Apple & Edge AI

Apple isn’t being left behind in generative AI—it’s playing a different game. While every other tech company is spending billions on inference compute—Apple is being paid for it.

Apples in a tree

Since OpenAI released ChatGPT in November 2022, the rest of big tech has been seen to be catching up. Most major players have released their own models and applications, requiring huge investments in data centers to train and operate generative AI applications. Many have also made huge investments in private companies to help give them a stronger position with or against OpenAI.

Throughout the breathless coverage of moves by Amazon, Facebook, Google, and Microsoft, there has been an odd narrative developing: Apple is being left behind. The theory goes that since Apple hasn’t released a large language model or a text-to-image generator or aligned with a major AI startup through an investment, it will be left out of the AI revolution.

I think this theory is missing the plot. Apple isn’t being left behind—it’s playing a different game. While the rest of big tech is fighting to buy GPU chips and build data centers to support generative AI in the cloud, Apple is focused on edge AI—enabling AI on device. And that may give Apple a significant technical and financial advantage.

Let’s break down how this strategy plays into Apple’s unique strengths.

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