Despite ChatGPT deal, Apple is reportedly in AI talks with Meta

Apple devices with ios 18
(Image credit: Apple)

Having recently announced plans to incorporate Artificial Intelligence into iOS 18 and the new iPhone 16 and iPhone 16 Pro models, Apple has started discussions with a potential generative AI partner — Meta.

As per a report by the Wall Street Journal, Apple has reportedly held talks with Meta about integrating its generative AI model used across its platforms into Apple Intelligence, which was announced during WWDC earlier this month. 

We have previously reported that Apple has had discussions with other major AI players, such as OpenAI, Google and Anthropic about becoming partners for new AI features. Since then, Apple Intelligence has integrated OpenAI's flagship GPT-4o into its ecosystem, as its first official partner. 

Apple's software leader Craig Federighi said at the time that the company "wanted to start with the best", noting that OpenAI's ChatGPT “represents the best choice for our users today". 

According to WSJ, "Meta and other companies developing generative AI are hoping to take advantage of Apple’s massive distribution through its iPhones — similar to what Apple offers with its App Store on the iPhone".

The report suggests that if Apple strikes deals with partners beyond OpenAI, "customers could choose which external AI models they want to use in addition to Apple’s internal systems". 

In July 2023, Meta released its own large language model, Llama 2, followed by new AI models — aptly named Llama 3 — in April this year. While Llama has been adopted by large parts of the tech community, a deal with Apple could cement its achievements in the AI space. However, WSJ notes that these discussions have yet to be finalised and could fall through the cracks. 

Long-standing feud between Apple and Meta

ChatGPT, Gemini, MetaAI

(Image credit: ChatGPT, Gemini, MetaAI)

Apple's discussions with Meta could form an "unlikely alliance" between the two conglomerates, WSJ says. A partnership with Meta could help elevate Apple's efforts in the AI space and represent a "rare olive branch between the social-media giant and the iPhone maker". 

The two companies have reportedly been at odds with each other for quite some time, with the latest disputes revolving around privacy changes and advertising. In 2021, Apple introduced changes to its privacy policy to give users more control over their data and caused more complexity for advertisers; however, this change cost Meta $10 billion in lost revenue. In retaliation, Meta published a "workaround" for advertisers so they could avoid paying a 30% service fee to Apple for "boosted posts". 

That being said, Apple is keeping its AI options open by holding talks with several companies including Meta. Federighi explained to WWDC attendees that people prefer to use numerous AI options for different tasks, such as writing, editing or researching. "People are going to want to draw on that kind of expertise that might not be part of our core," he said. 

While we don't have any real confirmation of the ensuing partnership, and we have yet to see the fruits of Apple's pairing with OpenAI, we're not entirely sure how this is going to play out. In the meantime, this speculation should be taken with a grain of salt and we'll keep you updated if it comes to light. 

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.