New Report Suggests Apple Considering AI Partnership with Meta

Apple Meta AI partnership
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Apple Meta AI partnership
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Photo Credit: Claudio Schwarz

Apple may be willing to partner with Meta in the AI arms race—despite the two company’s longstanding rivalry. Apple cost Facebook an estimated $12 billion a year after it implemented its app tracking transparency features in 2022.

Now a Wall Street Journal report suggests Facebook parent company Meta held discussions with Apple about integrating its generative AI model into Apple Intelligence. Apple has been a latecomer to the world of generative AI, only announcing Apple Intelligence at WWDC 2024. That announcement revealed Apple would have partners for “more complex or specific tasks.” OpenAI’s ChatGPT was listed as the first partner at the live event focused on developers.

“We wanted to start with the best,” Apple software leader Craig Federighi told developers at WWDC, noting that ChatGPT “represents the best choice for our users today.” Federighi also noted that it would integrate Google Gemini. Aside from Meta, AI startups Anthropic and Perplexity have also courted Apple, hoping to see their generative AI models introduced as a partnership.

A multi-pronged AI partnership could see end-users given the option to select which generative AI company they want to work with. “In its talks with other AI companies, Apple hasn’t sought for either party to pay the other,” insider sources who spoke with the WSJ reported. Instead, the business model appears to be selling premium subscriptions to genAI services—of which Apple will likely take a cut to bolster its Services division revenue.

Discussions for an Apple and Meta genAI partnership are not concrete and could still fall through. But it’s worth noting that several companies are courting Apple and what could potentially be its next revenue model as the EU set its sights on opening up Apple’s walled garden approach with the App Store. Analysts expect 10-20% of Apple customers will opt for the premium subscription to any partnered genAI service.