Apple reportedly plans to use upgraded microphones on the iPhone 16 series for a better Siri experience. The new mics might feature a better signal-to-noise ratio and improved water resistance.
The improved hardware likely would boost manufacturing costs for Apple. But a better Siri — fortified with artificial intelligence — could gives Apple’s reputation a boost when it comes to AI.
Upgraded iPhone 16 microphones could cost Apple a lot more
Just a year after ChatGPT’s public launch, AI continues to advance and make headlines. Apple, however, seemed to avoid even mentioning AI until recently. The iPhone 16 could change that in a major way.
The iPhone 16 microphone intel comes from TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, known for his accurate Apple predictions, who made the prediction in a Medium post on Thursday. He indicates AAC and Goertek will supply Apple with the upgraded iPhone 16 microphones.
Apple seemingly will equip the entire iPhone 16 series, including the non-Pro models, with enhanced microphones. These improvements will come at a cost, with the mics costing 100% to 150% more than the hardware in current iPhones.
Kuo’s research suggests that “Apple reorganized its Siri team in 3Q23 to integrate AIGC/LLM.” Voice input will be the primary way to interact with the AI, so the company is “strengthening Siri’s hardware and software features and specifications.”
Smartphones will feature AI integration in 2024
In 2024, AI integration is set to be a major selling point for smartphones. Apple likely does not want to lag behind the competition and is making its own upgrades in this area. The company reportedly plans to add AI smarts to Siri in iOS 18, running the company’s in-house large language model.
While major players like Google, Microsoft and Meta regularly tout AI advances, Apple seems to be lagging. However, Apple CEO Tim Cook called AI “absolutely critical” to Apple in August. And in November, he said during an earnings call with investors that Apple is “investing quite a bit” in AI.
Still, the company is widely perceived to be behind the curve on 2023’s buzziest technology. Next year’s iPhones could change that.
Upgraded microphones could allow the iPhone 16 to pick up your voice even from a distance. The superior hardware also should make it easier to trigger the voice assistant and use its AI smarts in crowded situations with a lot of background noise.
Other iPhone 16 rumors indicate Apple will add a force-sensitive Action button to all four models. The Pro and Pro Max also could get a bump in display size to 6.3-inch and 6.9-inches, respectively.