Should Google Be Worried About Apple Intelligence?

Apple to Pay OpenAI for ChatGPT Through Distribution.

Apple and Google’s relationship can be classified into many things: friends, collaborators, enemies, and competitors. It’s a strained partnership that pits them together and against each other amongst their various departments. They have worked hand in hand when it comes to search and online advertising; however, this may now change as Apple looks to partner with OpenAI to bring ChatGPT to the iPhone. 

The Google-Apple Relationship

To say that things have not been difficult for Google would be inaccurate. With many AI misfires for Google this year, people often overlook the significance of the landmark antitrust lawsuit against Google’s search engine dominance. 

Apple was featured heavily in this lawsuit. Pivoting at the perfect time, an opportunity has fallen to them at the most convenient hour as AI looks to change everything that we know about search and the way that people seek out information online. 

For more than two decades, Apple had locked Google down as its default search engine in its Safari browser. The deal had Apple steering the traffic of its massive user base to Google search business. In exchange, Google would pay Apple a minuscule $18 billion a year for it. 

This could all change, as to the delight of investors and iPhone users alike, Sam Altman has inserted himself into the fray. Apple's foray into AI is a bold effort to catch up to the Big Tech rivals who are already ahead in the game. Soon, iPhone users will get free access to the chatbot, which will mesh with the long-forgotten Siri and other apps. This will give users a repository of knowledge in a way that may cut out Google from the equation. Afterall, this does mean that Apple and Google are competing on the AI front. As for OpenAI, this is their ticket to mainstream AI technology. Users who are not already using the LLM will now have the opportunity to finally give this “viral” technology a try on their phones. 

Should Google be worried?

Even if just a small number of users begin interacting with the internet through AI-infused Siri rather than the Google-partnered search bar, that could spell a heavy influence on user traffic and ad revenue for the search engine.

This comes at a pivotal moment in the battle for AI. Google has Gemini, while Apple is now attempting to coin the term Apple Intelligence. Meanwhile, OpenAI continues to ink new deals with media and technology companies in an attempt to strengthen the alternative to search, ultimately siphoning attention away from Google’s empire and even other search engines like Microsoft’s Bing.  

It's not like these AI partnerships are set in stone. There is still a lot of time for Apple to continue its collaboration and long-term union with Google and partner with Gemini. As it stands now, Apple's partnership with OpenAI does put a wrinkle into their decades-old partnership. Things can always change, but as it stands for now, the AI game is up for grabs from brand new faces and brand new players, as the search business is set for a major disruption.

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