In a blog post on Medium, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo says “there is no sign that Apple will integrate AI edge computing and hardware products in 2024.” This was part of a larger analysis that Kuo released today before Apple’s earnings call tomorrow (Aug. 3).
According to Kuo, this possible choice by Apple to go slow and steady with integrating AI into its existing product lines is simply a business decision on Apple’s part. Apple is reportedly far behind its competitors — particularly Google Bard and Microsoft’s Bing Chat — a sentiment that Kuo echoes in their analysis. “The progress of Apple’s generative AI is significantly behind its competitors, so I don’t expect Apple to talk too much about AI on the earnings call.”
Analysis: We shouldn’t be surprised about the lack of Apple AI
It’s certainly worth noting that Kuo is pouring cold water on a possible Apple AI announcement in 2024. While Apple has been quiet on AI, Bloomberg analyst Mark Gurman has been projecting that the company will make a “significant AI-related announcement” in 2024 — though he admits that Apple doesn’t yet have a plan regarding this announcement.
Still, I’m not surprised that Apple could continue to take things slow with AI. I previously reported on rumors that Apple isn’t inserting AI into Siri anytime soon, and at the time Apple CEO Tim Cook seemed more interested in maintaining Apple’s brand image and avoiding incidents than rushing into AI. And while 2024 arguably is no longer “rushing into AI,” there’s no new indication that Apple is any less hesitant to be extremely cautious.
And much of the reporting on Apple GPT backs up this conclusion. According to Gurman’s reporting, access to Apple GPT is still very limited. Apple employees who wish to use Apple GPT need to request special permission and even then they can only use it for assistance in prototype testing or similar tasks. Outputs from the internal Ajax-powered chatbot cannot be used to develop features for customers.
Frankly, we’ve seen a similar approach from Apple as recently as this year. The Apple Vision Pro is Apple's first contender for the best VR headset and it comes years after many companies have already entered the market. But Apple is coming with a highly polished product that has the potential to be groundbreaking, following a long tradition of Apple preferring to be best rather than first to market.
Of course, this doesn’t mean Apple is sitting out AI entirely. While AI may now be synonymous with generative AI chatbots like ChatGPT, the field is incredibly broad and Apple already integrates AI into its products regularly. Most recently they announced a new AI-improved autocorrect coming to iOS 17 this fall. So while Apple GPT isn’t likely coming soon, plenty of Apple AI features will likely be on their way in the coming months and years.