I’ll upgrade to the iPhone 16 Pro Max if I have to, just for the native generative ChatGPT-like experience
I’m a longtime iPhone user who has not upgraded to one of the iPhone 15 models. The iPhone 14 Pro is still an amazing device. It’s practically the equivalent of the base iPhone 15. And I’m fairly confident that I could keep it for one more year after the iPhone 16 hits stores next September. But if the rumored Apple GPT is ready to debut with iOS 18 on the iPhone 16 series, I’ll upgrade immediately, even if I have to pay more or get the iPhone 16 Pro Max for the best native generative AI experience.
The future of AI on the iPhone sounds promising already. A report from Korea says that the Phone 16 series will get a revamped Siri experience.
The rumor saying Siri will become the “ultimate virtual assistant” dropped on the heels of Samsug’s big Gauss announcement. That’s the Korean giant’s ChatGPT equivalent that will probably debut on the Galaxy S24 as soon as January. That’ll give Samsung a big head start. Also, it’ll put plenty of pressure on Apple to deliver its own generative AI experience.
Will Apple GPT be exclusive to the iPhone 16 Pro and 16 Pro Max?
I said I’d be willing to pay more for an iPhone 16 model next year to get the best possible generative AI experience. I have no way of knowing what it’ll be, but I certainly don’t expect Apple’s Siri GPT to be exclusive to the iPhone 16 Pro and 16 Pro Max.
If anything, I think Apple should figure out ways to make its ChatGPT alternative available on as many iPhone models as possible, including my current iPhone 14 Pro. Previous rumors said Apple is considering both on-device generative AI experiences and cloud-based AI features. Samsung confirmed that Gauss will also rely on on-device hardware and cloud infrastructure.
This next-gen Siri experience that iOS 18 should bring will have to work on older iPhones.
I also know how Apple works. Apple might make iOS compatible with older devices, yes. But some features will be exclusive to the newest iPhones, the ones that have the better hardware for it.
The iPhone 15 Pro Max has the best zoom capabilities of any smartphone because it features a tetraprism lens that no other model rocks. The iPhone 15 Pro and 15 Pro Max feature the A17 Pro chip that delivers console-grade gaming experiences. But those console games do not work on the iPhone 14 Pros.
At the same time, iOS 17 enables features on the iPhone 15 that could work on the iPhone 14 Pro, but Apple decided not to enable them. Like the default 24-megapixel photos, the battery life stats, and the maximum battery charge setting.
Why I’m willing to pay more for the iPhone’s AI features
With all that in mind, I’m certain that Siri AI would offer generative AI features that work on most iPhones. However, Apple will surely devise unique functionalities for the iPhone 16 series, especially the Pro models.
Put differently, I expect the A18 Pros that will power the iPhone 16 Pro models to feature upgrades to the Neural Engine involved in machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) in iOS 18.
Not only that, but the A18 Pro chips should be better at handling the AI features coming in the next few years. And if you’ve been following ChatGPT innovations for the past year, you have a pretty good idea of how much has happened in the span of 12 months.
However, I don’t need new hardware to get the best ChatGPT features. All I need is a subscription to the Plus tier, and the newest generative AI features will be available in the cloud.
The point is I’d still have to pay more money for access to the newest generative AI experience. That’s understandable, as nothing is free on the internet. We can’t expect that from ChatGPT or Siri GPT.
I could run the latest ChatGPT Plus experience on the iPhone right now via OpenAI’s app. But it wouldn’t be a native generative AI experience.
Also, the problem with ChatGPT is that it’s not yet close to delivering a personal AI experience. OpenAI probably can’t do it until it makes its own hardware.
But Apple GPT has a much better chance to do that on iPhone 16 and other models. That’s where on-device processing would come in handy, considering Apple’s big stance on privacy. And, again, this is why I’d want the best possible hardware to handle iOS 18’s personal AI features.
That said, I’m only speculating. Thankfully, WWDC 2024 should give us a look at the first generative AI features Apple will be willing to reveal. And I’ll be in a better position to determine whether an iPhone hardware upgrade is necessary.
That said, I think that native generative AI might be the best thing to happen to the iPhone next year. And I’m more excited about it than battery innovations, new buttons, larger screens, or better cameras. According to current leaks, the iPhone 16 is supposed to deliver on all those fronts.
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