Antitrust concerns mean Apple's Phil Schiller will no longer have a place on OpenAI's board as iOS 18's ChatGPT iPhone integration nears

Apple Intelligence
(Image credit: Apple)

When Apple announced iOS 18 in June, it also announced Apple Intelligence and integration with OpenAI's ChatGPT chatbot. That integration means that Apple has a vested interest in what OpenAI gets up to and, as a result, it was going to have an observer seat on the AI company's board. But that's no longer happening.

The seat would have allowed Apple to keep an eye on what OpenAI was doing and how it was going about it in terms of ethics and more while having no control over the company and no voting capabilities. Apple's Phil Schiller was set to take the role, but those plans have now been shelved. A similar role held by Microsoft has also been canned.

The reason, a new report explains, is that Apple and Microsoft are both concerned about potential antitrust issues that the board seats could open up amid ongoing scrutiny over the way technology companies are investing in those that build AI software and features.

Artificial Apple Intelligence

The Financial Times reports that both Apple and Microsoft decided it wasn't worth the potential scrutiny the board seats could bring. Instead, OpenAI will "host regular meetings with partners such as Microsoft and Apple and investors Thrive Capital and Khosla Ventures — part of 'a new approach to informing and engaging key strategic partners' under Sarah Friar, the former Nextdoor boss who was hired as its first chief financial officer last month, an OpenAI spokesperson said."

Apple Intelligence will fall back to ChatGPT when Apple's own in-house technology cannot answer questions posed by users when the feature launches later this year. It'll be available in beta form alongside the release of iOS 18 this fall, likely alongside the release of the iPhone 16 and iPhone 16 Pro.

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Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.