Apple reopens dialogue with OpenAI, as clock ticks on iOS 18 launch

iPhone 16 render front and back
(Image credit: Future)

Apple has recently renewed discussions with OpenAI, as the Cupertino company gears up to introduce iOS 18 — and its generative AI features — at WWDC in June, according to Bloomberg

We've previously reported that iOS 18 is expected to be one of the most important updates in the operating system's history, and could heavily focus on artificial intelligence. Last month, Bloomberg reporter Mark Gurman noted that the company had talks with Google, OpenAI and Anthropic about becoming partners for AI features in iOS 18. 

According to Gurman, Apple has resumed conversations with OpenAI to power new generative AI features in the updated operating system. "The two companies have begun discussing terms of a possible agreement and how the OpenAI features would be integrated into Apple’s iOS 18, the next iPhone operating system," Gurman says.

"The move marks a reopening of dialogue between the companies. Apple had talked to OpenAI about a deal earlier this year, though work between the two parties had been minimal since then."

The company also remains in discussions with Google about licensing the Gemini chatbot, Gurman added. However, Apple has yet to make any final decisions on the partners it may use for the upcoming software update, as Gurman suggests "there’s no guarantee that a deal will be worked out".

These discussions come less than two months ahead of Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference, scheduled for June, where the company is expected to unveil the new AI-powered software that will feature in devices such as the iPhone 16, iPhone 16 Pro and the Apple Watch Series 10.

Apple's AI rollout

iPad Pro side view

(Image credit: MacRumors)

While Apple has yet to fully embrace AI capabilities, Gurman says that the company plans to "tout its [AI] features as more seamlessly integrated into devices".

iOS 18 is expected to include several features based on Apple's large language model (LLM) — the company's own internally developed AI software that can generate text akin to human speech. We've previously speculated that the iPhone 16 will have larger storage space to accommodate the model's AI features

The new iPad Pro will likely kickstart Apple's introduction of AI, Gurman says, as the device will become home to the new M4 chip, not the M3. "Apple will position the tablet as its first truly AI-powered device — and that it will tout each new product from then on as an AI device," Gurman speculates, with the move being a response to the "AI craze" across the tech landscape. 

Lucy Scotting
Staff Writer

Lucy Scotting is a digital content writer for Tom’s Guide in Australia, primarily covering NBN and internet-related news. Lucy started her career writing for HR and staffing industry publications, with articles covering emerging tech, business and finance. In her spare time, Lucy can be found watching sci-fi movies, working on her dystopian fiction novel or hanging out with her dog, Fletcher.