CEO Tim Cook teased Apple’s upcoming AI features during the company’s Q1 2024 earnings call Thursday, saying the company’s efforts will start to bear fruit later this year. It is rare for an Apple executive to provide even hints of the company’s future plans, but Cupertino has something to prove when it comes to artificial intelligence.
Google, Microsoft and other tech giants have invested heavily in AI, while Apple has little to show. However, the release of iOS 18 later in 2024 could change this. Cook says he’s “incredibly excited” about what’s to come.
Tim Cook teases Apple’s AI efforts
Cook previously called AI “absolutely critical” to Apple products. He also revealed in November 2023 that Apple is working on generative AI and has spent heavily in it. During the Q1 2024 earnings call, Cook reiterated the company’s commitment to and investment in AI. He optimistically answered multiple queries from analysts.
“Let me just say that I think there’s a huge opportunity for Apple with GenAI and AI,” he said in response to one question.
“As we look ahead, we will continue to invest in these and other technologies that will shape the future. That includes artificial intelligence, where we continue to spend a tremendous amount of time and effort, and we’re excited to share the details of our ongoing work in that space later this year,” said Cook.
In response to another question about artificial intelligence, Cook said, “We’ve got some things that we’re incredibly excited about that we’ll be talking about later this year.”
Developing AI with large-language models is notoriously expensive. When asked specifically about whether Apple is willing to pay what AI will cost, CFO Luca Maestri answered, “We’ve always said we will never underinvest in the business, so we are making all the investments that are necessary.”
Apple’s AI efforts have been lackluster so far
Other big tech companies have been regularly updating their products and services with new generative AI-powered features. But Apple has not done anything like that so far.
This has led to Microsoft surpassing Apple’s valuation. MSFT’s market capitalization is at $3 trillion while AAPL’s is at $2.9 trillion.
But this appears poised to change with iOS 18’s announcement at WWDC24 in June. The OS might pack a lot of AI-powered features, helping Apple catch up and possibly even surpass the competition.
Reports suggest Siri could get an AI boost in iOS 18, which could make the voice assistant smarter. These improvements are reportedly shaping the next iOS version into one of the biggest updates in the company’s history.
This article was originally published on Feb. 1. Ed Hardy updated it on Feb. 2 with additional quotes.