Apple in discussions to bring Google's Gemini AI to iPhone — a landmark deal could be on the horizon

iPhone 15 Pro with a titanium finish running iOS 17
(Image credit: Gerald Lynch / Future / Apple)

Apple is reportedly in discussions with Google over the prospect of bringing Google’s Gemini AI engine to iPhone.

Reported by Mark Gurman for Bloomberg, a “blockbuster agreement that would shake up the AI industry,” is said to be in the works. Gurman reports that the two companies are in “active negotiations to let Apple license Gemini, Google’s set of generative AI models.”

We’ve heard rumors of iOS 18 receiving a major AI boost ahead of its reveal later this year, but with Google on side, the iPhone’s AI capabilities could take the best iPhones including iPhone 16, to the next level. Apple has also reportedly held discussions with OpenAI and is also considering that model as a potential engine.

Apple and Google already have a strong partnership in place with the search agreement that has made Google the default search engine on Safari for years. Gurman notes that his sources have said that no decisions have been made on terms or branding for any AI agreement as of yet, so there’s still a long way to go before the signing of a landmark deal.

iOS 18’s AI capabilities

iOS 18 is set to arrive at some point in the fall alongside the release of the iPhone 16, and we’ve heard a lot about Apple making its move into the AI race before competitors like Samsung and (ironically) Google get too far ahead. Gurman notes the enhancements in iOS 18 will be “focused on features that operate on its devices, rather than ones delivered via the cloud. So Apple is seeking a partner to do the heavy lifting of generative AI, including functions for creating images and writing essays based on simple prompts.”

We first heard reports of “AppleGPT”, Apple’s in-house LLM (large language model), last year, reportedly codenamed Ajax. That said, it looks like Apple could be lagging behind as the company hopes to bring on board one of the AI juggernauts like Google. Gurman says “Apple’s technology remains inferior to tools from Google and other rivals,” according to sources in the know, which means opting for a partnership could be seen as the better option. 

With more than 2 billion Apple devices on the planet, Google would hugely benefit from bringing Gemini to the masses, but with time ticking before the reveal of iOS 18 in June at WWDC 2024 could it be implemented in time?

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John-Anthony Disotto
How To Editor

John-Anthony Disotto is the How To Editor of iMore, ensuring you can get the most from your Apple products and helping fix things when your technology isn’t behaving itself.

Living in Scotland, where he worked for Apple as a technician focused on iOS and iPhone repairs at the Genius Bar, John-Anthony has used the Apple ecosystem for over a decade and prides himself in his ability to complete his Apple Watch activity rings.

John-Anthony has previously worked in editorial for collectable TCG websites and graduated from The University of Strathclyde where he won the Scottish Student Journalism Award for Website of the Year as Editor-in-Chief of his university paper. He is also an avid film geek, having previously written film reviews and received the Edinburgh International Film Festival Student Critics award in 2019. 

John-Anthony also loves to tinker with other non-Apple technology and enjoys playing around with game emulation and Linux on his Steam Deck.

In his spare time, John-Anthony can be found watching any sport under the sun from football to darts, taking the term “Lego house” far too literally as he runs out of space to display any more plastic bricks, or chilling on the couch with his French Bulldog, Kermit.