Apple finally signed a deal to bring ChatGPT's brains to billions of iPhones and power much-needed iOS 18 Siri upgrades

ChatGPT on iPhone with siri
(Image credit: John-Anthony Disotto)

When Apple announces the iOS 18 iPhone software update at WWDC 2024 on June 10, it's expected to bring with it a slew of new AI-powered features. Rumors previously claimed that Apple was in talks with Open AI and Google about using their respective chatbot technologies to make that happen — and now a new report claims those discussions have borne fruit.

That report claims that it's OpenAI's ChatGPT that will prove to be the key to the future of AI on the iPhone and that a deal has been struck between Apple and OpenAI CEO Sam Altman. It's anticipated the deal could be worth billions of dollars in the long run.

If this report is accurate Apple's deal could open the door to big upgrades for Siri, and it suggests that some have already been made.

It's Siri, but not as we know it

A report by The Information suggests that a deal has finally been agreed after months of talks that began around a year ago. It's also reported that OpenAI's recent technology demonstration, during which ChatGPT 4o was announced, was aimed at showing Apple just how powerful its technology could be, possibly when paired with the Siri digital assistant.

In reality, Apple has already been able to tie ChatGPT into Siri for in-house testing, and the results appear to be exactly what iPhone owners will be hoping for.

"Apple has discussed potentially using OpenAI’s tech in the Siri voice assistant to answer complex questions that Siri couldn't answer by itself," the report explains, citing unnamed sources. The report also notes that Apple has been using a ChatGPT API to test its plans. "In those tests, Apple engineers connected ChatGPT to Siri, creating impressive demonstrations of Siri handling more complex queries than usual, including by better understanding the context of what users were saying."

Apple's WWDC event is expected to see Apple debut the iOS 18 update and its new features, but users will have to wait until September to install it. Between now and then we can expect a months-long beta program to put the update through its paces to ensure it's ready for prime time. 

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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.