Apple and Google partnership could bring Gemini AI tech to iPhones

Mike Powers
Apple and Google partnership could bring Gemini AI tech to iPhones

In brief: A new report claims that Apple’s AI ambitions include a partnership with Google to bring the latter’s Gemini generative AI technology to the iPhone. The two companies are said to be in “active negotiations” for Gemini to be licensed to Apple, which has also considered using OpenAI’s ChatGPT for its AI needs.

Apple has been the slowest of all the tech giants to jump on the generative AI bandwagon, preferring instead to let the market mature slightly before committing.

Earlier this year CEO Tim Cook gave shareholders the news they’d been waiting to hear: Apple is making a slew of generative AI announcements later in 2024. He has also talked about Apple breaking ‘new ground’ in this field.

According to Bloomberg’s expert on all things Apple-related, Mark Gurman, Apple is currently in negotiations to license Google’s Gemini AI tech for use in the next iPhone series.

The partnership could be mutually beneficial, giving Google Gemini a wider audience while ensuring Apple has some of the most bleeding-edge generative AI tech available on its next handsets. The negotiations also suggest that Apple’s own AI efforts aren’t advancing as fast as it hoped.

Previous reports have claimed that the iPhone 16 could feature a major Neural Engine upgrade for on-device generative AI tasks. Apple may want Google’s software to handle the cloud-based generative AI features.

The new AI tools will likely become part of Siri and other apps, with Apple’s own models embedded into the operating system. According to people familiar with the matter, they will be focused on proactively providing users with information and conducting tasks on their behalf in the background.

Apple is also reported to have recently held discussions with OpenAI but the two parties haven’t decided the terms or branding of an AI agreement or finalized how it would be implemented.

Apple’s slow pace in the field of AI has worried the company’s investors – Cupertino lost its long-held title of most-valuable company in the world to Microsoft this year. Apple’s shares were up slightly in pre-market trading on the back of Bloomberg’s report.

Apple and Google already have a long partnership through Google Search, which is the default search engine on Safari. A deal involving Gemini could be announced at WWDC in June.

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