Is Apple Partnering with Google Gemini to Power New iPhone AI Features?

Apple is in talks with Gemini to use its AI model in its devices, but could this deal attract unwanted regulatory attention?

As Apple plays catch up with generative AI, the iPhone manufacturer is in negotiations with Google to embed the company’s new AI model Genimi into its new iPhone operating system, according to sources in Bloomberg.

The company has also carried out similar talks with OpenAI, as it looks to launch a series of cloud-based AI features, in collaboration with on-device features powered by its in-house AI model, Ajax.

However, while this deal would represent a massive leap forward for Apple, which has famously been lagging behind in the race for AI dominance, it could also attract unwanted legal attention, as Google and Apple’s cozy relationship continues to be scrutinized by regulators in the US and overseas.

Google and Apple’s Potential Partnership Could Be Major For Gemini

Apple is in active negotiations with Google for Gemini to power certain features in its new iOS 18 iPhone operating system, according to a report by Bloomberg News. The partnership would be Gemini’s biggest to date and represent a huge leap forward for the recently rebranded model by expanding its use to over two billion active Apple devices.

Bloomberg’s report also revealed Apple recently held talks with ChatGPT creator OpenAI about potentially using its artificial intelligence model, suggesting the competitor could be a back up option if the partnership with Google doesn’t come to fruition.

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While the tech giants are yet to agree on terms, Apple and Google’s potential deal would expand on a decades-long history between the two tech giants. The iPhone retailer first made Google its default search engine on its Safari web browser in 2002, before extending this contract in 2021.

However, while this development could be mutually beneficial for both parties, it’s an indication that Apple hasn’t made the leaps and bounds in AI that many experts may have thought. The California-based company has been testing its own large language model (LLM) since last year, which is known internally as Ajax.

The LLM has proven to be relatively useful in prototyping products, but still falls short of well-established alternatives like Google Gemini and ChatGPT, according to sources familiar with the matter. For this reason, Apple is planning to use its own AI model to power features on its devices, but is looking to parter with a more comprehensive AI model to power cloud-based features.

What AI Features Could Be Coming to iPhone?

In Apple’s annual shareholder meeting in February, CEO Tim Cook promised the company is planning to “break new ground in generative AI” this year, and teased the pending release of a number of Gen AI-driven features.

No official announcement has been made, but Bloomberg’s report revealed the software features will likely be focused on creating images and writing essays on simple prompts, in a similar way to OpenAI’s ChatGPT and Dall-E. It’s also been revealed that the outsourced generative AI capabilities would be integrated into apps like Siri, while Apple’s in-house AI model would be used in the iPhone operating system.

The rollout of more AI services would be a huge win for Apple, especially as the smartphone retailer continues to be outpaced by other competitors like Samsung, which recently rolled out its very own AI system Galaxy AI. However, with question marks still hanging over Google’s AI model, as well as the partnership between the two tech titans, Apple’s next steps with Google isn’t likely to be straightforward.

Potential Partnership Could Be The Target of Legal Scrutiny

Apple’s current multi-million dollar deal with Google has been a source of legal contention in recent years, with the U.S. Department of Justice alleging that the tech companies’ partnership breaks competition law by abusing Google’s current search monopoly.

As Google continues to battle regulators on home soil and Europe, the company’s potential AI deal will likely add more fuel to the fire, especially with Microsoft and OpenAI currently attracting similar scrutiny by the US Federal Trade Commission for violating antitrust laws.

Legal disputes aside, Google’s Gemini also faced backlash last month for producing racially inaccurate images. Gemini’s image generator was immediately paused as a result, and the CEO condemned the issue as “completely unacceptable“. However, the events still raised ethical concerns around Gemini and made users question whether Google is doing enough to tackle AI’s bias problem.

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Written by:
Isobel O'Sullivan (BSc) is a senior writer at with over four years of experience covering business and technology news. Since studying Digital Anthropology at University College London (UCL), she’s been a regular contributor to Market Finance’s blog and has also worked as a freelance tech researcher. Isobel’s always up to date with the topics in employment and data security and has a specialist focus on POS and VoIP systems.
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