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I have seen many media stories lately that claim “Apple is late to AI,” or Apple’s AI strategy is “non-existent.”
But these claims are deeply flawed.
Tim Cook made an important point about this issue in last week’s earnings call when he said that Apple is “building AI into every product it’s building.” Tim Cook insists that Apple produces just as much AI tech as everyone else, emphasizing AI forms a core part of all of Apple’s technology, and AI continues to grow within its R&D business strategy.
The important word in Cook’s statement is “core,” clarifying that AI is at the heart of Apple’s technology. This is especially true since Steve Jobs came back to Apple in 1997 and put Apple on its current trajectory of becoming the most valuable company on the planet.
The iPod was the first product he introduced that used demonstrable AI, besides its use in the Mac OS. How do you think Apple’s music program figured out how to handle “ripping” and then organized your music library by genre, artists, etc. It used AI algorithms to do that.
The iPhone introduced more AI into Apple’s products in how the iPhone OS handled queries, requests, and organizational libraries. And every vendor who has created a map solution has AI at the center of their mapping apps. Also, think about Siri and other voice-activated solutions. AI is at the center of these apps as well.
Indeed, AI has been used by almost every company that creates technology, from semiconductor designs to operating systems, apps, maps, etc. AI is intrinsic in the coding used to make all digital products.
When people have written about Apple being late to AI, I suspect they are saying Apple has not released a ChatGPT competitor. The speculators want Apple to do their own version of these programs, and if they don’t, they won’t be competitive in AI.
So, will Apple eventually create its own ChatGPT competitor? As one who has covered Apple since 1981 and has studied how they think about new products, I believe they will not create a competitor to ChatGPT. Of course, it would be foolish to predict that they would never do this, but I have three…