Apple AI will have ‘advantages that differentiate it’ says CEO Tim Cook

iPhone 15 Pro Max shown in hand
(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

We know that Apple is going all in on generative AI this year, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to launch the same kind of thing we’ve seen from its rivals. CEO Tim Cook believes that Apple has a number of advantages that will help “differentiate” its AI from the rest of the pack.

Cook didn’t go into detail about what kind of AI features we can expect from Apple, but he did mention some of the reasons why the company feels so “bullish” about its generative AI ambitions. 

Cook called out “Apple’s unique combination of seamless hardware, software, and services integration, groundbreaking Apple Silicon with [its] industry-leading neural engines, and [Apple’s] unwavering focus on privacy”

Those are also the factors that define almost everything Apple does, and I have no doubt there will be plenty more reasons why Apple AI will stand out from the rest of the industry. 

A focus on privacy

iPad showing invite graphic for Apple's iPad 'Let Loose' event

(Image credit: Tom's Guide/Shutterstock/Apple)

That’s not to say these things aren’t important, especially with the privacy aspect. A lot of AI features outsource their processing to the cloud, because phone or laptop hardware can’t handle the load — which means it’s not very private. 

Rumor is that Apple will be emphasizing on-device AI processing for that very reason. So everything stays on your own machine and has zero risk of being stored elsewhere or intercepted on the way. 

Of course that will need powerful hardware to accomplish effectively, which is where Apple Silicon and the strong links between Apple hardware and software come in. That hardware can work more efficiently when they’ve been designed for a specific piece of software, squeezing out more performance compared to non-Apple alternatives. It’s why iPhones have such low amounts of RAM compared to its rivals.

Word is that the Apple M4 and A18 chips could have a big AI emphasis, and the M4 may arrive as early as next week alongside the iPad Pro 2024.

AI in wearable devices

Apple Watch Series 9

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Cook also confirmed that Apple would be implementing AI in the Apple Watch in the company's ongoing quest to improve user health. Specifically Cook mentioned using AI to enhance features like irregular heart rhythm notifications and fall detection. Presumably Apple AI will be enhancing a bunch of existing features across the platform, like the rumored AI Siri upgrade,  alongside offering new ones — whatever they may be. 

So when are we going to hear about Apple’s AI plans in greater detail? The earnings call didn’t reveal much because Apple didn’t “want to get ahead of [its] announcements”. We may hear something at Apple’s Let Loose product announcement next week, especially if rumors of an M4 chip debut are true, but they’ll likely be few and far between — and restricted to the new iPads rumored to be coming. 

But Cook’s comments during the call suggest that WWDC 2024 on June 10 will be the major platform for AI announcements. Which means we have a little longer to wait, but hopefully means we’ll get in depth details about AI changes coming to iPhone, iPad, Macs and more.

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Tom Pritchard
UK Phones Editor

Tom is the Tom's Guide's UK Phones Editor, tackling the latest smartphone news and vocally expressing his opinions about upcoming features or changes. It's long way from his days as editor of Gizmodo UK, when pretty much everything was on the table. He’s usually found trying to squeeze another giant Lego set onto the shelf, draining very large cups of coffee, or complaining about how terrible his Smart TV is.