Apple reportedly nears an OpenAI deal to power upcoming iPhone features with ChatGPT

After also talking to Google about AI tech for iOS 18, Apple has closed in on an agreement with OpenAI.
Written by Artie Beaty, Contributing Writer
ChatGPT app on an iPhone (close-up)
Jason Hiner/ZDNET

After talking with both OpenAI and Google about their AI tech, Apple is nearing a deal to partner with OpenAI and leverage ChatGPT for upcoming iPhone features, reports Bloomberg. We can expect to see the workings of both companies as soon as next month, during Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC).

According to Mark Gurman, who spoke with "people familiar with the matter," Apple first renewed talks with OpenAI to use the startup's tech to power new AI features coming to future iPhones, and is now nearing a formal partnership. 

Also: OpenAI is unveiling new ChatGPT features on Monday - search engine not included

This comes shortly after Apple was reportedly in talks with Google to license Gemini for various iPhone services. "Those discussions haven't led to an agreement, but are ongoing," Gurman wrote.

The news comes shortly after OpenAI announced that it would be unveiling new ChatGPT features on Monday, a day before Google I/O begins. Talks between the Microsoft-backed AI company and Apple were apparently pretty far along, Bloomberg previously reported, as discussions of an agreement had occurred for some time.

While Apple has plenty of researchers working on the company's own AI models, those don't seem quite ready to be the star of the show, so the company has been looking for outside help.

The next big iPhone update, iOS 18, will most likely be announced during WWDC on June 10. Given that Apple is nearing a deal with OpenAI, we may see some familiar ChatGPT capabilities integrated across popular iOS features like iMessage, FaceTime, and, of course, Siri.

Also: Siri has become Apple's Bing. It's time for an AI-inspired change

OpenAI's ChatGPT app came to the iPhone about two months before landing on Android. Apple hasn't officially announced any AI features for the iPhone, but if you look at the Pixel 8 Pro or the Galaxy S24, you can get an idea of what the new features might be: generative AI photo editing, transcription of voice memos, webpage summarization, text generation, custom wallpapers, and so on.

There aren't any details about which iPhone models the new AI might be available on, but if Apple follows its competitors, the features will likely debut on the newest flagship and slowly trickle down to other models.

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