Apple Intelligence Features Only on iPhone 15 Pro Models: Here’s Why

  • Apple executives have stated that ‘Apple Intelligence’ requires a lot of hardware power, which is not currently available on non-Pro models.
  • They also dismissed the notion, pointing out that Apple has done this to sell its Pro models.

Since the launch of Apple’s AI features, which the company likes to call ‘Apple Intelligence’, everyone who owns an older or non-pro iPhone has been disappointed. That’s because Apple Intelligence will only be available on the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max. Even the latest iPhone 15 will not get any AI magic. Apple executives have now responded to this situation. Here’s everything you need to know about why only Pro variants will run Apple Intelligence.

Why is Apple Intelligence only Available on Pro Models?

During a discussion at The Talk Show Live From WWDC 2024, John Gruber of Daring Fireball asked Apple executives about the processing power needed for advanced features like large language models. John Giannandrea, head of AI/machine learning, explained that running these models requires significant computing power.

He added that this power comes from a combination of the device’s bandwidth, the size of its Neural Engine, and overall processing capability. While technically possible on older devices, it would be unacceptably slow.

Gruber also asked if this was a ploy to sell new iPhones. Greg Joswiak, marketing chief, dismissed the notion, pointing out that Apple could have limited the feature to newer iPads and Macs for the same purpose.

Craig Federighi, software engineering chief, elaborated that Apple always strives to bring new features to older devices whenever possible. However, the required processing power is exceptional in this case, making newer iPhones particularly well-suited for these tasks.

The iPhone 15 Pro models boast the A17 Pro chip, featuring a 16-core Neural Engine. This powerhouse is up to twice as fast as the A16 chip in the standard iPhone 15 and 15 Plus, capable of a staggering 35 trillion operations per second.

Craig Federighi mentioned RAM as another key element for these advanced AI features. Interestingly, all devices compatible with “Apple Intelligence” have at least 8GB of RAM, suggesting a connection between the two.