Apple Intelligence might become a subscription service — here’s what we know

Apple Intelligence iOS 18
(Image credit: Apple)

A recent blog post from a well-known name in tech has hinted that Apple could plan to lock certain features of the recently announced Apple Intelligence behind a subscription service.

In his latest Power On newsletter, Mark Gurman speculates that Apple intends to turn certain AI features and software into paid services over time. In the report, Gurman states, “ Though Apple Intelligence will be free to start, the long-term plan is to make money off of the capabilities.” While there is no insider information on what form this will take, Gurman theorizes that it could ape the current iCloud subscription and require a monthly subscription fee. Alternatively, it could become a part of the Apple One subscription pack. 

The big benefit here for Apple is that, as Gurman states, if it all comes together then, “Apple could find itself in a strong position in a few years. The company will be less reliant on hardware tweaks to drive its and will actually be making money from AI — something everyone in Silicone Valley is hoping to pull off.” However, the bigger question will be whether this decision will convince customers to upgrade to either the iPhone 15 Pro series or the iPhone 16 series.

iOS 18 logo on an iPhone 15 Pro

(Image credit: Future)

Apple Intelligence has a lot to offer users, from new intelligent writing aids and new image-generation options and more. However, the limitation on models means many people will not have access due, according to Apple, to phones requiring at least 8GB of RAM. The big question for any subscription services will be what features will remain free and which won’t. This will be the hardest question for Apple to answer and could be the deciding factor for many users considering upgrading to the latest phones.

While Apple had reasonable reasons for limiting the number of devices that can run Apple Intelligence and even adding a subscription service, it could leave a bad taste in many users' mouths. However, it should be noted that this is all based on speculation, so we will not know for certain until Apple makes an official announcement of the decision.

In the meantime, you can see our full list of all of Apple Intelligence’s features, as well as our hub for the upcoming iPhone 16 and iPhone 16 Pro, which will likely be the best way to use Apple's latest software innovation. 

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Staff Writer

Josh is a staff writer for Tom's Guide and is based in the UK. He has worked for several publications but now works primarily on mobile phones. Outside of phones, he has a passion for video games, novels, and Warhammer.