iPhone 16 Pro’s A18 Pro Chipset to Support On-Device AI: Report

  • The iPhone 16 Pro series could get the new A18 Pro chipset.
  • The brand could restrict on-device AI features to the A18 Pro processor.

The iPhone 16 series launch is a few months away. Amidst the various leaks, the latest development comes from Jeff Pu at Haitong International Tech Research, which suggests that only the iPhone 16 Pro models will get on-device AI features thanks to the new A18 Pro processor. Here’s what you need to know.

Vanilla iPhone 16 Models Will Not Get AI Features

Pu predicts the upcoming A18 Pro will support on-device AI capabilities due to increased die size. This will help accommodate upgraded neural processing units for this. According to the latest report, Apple will increase the die size of the 6-core GPU of the A18 Pro processor for edge AI computing.

For the uninitiated, Edge AI refers to on-device AI support instead of cloud-based. Apple will offer on-device and cloud-based AI as the brand is also in talks with Google to incorporate Gemini AI on future iPhones.

iPhone 16 and 16 Plus will not get on-device AI capabilities.
iPhone 16 and 16 Plus will not get on-device AI capabilities. Photo Credit: Apple Hub

The new report aligns with a report that came out in February stating that Apple plans to add more AI computing cores on A18 processors to improve the performance of the iPhone 16 series. However, Pu reveals one additional detail claiming that only the A18 Pro will get additional cores.

Based on this information, Pu predicts that the iPhone 16 and 16 Plus models, rumoured to come with vanilla A18 chipset, will not get advanced AI features. While Apple might still offer cloud-based AI computing on these devices, they will not offer on-device AI.

Apple’s AI Journey So Far

Apple is considered to be a backbencher when it comes to AI capabilities on its smartphone offerings. In comparison, Google has already incorporated its Gemini AI model into its Pixel series of smartphones. Even Samsung has rolled out Galaxy AI features starting with its Galaxy S24 series and has plans to roll it to 100 million devices in 2024 including the Galaxy Buds series and smartwatches.

However, rumours indicate that the scenario is about to change and Apple is all set to bring AI to iPhones beginning this year. Noted Apple Analyst, Mark Gurman has reported that iOS 18 will bring generative AI to Messaging, Siri, and Music. Additionally, Gurman has also reported that Apple is negotiating with Google to incorporate Gemini LLM into upcoming iPhones.

This is because Apple’s rumoured proprietary large language model called Ajax is still miles away from posing competition to Gemini and other AI models in the market. However, Apple has been acquiring AI startups like DarwinAI and 32 others as per Statista to ramp up the internal AI development. It seems that the Cupertino-based tech giant’s partnership arrangement with Google might be temporary and the company will offer its own AI solution on its iPhones in the future.