Can Apple Rely on Its Vast User Base to Give It an AI Edge?


Apple’s forthcoming developers conference is poised to spotlight artificial intelligence (AI) as its main attraction. However, as reported by Bloomberg News on Sunday (May 26), the tech giant faces a formidable challenge: convincing investors and consumers that it’s making significant strides in AI amidst notable advancements from competitors like Microsoft, Google, and OpenAI.

Bloomberg’s Apple expert, Mark Gurman, delves into the pivotal question of whether Apple’s apparent catching up in the AI arena truly holds weight. He points out Apple’s unparalleled advantage: its vast user base comprising hundreds of millions of Apple product owners worldwide. With such a massive user base, Gurman suggests that even a modest reception of upcoming AI features could potentially catapult Apple to the forefront of the AI landscape overnight.

Yet, Gurman underscores indications that Apple’s AI endeavors are still evolving, with the company reportedly considering marketing AI features as a preview. This approach, while pragmatic, may evoke memories of Siri’s beta test launch in 2011, which some argue still feels like an ongoing trial period.

However, recent reports from The Verge shed light on Apple’s AI research, highlighting Siri as the focal point of the company’s AI initiatives. Teams are reportedly exploring methods to activate Siri without requiring a wake word, aiming to enable the voice assistant to discern when it’s being addressed without explicit prompts like “Hey Siri” or “Siri.”

Nevertheless, PYMNTS CEO Karen Webster weighed in on Apple’s AI trajectory ahead of its developers conference, noting that despite substantial AI investments totaling $100 billion over the past five years, Apple has yet to assert itself as a primary player driving the AI revolution.

With Apple’s collaboration with OpenAI for GenAI on the iPhone, Webster ponders whether this signals a deliberate strategy or a reactive shift from the pressure of lagging behind in the GenAI arena.

As anticipation builds for Apple’s developers conference, the tech world awaits to see whether Apple’s AI revelations will truly elevate the company’s standing in the competitive AI landscape or if it will require further evolution to solidify its position as an AI innovator.