Apple signs deal with OpenAI to bring ChatGPT to iPhones and tiptoes around Copilot to Google's Gemini as a second 'option'

Bing Chat running on the iPhone SE
(Image credit: Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • Apple and OpenAI have reportedly signed a deal to bring AI to its soon-to-launch iOS 18 update.
  • The iPhone maker is reportedly working on a separate deal with Google to bring Gemini to the iPhone as an "option."
  • Google will likely leverage this opportunity to continue holding the competitive advantage in search over Microsoft.

Apple will reportedly make its debut in the AI landscape. According to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman, Apple and OpenAI recently signed a deal to bring AI technology and advances to iPhones via the long-awaited iOS 18 update. 

The official announcement will likely be part of Apple's annual developer conference, WWDC 2024, slated for June 10, 2024. As Siri seemingly becomes dated, Apple is looking to integrate not one but two AI assistants into its sophisticated software. 

Despite closing the AI-supercharged deal with OpenAI, Apple is reportedly In deliberations with Google, which could potentially see Gemini make its way to the iPhone as an alternative for ChatGPT. 

However, Gurman says we might not get the intricate details around this agreement next month. This potentially indicates that both parties might be working through major agreement details, including licensing and more.

Leading up to this revelation, a former OpenAI staffer referred to Sam Altman as "a genius master-class strategist" while referring to OpenAI's deal with Apple and iPhone outside of its Microsoft partnership. 

During OpenAI's Spring Update event, the hot startup debuted the 'magical' GPT-4o model with reasoning capabilities across audio, vision, and text in real-time and an exclusive ChatGPT app for Mac users. Some viewed the move as a Windows snub, despite Microsoft's multi-billion investment and adoption of OpenAI's technology.

OpenAI explained that the exclusive launch prioritized where most of its users are, Mac. This explanation aligns with a recent report by Appfigures which indicated that the new GPT-4o model contributed to the biggest spike ever in ChatGPT's revenue and downloads on mobile (with a huge percentage attributed to iOS users).

Google continues to hold the competitive advantage over Microsoft despite recent failures

(Image credit: Future)

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has openly admitted Google doesn't play fair with Bing in search. He indicated Google's with Apple places Bing at a competitive disadvantage, further stating that he was willing to part with up to $15 billion annually to attract a similar deal that would make Bing the default search engine on iPhones. 

Interestingly, Mozilla published a new report detailing the deceitful tactics and harmful designs Microsoft leverages to give Edge browser a competitive advantage in Windows. Elsewhere, Microsoft almost sold its search engine to Apple in 2018, though the deal fell through due to search quality-related issues.

Last year, the European Commission listed Google as a gatekeeper prompting the company to put elaborate measures in compliance with the Digital Markets Act (DMA), including the capability to switch the default browser and search engine on Android phones and more. 

During Microsoft's earnings call, Microsoft CEO announced that Bing had surpassed 140 million daily active users, and attributed a huge percentage of the success to its AI advances. Google on the other hand has been placed under fire after its AI search feature generated wrong and misleading responses to queries, including recommending eating rocks, glue, and more. 

In the interim, Microsoft recently announced it's slowing down Copilot-themed advances in Windows 11. It plans to use the time to improve and enhance existing features and experiences. 

Kevin Okemwa

Kevin Okemwa is a seasoned tech journalist based in Nairobi, Kenya with lots of experience covering the latest trends and developments in the industry at Windows Central. With a passion for innovation and a keen eye for detail, he has written for leading publications such as OnMSFT, MakeUseOf, and Windows Report, providing insightful analysis and breaking news on everything revolving around the Microsoft ecosystem. You'll also catch him occasionally contributing at iMore about Apple and AI. While AFK and not busy following the ever-emerging trends in tech, you can find him exploring the world or listening to music.

  • John McIlhinney
    There is some logic to this. Given that Copilot is backed by OpenAI anyway, it would be almost like having two versions of the same thing available, so having the Google option available makes some sense. I would not be surprised to learn that there were other considerations though.
  • Annie_M
    Watching this thread with interest!
  • fdruid
    Awful decision, tbh.