Why Apple Hopes an AI-Infused iOS 18 Update Will Help Sell the iPhone 16

Apple’s iOS 18 update — expected to arrive next year alongside the purported iPhone 16 series — is more ‘critical’ than usual, according to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman. In his weekly newsletter, Gurman states that Apple’s next major operating system update is expected to bring major improvements over iOS 17 and is expected to help the company sell its next generation of smartphones. Apple recently confirmed that the company is working on adding features powered by artificial intelligence (AI) to the iOS 18 update.

According to details shared by Gurman in his weekly Power On newsletter, Apple’s iPhone 16 isn’t expected to offer extensive hardware upgrades next year, which means that the iOS 18 update needs to be “extra impressive” to convince customers to upgrade to the successors to the iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Plus, iPhone 15 Pro, and iPhone 15 Pro Max models unveiled this year.

In order to ensure the code for the iOS 18 update is stable and bug-free, the company reportedly paused development recently, in an attempt to weed out issues that were previously undetected. Gurman says that the week-long pause in development has delayed the company’s development towards the second milestone — adding that there are four such six-week milestones before Apple unveils its operating system updates every year at its Worldwide Developers Conference in June.

One of the reasons why Apple will need its code to be bug free is because iOS 18 is expected to bring “major new features and designs” — after years of relatively iterative iOS version updates, Gurman says, citing Apple’s senior management. it is currently unclear how many of these features will be available on previous iPhone models that are eligible to receive the update.

Apple’s rivals have already announced AI-powered features that are either rolling out to users, or expected to roll out in the coming months — including Microsoft Copilot on Windows 11 and Google Assistant with Bard. Siri is expected to get a few AI-powered upgrades this year, powered by Apple’s large language model (LLM). Other apps that will reportedly receive AI-backed upgrades include Pages, Keynote, Numbers, and Apple Music. We can expect to hear more about Apple’s software updates in the coming months.

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