• Post author:
  • Post published:March 30, 2024
  • Post category:General
  • Reading time:7 mins read

Shibani explores the speculation and excitement of AI coming to your Apple iPhone, to be announced by Apple as early as this summer.

This week, Apple announced the dates of its annual World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC), its annual showcase of new devices and software features for the year. The event will run the week of June 10 and is expected to have an artificial intelligence (AI) bend and upgrades for its Vision Pro and iOS 18.

Tweet from Apple’s SVP of Marketing about the upcoming WWDC event, signaling an AI focus:

Apple AI Iphone

Apple hasn’t kept up with its competitors in the AI space, despite its launch of the Vision Pro virtual reality goggles, released at its last WWDC event. The reviews have been lackluster. Its software and ecosystem viewed as light in comparison with rivals. Samsung has AI features integrated into its phones, for example.

The world is waiting for Apple to show how it will play its horse in the AI game. Though Apple didn’t mention AI in the announcement, Joswiak’s tweet, with his intentional use of capital letters with “Absolutely Incredible,” signals its focus. Here are some clues on where the company is headed.

Clues about Apple’s AI future

Despite Apple being silent on its developments, industry watchers have been picking up on external clues of where Apple is headed:

  • M&A activity – Apple quietly purchased an AI startup this year—and we might see the first fruits of that purchase in this year’s big iPhone software release. Apple Insider reports that 21 acquisitions and investments in AI have been made since 2017.
  • Chip upgrades – A18 chip intended for the 2024 iPhone refresh will use a Neural Engine with more cores, allowing it to more easily process machine learning tasks, according to various reports. This means that the iPhone could be used to provide “personalized AI experiences as well as an AI assistant that can run locally instead of in the cloud,” according to BGR. Experts believe this will create more secure and private interactions with AI than those in the cloud.
  • Job ads and research – Apple Insider reports that in a January compilation of job ads, AI investments, and research papers indicates that Apple is primed to make a big change to Siri. It went on to report that half of its January job ads had some reference to AI, Machine Learning or Deep Learning, too. 

What it means for the iPhone

Apple Iphone AI

With this backdrop, most expect Apple to reveal some of its AI strategy to satisfy investors and the industry. There are predictions that at this year’s WWDC, we will get a glimpse of iOS 18, MacOS 15 and generative AI in the iPhone. Gathering speculation from multiple sources, it could look like:

  • Siri personalization- more personalization and natural conversation flows with Siri.
  • Foreign language translation – features similar to the ones released by Samsung that allow for a personal language translation to create real time audio and text translations that live on your phone, for a more secure experience.
  • Google’s Gemini AI model to its iPhones –  Apple is in talks with Google to possibly allow devices keep up with generative AI on other mobile devices. Whether Apple has plans to use other generative AI solutions (or its own) remains to be determined.
  • New features for Pages and Keynote – January 7 leak listed off AI changes to iOS 18’s apps, including the addition of auto-summarizing and auto-complete tools for Pages and Keynote. Apple has also added “iWork.ai” to its domain name roster, which helps bolster iWork speculation. 
  • Auto generated music playlists – Apple Music could gain AI elements like playlist generation.
  • New developer tools – Apple could also make it easier for developers to make AI apps and features. There have been murmurs of an update to Xcode that includes code autocompletion features.

We will know more in June, though don’t expect Apple to show its full roadmap on AI at the event. One concern for Apple fans is how AI features will integrate into older devices. Given that Apple could use iOS to create “on device” AI features, rather than on the cloud, this could mean that older phones would not be able to access its most powerful features: