Apple Intelligence goes against the entire Apple ethos — in a good way

Summarization of notification and emails on iPhone with Apple Intelligence.

ChatGPT isn’t the only third-party large language model Apple hopes to incorporate into its upcoming Apple Intelligence system, the Wall Street Journal reports. Apple and Facebook’s parent company, Meta — as well as Anthropic, developers of the Claude AI — are reportedly in talks to reach a similar deal. What’s more, Reuters reports that Apple and Google have also been discussing potentially working together to bring the Gemini AI to Apple devices, as well as AI developers in China, where Google’s products are banned. Granted, no official agreement has yet been reached with any of these potential partners, and talks could very well fall through before a bargain is struck.

Apple is taking an interesting approach to structuring these partnerships, in that it is not offering to pay for the integration of any of these AI models. Instead, Apple wants to leverage its massive market share and the reach of its broad portfolio of digital devices to serve as a distribution platform for its partners. Apple would be able to integrate a wide swath of models into its offerings, reducing its reliance on a single partner, while the AI developers will reportedly be able to sell premium subscriptions for their models through Apple Intelligence.

This is a rather unusual strategy by Apple, a company that has long prided itself on developing breakthrough technologies such as Apple Silicon in-house. The company has also been historically reticent (outside of public safety matters) to partner with its competitors. By offering to team up with not one or two, but at least a half-dozen third-party AI developers at last count, is a significant departure from Apple’s typical product playbook. However, the strategy appears to be a win-win for both Apple and devs, with the former obtaining unparalleled flexibility in the number, type, and scope of models that its products can offer, while developers gain access to both a massive installed user base and reputation validation through their association with the notoriously perfectionist device maker. Whether every one of these developers will receive the same degree of access to Apple’s operating systems as OpenAI reportedly enjoys remains to be seen.