Will artificial intelligence make people buy Apple products again?


Since ChatGPT was launched to the public in 2022, Apple has said little publicly about generative artificial intelligence (AI).

That was until Monday, when its chief executive announced a series of AI products, including a deal with the makers of the chatbot and its own personalised AI system called “Apple intelligence”.

Apple Intelligence is a collection of features that includes text and image generation and an improved Siri voice assistant, which will be supported by integrating the already popular ChatGPT into the company’s phones.

The new product has already faced criticism over the security implications of allowing Siri to mine information from the range of apps that users access.

Apple CEO Tim Cook announced new products at an event in California. Pic: AP
Apple CEO Tim Cook announced new products at an event on the company’s campus in California. Pic: AP

But amid stagnating iPhone sales and growing competition in China, Apple has faced growing pressure from stakeholders to seize the opportunity to deliver an AI innovation after its competitors, including Microsoft and Meta, raced to stake their claim as the leaders in the new wave of AI technology.

The challenge for the company is that its core business is in selling products to consumers, not companies.

Generative artificial intelligence has been integrated into its products for years already, in the form of Siri and satellite navigation.

To take this to the next level, any new product must significantly improve the consumer experience of using an iPhone and iPad or another Apple product.

OpenAI CEO Sam Altman attended the Apple event in California on Monday. Pic: AP
OpenAI CEO Sam Altman attended the Apple event on Monday. Pic: AP

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Thomas Husson, VP principal analyst at research company Forrester, said: “It’s still early days for generative AI and no consumer-facing brand has really cracked it yet.

“Apple is no exception and despite irrational expectations that Apple would announce a breakthrough generative AI innovation, the reality is that Apple has done what it has always done at its worldwide developer conference: bring tools to its developer community to improve consumer experiences on top of Apple devices.”

He added that, at the conference, Apple “resisted constantly referring to the overhyped generative AI buzz and highlighted that they have been investing in many different AI technologies, such as machine learning, for quite some time.”

The question for Apple remains: will an AI innovation ever become a core reason for buying an Apple product?

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