This is the reason why AI has not arrived on iPhones yet

Will we see an iPhone 16 with AI?

This is the reason why AI has not arrived on iPhones yet
Chema Carvajal Sarabia

Chema Carvajal Sarabia

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Google beat the rest of the brands with its Pixel 8, as this was the first phone to hit the market with real capacity to apply artificial intelligence to its tools. Apple, the rival to beat for everyone, was surpassed in a field where Google can boast.


And now we know why Apple hasn’t jumped into the AI mobile market yet. Apple’s latest research on running large language models on smartphones provides the clearest signal to date that Tim Cook’s team plans to catch up with their Silicon Valley rivals in generative artificial intelligence.

The article, titled “LLM in a Flash”, offers a “solution to a current computational bottleneck,” write its researchers.

A study that shows the path to AI within phones

Their approach “paves the way for efficient LLM inference on devices with limited memory,” they claim. Inference refers to how large language models, like ChatGPT, respond to user queries. Chatbots and LLMs typically operate in large data centers with much greater computing power than an iPhone.

The article was published on December 12th, but it gained more attention after Hugging Face, a popular website where AI researchers showcase their work, highlighted it late on Wednesday.

This is the second article from Apple on generative AI this month and follows previous initiatives to enable image generation models like Stable Diffusion to run on their custom chips.

Despite having launched one of the first virtual assistants, Siri, in 2011, Apple has largely stayed on the sidelines of the wave of excitement for generative AI that has swept through Silicon Valley in the year since OpenAI released its innovative chatbot ChatGPT.

Apple has been seen by many in the AI community as lagging behind its Big Tech rivals, despite hiring Google’s top AI executive, John Giannandrea, in 2018.

While Microsoft and Google have largely focused on offering chatbots and other generative AI services over the internet from their vast cloud computing platforms, Apple’s research suggests that it will instead focus on AI that can run directly on an iPhone.

Rivals of Apple, such as Samsung, are preparing to launch a new type of “AI smartphone” next year. Counterpoint calculates that in 2024 more than 100 million AI-focused smartphones will be sold, and that by 2027, 40% of new devices will offer this type of capabilities.

Cristiano Amon, CEO of Qualcomm, the world’s largest mobile chip manufacturer, predicted that the introduction of AI in smartphones would create a completely new experience for consumers and reverse the decline in mobile sales.

Google presented this month a version of its new Gemini LLM that will run “natively” on its Pixel smartphones. And Apple’s goal is to offer the same, we’ll see if they manage to revolutionize the industry.

Chema Carvajal Sarabia

Chema Carvajal Sarabia

Journalist specialized in technology, entertainment and video games. Writing about what I'm passionate about (gadgets, games and movies) allows me to stay sane and wake up with a smile on my face when the alarm clock goes off. PS: this is not true 100% of the time.

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