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Apple Halts Rollout of Key AI Features in EU Amid Regulatory Concerns

 |  June 23, 2024

Apple announced on Friday that it will delay the release of three recently announced features, including its highly anticipated “Apple Intelligence” AI product, in the European Union throughout 2024. The decision stems from “regulatory uncertainties” associated with the EU’s Digital Markets Act (DMA), an antitrust regulation aimed at ensuring fair competition within the tech industry.

In a statement, Apple explained that the features—Apple Intelligence, iPhone Mirroring, and enhancements to its SharePlay screen-sharing product—will not be available to EU customers. The company expressed concerns that the interoperability requirements mandated by the DMA could force it to “compromise the integrity of our products in ways that risk user privacy and data security.”

The DMA, passed in 2023, was designed to address worries that major technology firms like Apple, Amazon, Alphabet, Meta, Microsoft, and TikTok parent ByteDance were acting as “gatekeepers,” inhibiting competition from smaller companies. Among its various provisions, the DMA requires that essential functionalities operate seamlessly across different devices and ecosystems.

These interoperability requirements impact not only iPhones and iPads but also Macs, due to the iPhone Mirroring feature that enables users to replicate an iPhone screen on a Mac.

Related: Apple Denies EU Competition Law Violation Ahead of Fine Decision

The suspension of Apple Intelligence could be a significant disappointment for consumers. The AI product boasts a variety of features, including the ability to proofread and rewrite text in friendly or professional tones, create custom emojis called Genmoji, search for specific messages, summarize and transcribe phone calls, and display priority notifications. Additionally, Apple had announced a partnership with OpenAI and a roadmap for integrating other models into the platform.

Despite the announcement, Apple shares remained largely stable. In 2023, the company reported net sales of $94.3 billion in Europe, representing nearly a quarter of its global net sales. Apple Intelligence will also not be available in Greater China, which accounted for $72.6 billion of the company’s 2023 sales.

Apple emphasized its commitment to working with the European Union to find a solution that would allow it to introduce these features to EU customers without compromising safety. “We are determined to collaborate with EU regulators to resolve these issues,” the company stated, “so that we can bring these innovative products to our valued customers in Europe.”

Source: CNBC