Pundit says that Apple’s AI will be linked to the iPhone, analysts react.


Benefits associated with realizing generative AI and other perspectives.

While major generative AI service providers rely on the cloud to power their large language models, Apple will take a different approach with the next version of its mobile operating system , expected to be unveiled in June.

Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, in his weekly newsletter published on Sunday, predicted that the AI ​​features planned for iOS 18 will run on the iPhone and not in the cloud.

“As the world awaits Apple’s big AI launch on June 10, it looks like the initial wave of features will work entirely on device,” Gurman wrote in the Q&A section of his Power On newsletter. “That means that there is no cloud processing component in the company’s big language standard , the software that powers the new features.”

In February, Gurman reported that iOS 18 would be packed with AI features. Apple is training Siri and the iPhone ‘s Spotlight search tool on large language models to accurately answer more complex questions, he wrote.

Other AI-powered features cited by Gurman include automatic generation of playlists in Apple Music and presentation slides in Keynote, as well as deeper AI integration in Health, Messages, Numbers, Pages, and Shortcuts.

Enhanced privacy approach

Mark N. Vena, president and chief critic at SmartTech Research in San Jose, California, cited some benefits associated with performing generative AI solely on a device. “It provides consumers with greater privacy,” he told TechNewsWorld. “Sensitive data can be processed locally without needing to be transmitted over the Internet.”

“The approach also offers faster response times,” he continued. “Data does not need to travel to remote servers for study .”

While on-device AI can extract some latency from processing, Ross Rubin, chief reviewer at Reticle Research , a consumer technology consulting firm in New York City, pointed out a downside to the approach.

“Depending on the type of query, performance may be better,” he told TechNewsWorld, “but the advantage of cloud-based AI is that it can accommodate larger models, so it is more capable than much of what is likely. on the device today. .”

Vena also noted that on-device AI enables offline functionality, ensuring uninterrupted service even in areas with poor or no connectivity. “With reduced compliance coming online, consumers experience greater reliability in AI-powered resources,” he said.

He added that local processing contributes to improving the device’s battery life and allows customization and personalization tailored to individual preferences, without relying on concentrated data storage.

AI could ‘destroy older iPhones’

Rob Enderle, president and chief critic of the Enderle Group , a consulting services firm in Bend, Oregon, said battery life could become an issue for Apple.

“AI is very robust and needs to work all the time,” he told TechNewsWorld. “On-device processing requires intimate knowledge of the AI ​​– so that the hardware can be tuned – and of the hardware technology – NPUs or neural processing units – to allow the battery- powered device to have sufficient lifespan.”

“This will harm the battery life of a more macerated iPhone and will also likely result in a poor AI experience, forcing a hardware upgrade,” he said.

At this point, it’s unknown which older iPhone models will be able to handle the AI ​​capabilities of the upcoming mobile operating system, acknowledged Tim Bajarin, president of Creative Strategies , a technology consulting firm in San Jose, California. the iOS 18 AI version will require newer phones with higher AI dedicated processors,” he told TechNewsWorld.

“This could lead Apple into a new super update cycle, as most of its users will want it to power AI apps as quickly as possible ,” he added.

Anshel Sag, senior critic at Moor Insights & Strategy , a technology critic and consulting firm based in Austin, Texas, agrees. “There is a chance this could drive an upgrade cycle, but I always believe that compelling AI use cases tied to AI hardware capabilities drive upgrade cycles,” he told TechNewsWorld.

Repeat of the 5G supercycle?

Some features could be unlocked for newer iPhone models with neural engines on their chips, but most likely, the greatest functionality will be achieved in a new device, noted Will Kerwin, technology stocks critic at Morningstar Research Services in Chicago.

“We believe that if Apple brings AI products to iPhone, it could spur a super cycle of customer upgrades to get this new functionality,” he told TechNewsWorld. “This would be similar to what we saw with the first 5G iPhones.”

“However,” Kerwin cautioned, “we have no information about what Apple’s AI plans are for the upcoming iPhone 16 feature , and it is too early to say whether such a supercycle will actually occur.”

Vena added that while older devices may not have the same level of hardware capabilities as newer models, Apple’s optimization efforts could still enable AI functions to a noticeable extent.

“However, the full range of AI capabilities may not be available or work as efficiently on older devices due to hardware limitations,” he said. “This could encourage some users to upgrade to newer iPhone models to access the latest AI-powered features with optimal performance.”

Rubin noted that historically, Apple has generally allowed one or two generations of previous devices to be updated to the latest operating system, so if AI is a part of the operating system, previous generations may be able to take advantage of most if not all, new features. . “But it wouldn’t be surprising if there was degradation in older phones and implementation of only a few features,” he added.

Apple AI Partner Perspectives

Bloomberg’s Gurman also predicted that Apple would likely offer some cloud-based AI capabilities, powered by partnerships with an AI provider. Reports in recent weeks have suggested that Apple is in discussions with Google, OpenAI and China’s Baidu about potential generative AI partnerships.

Morningstar’s Kerwin said that even with a partner, Apple can keep its AI out of the cloud. “We believe that even in partnership with another AI company, Apple could host a smaller version of the standard on the device and not undermine its focus on privacy and security,” he said.

If Apple adopts an AI generation partner, the relationship will likely be short-lived. “It will be a gradual march toward full on-device integration once models are optimized and quantized to a size that can run quickly and efficiently on-device,” predicted Moor’s Sag. “It’s just a matter of time more than anything.”

Enderle was skeptical of the partnership reports. “Apple does not partner well, so there are likely to be a number of performance issues , including the erosion of security and privacy, as well as some serious expected reliability and performance issues,” he said.

“I hope they eventually have to buy an AI company to make this work,” he added.


Apple will hold its annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) online June 10-14, 2024. Developers and students will have the opportunity to attend a private event in person at Apple Park on opening day.

Source: technewsworld