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Monday, April 15, 2024

Apple in Talks with Google to Utilize Gemini A.I. for Next iPhone

In a move signaling Apple’s eagerness to embrace transformative technology, the tech giant is reportedly engaged in discussions with Google regarding the integration of Google’s generative artificial intelligence model, Gemini, into its upcoming iPhone. These talks, though preliminary, underscore Apple’s efforts to leverage advanced A.I. capabilities to enhance its products and services, according to sources familiar with the matter.

While the exact parameters of a potential deal remain undefined, Apple has also explored partnerships with other A.I. firms as it seeks to harness the potential of large language models capable of processing vast datasets and generating text autonomously. Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook, has pledged to introduce new generative A.I. functionalities this year, aligning with the trend observed among its smartphone competitors, such as Samsung and Google, which have already incorporated Gemini into their latest devices for tasks like video editing and audio summarization.

Both Apple and Google declined to comment on the ongoing discussions, which were initially reported by Bloomberg. Should the negotiations materialize into a partnership, it would extend one of the tech industry’s longstanding collaborations. Since the launch of the iPhone in 2007, Google has played a pivotal role in its success, providing essential services like Google Maps and serving as the default search engine on the Safari browser, a deal estimated to yield over $18 billion annually for Apple.

For Apple, which has been working on developing its own large language model akin to Gemini, the potential partnership with Google represents an opportunity to bridge the gap in its A.I. capabilities. Despite delays in its A.I. product development, Apple remains a formidable player in the tech landscape, boasting a vast user base of over two billion active devices and a reputation for safeguarding user privacy.

A collaboration between Apple and Google could democratize access to generative A.I., bringing the Gemini model to iPhones worldwide and potentially eclipsing rival platforms like OpenAI’s ChatGPT. This partnership holds the promise of propelling generative A.I. into the mainstream, with Google gaining access to a significant user base while Apple enhances the functionality of its devices.

However, selecting Google as an A.I. supplier would represent a significant endorsement for the search giant, particularly following setbacks in its A.I. endeavors. Google’s recent launch of Gemini encountered challenges, including issues with its image generator’s accuracy and accusations of bias in its outputs. Nevertheless, analysts view an Apple-Google deal as mutually beneficial, with Apple gaining access to generative A.I. capabilities and Google receiving validation for its Gemini model.

Despite the potential benefits, a partnership between Apple and Google may attract scrutiny from U.S. regulators, given ongoing antitrust concerns surrounding their previous collaborations. The Justice Department is nearing the conclusion of a lawsuit against Google for alleged anticompetitive behavior related to its agreements with Apple, underscoring the regulatory challenges that such partnerships may face.

As companies navigate the evolving landscape of generative A.I., the potential for profits remains uncertain, with significant infrastructure costs and nascent consumer adoption. Nonetheless, industry observers remain optimistic about the future growth prospects as A.I. technologies continue to advance and costs associated with their implementation decline.

David Faber
David Faber
I am a Business Journalist of The National Era
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