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Apple just threw down the gauntlet in the AI wars


Apple WWDC 2024Apple Intelligence is here, and analysts’ opinions are in.

Apple

  • Apple finally made some big AI announcements at the WWDC 2024 keynote on Monday.
  • Analysts are saying Apple delivered on the GenAI front, but total AI domination is uncertain.
  • The company was touted for its privacy protections with Apple Intelligence and big updates to Siri.

Consider Apple’s metaphorical hat officially in the ring when it comes to the fight to dominate the artificial intelligence field.

At the keynote of its Worldwide Developer Conference on Monday, the tech titan introduced Apple Intelligence and showed off a range of capabilities coming to its products.

Apple Intelligence will bring massive changes to Photos, Siri, Messages, and more in the upcoming iOS 18, iPadOS 18, and macOS Sequoia updates. And that’s a big deal for everyone with an Apple product — which is a lot of people, given Wedbush estimates there are 2.2 billion iOS devices out there.

So far, analysts have said that Apple “delivered on long-awaited releases of generative AI features” — as Morningstar tech analyst William Kerwin put it. Investors had been looking to WWDC for the company to dish the details on its AI plans and had pointed out it was lagging behind others like Microsoft and Meta, who have already unveiled their own AI strategies and technology.

Apple “did exactly what they needed to do, which is show the world that they mean business when it comes to AI,” Gene Munster, managing partner at Deepwater Asset Management, said.

And Wedbush Securities said Apple “did not disappoint.” It maintains its “outperform” rating on the stock.

Apple also managed to stay true to its “customer first, technology next” brand, Forrester principal analyst Dipanjan Chatterjee told Business Insider, and further emphasized its stance by extending “its promise of customer privacy to the wild wild west of generative AI.” Apple had emphasized that Intelligence can run on-device without outsourcing to cloud servers, and announced “Private Cloud Compute” for more complex requests that require larger server-based AI models.

Upcoming changes to Siri were a highlight for many analysts, especially since the digital assistant hasn’t changed much since it was first introduced 13 years ago. Using Apple Intelligence, Siri will soon be able to operate and navigate within apps and have a deeper understanding of context.

Although it’s unclear how deep Apple’s partnership with OpenAI goes, you can also send a query to ChatGPT when you ask Siri something.

“We think Siri functionality is the most notable release within Apple Intelligence,” Kerwin said. “Siri has long lagged consumer expectations, and the ability to derive personal insights appears impressive.”

Analysts also predict that the software updates — and that many of them will only be available on the iPhone 15 Pro or later — will drive Apple users to upgrade their devices.

Still, the splashy new announcements might be enough to even out the AI playing field for Apple, but there’s no guarantee the company will sprint ahead of competition.

“Perhaps there may be enough in the new and improved Siri-powered, intelligently Apple devices to stanch some of the device revenue that’s been hemorrhaging lately, but there isn’t enough to create a new band of followers,” Chatterjee said.

Read the original article on Business Insider