PCs and tablets powered by AI, but made no mention of Baidu. Instead, it said it aims to rollout its own AI personal assistant delivering personalised interactive experiences based on a user’s on-device data in first half of 2024 in China.

At the end of January, Samsung opted for Baidu generative AI (GenAI) for the latest Galaxy S24 series sold in China. Outside of the country, the handset vendor uses Google Cloud’s AI feature. Baidu also reached a deal with Honor.

Baidu co-founder and CEO Robin Li claimed in October 2023 its latest GenAI model, Ernie 4.0, matched the sophistication and capabilities of OpenAI’s ChatGPT-4.

Canalys senior analyst Toby Zhu wrote in a recent report Xiaomi, Vivo, Oppo and Honor have released AI-capable flagship models in China.

Gartner expects smartphones equipped with GenAI capabilities to jump from nearly zero in 2023 to 240 million units this year, accounting for 22 per cent of handsets shipped.