Apple in talks to license Google’s Gemini AI to power iPhone 16 features coming later this year

In a deal that could potentially disrupt the AI landscape, Apple is reportedly in discussions with Google to power some iPhone 16 features coming later this year. The move signifies a significant shift in strategy for Apple, aiming to bolster its AI capabilities through collaboration rather than relying solely on in-house development, according to a report from Bloomberg.

Reports from Bloomberg suggest that talks between the two tech giants are intensifying, with discussions extending beyond mere integration to explore broader AI collaborations. This development emerged shortly after Apple discreetly introduced its MM1, a suite of multimodal large language models (LLMs) showcasing Apple’s proficiency in merging visual and language understanding.

“The two companies are in active negotiations to let Apple license Gemini, Google’s set of generative AI models, to power some new features coming to the iPhone software this year, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the deliberations are private. Apple also recently held discussions with OpenAI and has considered using its model, Bloomberg reported,” citing people familiar with the matter.

The news comes a few days after the iPhone maker quietly unveiled its MM1, a suite of multimodal large language models (LLMs). In a recent paper, Apple’s research team introduced MM1, showcasing its prowess in merging visual and language understanding, thus paving the way for cutting-edge capabilities

Sources familiar with the matter revealed that negotiations are actively underway, focusing on leveraging Gemini to power forthcoming iPhone features slated for release later this year. With Apple’s highly anticipated iOS 18 update on the horizon, speculation mounts about the incorporation of generative artificial intelligence, a domain Apple CEO Tim Cook emphasized during the company’s recent shareholder meeting.

During the meeting, Cook hinted at groundbreaking advancements in generative AI, underlining Apple’s significant investment in the technology. While Apple remains tight-lipped about specific details, the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) is anticipated to shed light on the company’s AI strategy and unveil the roadmap for iOS 18.

Although discussions with Google’s Gemini are progressing, terms, branding, and implementation details are yet to be finalized, according to Bloomberg’s sources. Despite CNBC’s inability to independently verify the report, market reactions are already evident, with Alphabet’s shares surging by over 7% following the news, while Apple’s stocks witnessed a more than 2% increase.

Gemini, Google’s suite of generative AI tools, encompasses a diverse range of applications from chatbots to coding assistants. Integrating this technology into iPhones could potentially revolutionize user experiences and open new avenues for innovation in AI-driven functionalities.

“As we look ahead, we will continue to invest in these and other technologies that will shape the future. That includes artificial intelligence, where we continue to spend a tremendous amount of time and effort, and we’re excited to share the details of our ongoing work in that space later this year,” Cook said back in February.

While Apple’s discussions with Google indicate a potential breakthrough, it’s worth noting that discussions with other AI players, such as OpenAI, have also taken place. As Apple navigates the intricacies of AI partnerships, the tech world eagerly awaits further developments on this front.

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