Given China's Prohibition on OpenAI, Apple Intelligence could Require a New AI Partner

By Consultants Review Team Monday, 24 June 2024

With the future release of iOS 18, Apple and OpenAI are collaborating to integrate ChatGPT into the iPhone. This will allow ChatGPT to handle requests for AI-generated content in addition to Siri. However, since ChatGPT and comparable AI services are unavailable in China, Apple will need to find a different partner.

Media sources claim that Apple is actively seeking a Chinese firm to collaborate with on its AI features in China. The company has had talks with Baidu, Alibaba Group, and Beijing-based startup Baichuan AI, however, no agreement has been reached as of yet.

When iOS 18, iPadOS 18, and macOS Sequoia ship this autumn, the distribution of Apple Intelligence capabilities will be restricted to a decreasing consumer base. These capabilities might not be available in China without cooperation with a Chinese AI company, as Apple said last week, nor would they be available in nations that are part of the European Union.

Apple Intelligence is unlikely to arrive in China until later since it is unclear whether the company would have time to build a Chinese version for September even if it were to strike a contract soon. Even in the unlikely event that Apple succeeds, Apple Intelligence will initially only be accessible in U.S. English; support for other languages will be added in 2025.

The Wall Street Journal claims that because AI functions are already present on smartphones from popular Chinese brands like Vivo, Huawei, Xiaomi, and Honor, Apple is lagging behind rival smartphone manufacturers in China. Because of its partnerships with Baidu and Meitu, Samsung offers smartphones with AI integrated in China as well.

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