Apple in Talks to Bring Google’s Gemini AI to iPhone: Report

Apple logo and Google Gemini logo

As Apple continually reaffirms its commitment to developing artificial intelligence (AI), the Cupertino tech giant is reportedly in talks with Google to build its Gemini AI engine into the iPhone.

Per Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman, a very reliable source of Apple information, Apple and Google are “in active negotiations” to allow Apple to license Google’s generative Gemini AI models. Based on his trusted sources, Gurman reports that Apple is keen to bring Gemini features into the iPhone later this year. Apple has also chatted with OpenAI about a potential deal.

Although Apple and Google are seen as competitors in the smartphone space, the two aren’t exactly strange bedfellows. Google’s parent company, Alphabet Inc., has paid Apple “billions of dollars annually” to ensure Google stays the default search engine in Safari on iPhone and other Apple devices.

Gurman explains that Apple and Google have not yet finalized the precise name and nature of the Gemini integration. However, following the report, Alphabet shares rose more than 7% on Monday—the biggest intraday gain for the stock since early February. Apple’s stock also rose by just over 2%.

“A deal would give Gemini a key edge with billions of potential users. But it also may be a sign that Apple isn’t as far along with its AI efforts as some might have hoped — and threatens to draw further anti-trust scrutiny of both companies,” Gurman writes.

Unsurprisingly, neither Apple, Google, or OpenAI responded to Bloomberg‘s request for comment.

Reports suggest that Apple has been actively developing a large language model, which is the tech behind the generative AI seen elsewhere, like Midjourney, DALL-E, and Firefly. However, Apple is also prioritizing its work on technologies and features that can be run entirely on devices.

This is in stark contrast to many of the features Google has recently brought to Android devices like Samsung’s new Galaxy S24 series and the Google Pixel 8. These AI-powered features have primarily relied upon server-side operations. Apple would presumably leverage Gemini via the cloud to create images from text prompts, a popular use-case for generative AI models.

Google Gemini has had a rather challenging start to life. After calling it the “most capable” AI model last December, it arrived in February to controversy. People accused Gemini for being “woke” and “anti-white” leading to Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai to quickly admit Gemini’s failures while assuring users that the problems would be fixed.

However, Gurman raises some potential concerns. Google’s current search engine deal with Apple is already facing significant scrutiny from the US Department of Justice amid anti-trust concerns. A subsequent agreement concerning AI may add fuel to the regulatory fire.

Apple CEO Tim Cook recently emphasized the company’s commitment to AI technology, promising that generative AI features could come to Apple devices “later this year.” That doesn’t preclude the possibility of such AI features being built on non-Apple technology.

Apple’s shareholders are waiting for more AI with bated breath, and it seems they may not need to wait much longer. If it fully materializes, Gurman thinks an Apple and Google partnership could be announced at Apple’s annual WWDC event in June.