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Apple set to use Baidu AI in China

With Apple’s AI plans gearing up for iOS 18 and iPhone 16, it looks like the tech giant has tapped Baidu for its AI services in China.

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The AI race is on, with the big guns in tech like Google and Samsung debuting brand-new devices chock-full of software features that take advantage of the burgeoning technology. Apple seems to have been slow to join the party, but all signals point to a big step into the arena with iOS 18 in the summer and iPhone 16 by the end of it. And Apple’s AI plans are taking shape behind the scenes, too.

According to a report from the Chinese outlet Cailian Press (via Morningstar), Beijing technology company Baidu is providing Apple with its local generative AI model for iPhone 16, Mac, and the upcoming iOS 18 update in general. While Apple reportedly talked with other Chinese companies, it appears it’s settled on Baidu.

Due to regulatory restrictions, Apple has to use Chinese AI models for its Chinese products – so this only affects devices in China. Apple’s Google Gemini collaboration can only service devices elsewhere, as both Google and OpenAI’s offerings aren’t available in the region. Samsung recently also chose Baidu for its AI services on Galaxy, again only in China.

Neither Apple nor Baidu immediately responded when asked for a comment, but it’s surely not long until we get proper confirmation. It’s a big boost for Baidu, naturally, with the company’s stock rising as it gets the tech giant on board for an AI collaboration.

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While we wait for firmer news on Apple’s AI plans, check out our guide to the best 5G phones. We’ve also got the best Samsung phones and the best Google Pixel phones if you fancy a device full of AI features that you can buy right now.