Samsung revealed its chair Lee Jae-yong (pictured, right) discussed smartphones with Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg (pictured, left) during a visit to the US earlier this week, a move The Korea Times reported was designed to cement a relationship with one of the vendor’s biggest customers in the market.

In a statement, Samsung explained the executives met as part of a broader tour of key US customers by its chair. Discussions with Vestberg spanned cooperation in next-generation communications along with ongoing sales of its Galaxy smartphones, the company said.

AI formed a key element of their discussions: Samsung explained the companies are exploring joint promotions for its latest smartphones “and ways to experience the AI functions” of models including its Galaxy S24 in Verizon stores.

Samsung stated Verizon is its fifth-largest customer in all and the talks also covered ways to advance its networking business in the US through closer collaboration with the operator. It referenced a KRW7.9 trillion ($5.8 billion) 5G equipment deal signed in 2020, the “largest single export contract” in the history of South Korea’s communications equipment sector.

The company explained Lee also met with the top brass of leading AI and semiconductor companies across the US, seeking to fortify existing partnerships and discover “new growth engines”.