Apple plans AI collaboration with Baidu for iOS 18

CUPERTINA/BEIJING – The rumor mill is churning: Apple is said to be planning an AI collaboration with the Chinese company Baidu for iOS 18. Baidu shares have already risen after Chinese media reported talks between Apple and the Chinese tech giant to license AI services, according to reports from the Wall Street Journal and other sources.

Baidu operates the ERNIE Bot, a generative AI based on a Large Language Model (LLM) – similar to the concept of ChatGPT or Google’s Gemini. Apple was also rumored to be negotiating with Google to license Gemini for use in iOS.

The details of the business agreement are still unclear. Where and how exactly Baidu’s AI technology will appear in Apple’s products remains a secret. Neither company has yet confirmed the reports – Apple is known for keeping such information secret until the official announcement.

In China, it is not uncommon for Apple to partner with local companies to offer its products there. The Chinese regime imposes strict regulations on foreign technologies and encourages cooperation with domestic partners. For example, Apple uses the Chinese company AutoNavi to provide map data in China.

Apple’s AI plans may rely on Google or another company’s technology in most parts of the world, while relying specifically on Baidu in China. With iOS 18, according to numerous reports, Apple wants to introduce one of the most significant updates to the iPhone operating system in history and, in particular, rely on AI to catch up with competitors. (zai)