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Apple’s ChatGPT rival is reportedly ‘significantly behind competitors’

There has been much chatter recently about Apple working on its own ChatGPT rival called Apple GPT. Well, we’ve just had some bad news: the artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot is apparently years away from release.

Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo put a dampener on expectations in a recent blog post, where he outlined his expectations for what could positively or negatively affect Apple stock prices in the coming months. Apple GPT is so far away from readiness, Kuo believes, that it simply won’t impact Apple stock prices any time soon.

The Siri activation animation on an iPhone running iOS 14.
Digital Trends

Kuo made his comments in reference to Apple’s upcoming earnings call, which is scheduled for 2 p.m. PT on Thursday, August 3. “The progress of Apple’s generative AI is significantly behind its competitors,” Kuo noted, “so I don’t expect Apple to talk too much about AI on the earnings call.”

That seems to contradict an earlier report from Bloomberg journalist Mark Gurman. Citing sources within Apple, Gurman claimed that Apple is aiming to make a “significant AI-related announcement” next year.

Apple GPT is not the only AI-related topic that will be absent from the earnings call, Kuo believes. “At present, there is no sign that Apple will integrate AI edge computing and hardware products in 2024, so it is difficult to benefit the stock prices of Apple and its supply chain,” the analyst surmised. Without any “AI edge computing” products on the horizon — a term that presumably includes Apple’s generative AI tool — there won’t be much for Apple to talk about in this area.

Missing the AI boat?

A laptop screen shows the home page for ChatGPT, OpenAI's artificial intelligence chatbot.
Rolf van Root / Unsplash

While Kuo’s assessment of Apple GPT may be that it’s nowhere near completion, that’s not too surprising. Apple almost never rushes to market with a new, untested technology, instead preferring to sit back and allow other companies to make the missteps before the Cupertino firm swoops in with (what it believes is) a superior product.

Given Apple’s proactive stance on privacy — and the ways in which generative AI tools can harvest user data — it’s unsurprising that Apple is apparently taking its time to get Apple GPT right.

Still, it might come as disappointing news for anyone who wants to see how Apple is going to compete with the likes of ChatGPT and Bing Chat. Long-time rival Microsoft has already begun integrating generative AI tools into its apps in the form of Copilot, while Apple’s equivalent is nowhere to be seen (although it might eventually make it to the company’s Xcode app).

There is a risk that taking a more measured approach could mean Apple simply misses the AI boat. The company waited years before introducing the Vision Pro, and the device has come at a time when interest in virtual reality headsets has begun to wane in favor of AI tools like ChatGPT, which are seen by many as the next big thing. Some observers might be concerned that Apple GPT could face similar challenges by being late to the party.

Ultimately, we’ll have to wait and see. If Kuo is correct and Apple GPT (and other AI-based products) aren’t expected until after 2024, we could have a significant wait on our hands.

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