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Report: Apple Making ‘Significant’ Push to Bring AI to iPhones

Apple is reportedly making a major push to bring artificial intelligence (AI) to the iPhone.

The tech giant has quietly made a series of acquisitions, hires, and updates to its hardware aimed at adding AI to the next iteration of its flagship product, the Financial Times (FT) reported Wednesday (Jan. 24).

The report cites data from Pitchbook that suggests Apple has been more active than its rivals in snatching up AI companies, purchasing 21 in the last seven years. 

“They are getting ready to do some significant M&A,” Daniel Ives of Wedbush Securities told the FT. “I’d be shocked if they don’t do a sizable AI deal this year, because there’s an AI arms race going on, and Apple is not going to be on the outside looking in.”

The FT report also cites a recent Morgan Stanley research note that says that nearly half the company’s AI job postings now include the phrase “deep learning,” referring to the algorithms that power generative AI.

As PYMNTS wrote last year, while Apple has taken a quieter approach to AI than its rivals like Google and Microsoft, that doesn’t mean the company isn’t enthusiastic about the technology. 

In fact, CEO Tim Cook has said that AI and machine learning (ML) are “virtually embedded in every product” but that the company is rolling out AI on a “very thoughtful basis.”

“We view AI and machine learning as core fundamental technologies that are integral to virtually every product that we build,” Cook said during an earnings call last year.

Last year also saw reports that Apple was planning to invest $1 billion per year to incorporate AI across its product line.

And while Microsoft earlier this month surpassed Apple as the world’s most valuable public company thanks to its AI efforts, the FT report points to a recent upgrade of Apple’s stock by Bank of America analysts.

Part of the reason for the upgrade, the FT writes, is the anticipation of demand for new AI features that will appear in iPhones later this year and in 2025.

Meanwhile, Samsung earlier this month introduced its new Galaxy S series phone, billing it as a “new era of mobile AI.” It is part of what researchers believe will be a wave of more than 1 billion AI-powered smartphones expected to ship in the next three years.