Will Apple Add Google-Powered AI to the iPhone?

Apple is reportedly in discussions to add Google’s artificial intelligence (AI) engine to the iPhone.

The talks were reported Monday (March 18) by Bloomberg News, which notes that such an agreement would rock the AI sector.

According to sources with knowledge of the situation, Apple is negotiating to license Google’s Gemini AI models to power some new iPhone software features set to be released this year. The sources also say Apple has recently held talks with OpenAI and considered employing its artificial intelligence model.

The Bloomberg report points out that the deal would give Gemini billions of potential users, but could also signal that Apple is behind on its AI progress. A partnership could also put both companies under greater scrutiny from antitrust regulators, the report said.

PYMNTS has contacted both Google and Apple for comment but has not yet gotten a reply.

As PYMNTS wrote last year, Apple has taken a quieter approach to AI than fellow tech giants Google and Microsoft, though the company is still enthusiastic about the technology. 

In fact, chief executive 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 on an earnings call last year.

More recently, Cook said the company will offer more details about its strategy for using generative AI later this year.

Speaking at the company’s annual shareholder’s meeting in late February, Cook said that Apple  recognizes the extraordinary potential of generative AI for breakthroughs and is making significant investments in this field that would yield transformative advancements for users.

“Every Mac that is powered by Apple silicon is an extraordinarily capable AI machine. In fact, there’s no better computer for AI on the market today,” Cook said.

One possible AI investment — in the news last week but not yet officially announced — is Canada’s DarwinAI, reportedly acquired by Apple. The company develops AI technology that visually inspects components during manufacturing.

The company has also recently jettisoned plans to develop an electric car, with many of the nearly 2,000 employees who worked on that project now shifting to Apple’s AI efforts.