Apple Intelligence will not arrive in Europe for DMA: why and which devices are compatible

Apple Intelligence. Credit: Apple.

Apple IntelligenceApple’s artificial intelligence, presented on June 10, 2024 during the opening keynote of the WWDC 2024 (an annual conference that the “bitten apple” holds with developers), will not reach users in the European Union due to the DMA (Digital Markets Act). Some of the functions of Apple Intelligence, which promises to make Apple devices more performing and “smart”, clash with the new series of EU rules designed to guarantee fair competition on digital platforms. If Apple wanted to adapt its operating systems to the DMA in order to make Apple Intelligence functions available, it would be forced to compromise the integrity of its hardware and software products, putting the privacy and data security of its users at risk. The company directed by Tim Cook, however, is seeking an agreement with European Commission.

Why Apple’s AI won’t come to Europe (for now)

But let’s now come to the main topic of our article: because Apple Intelligence will not arrive in Europe at the time of the global release of the new versions of the iOS 18, iPad OS 18 and macOS 15 Sequoia operating systems. The problem, essentially, concerns the fact that Apple is considered a gatekeeper (i.e. a large tech company, with more than 45 million active users per month and a turnover of at least 7.5 billion euros in the last three financial years) and this obliges it to comply with the obligations of the DMA (Digital Markets Act) on EU territory.

Among these is the discussion ofinteroperability. What is it about? To put it simply, interoperability is a concept that involves promoting data portability and compatibility between systems and platforms of different companies. Since most of the functions concerning Apple Intelligence would only work between Apple devices and should not involve platforms other than iOS, iPadOS and macOS, the Cupertino company would have to structurally modify its operating systems and its same “philosophy”. Regarding this, an Apple spokesperson reported:

Two weeks ago, Apple unveiled hundreds of new features that we’re excited to bring to our users around the world. We are strongly motivated to make these technologies accessible to all users. However, due to regulatory uncertainties caused by the Digital Markets Act (DMA), we don’t believe we will be able to implement three of these features – iPhone Mirroring (a feature that allows you to mirror your iPhone screen to your Mac and fully control it via the latter, Ed.), improvements to SharePlay screen sharing and Apple Intelligence – in our EU.

In particular, We are concerned that DMA interoperability requirements may force us to compromise the integrity of our products in ways that put user privacy and data security at risk. We are committed to working with the European Commission in an effort to find a solution that allows us to provide these features to our EU customers without compromising their security.

Another aspect concerns the ChatGPT issue. The integration of the OpenAI model into Apple Intelligence essentially presents two critical issues: one concerns authentication to the service and the other the possible request for interoperability of the models.

Apple announced that Siri currently uses ChatGPT as an external search service, but will allow users to choose other systems in the future, thus satisfying DMA requirements. However, In the EU, account authentication is required to use ChatGPTcontrasting with Apple’s idea of ​​providing a generative search solution that is completely anonymous when using the OpenAI chatbot via Siri.

Apple, which has always been very attentive to the privacy of its users, has in fact imposed stringent conditions on OpenAI regarding the use of ChatGPT via Siri, setting some very specific limits, including no use of prompts for training, no log of requests and no token limit. Given the “showcase” offered to it by Apple on its operating systems, OpenAI accepted the conditions. However, DMA could force Apple to authenticate its users with an account ChatGPT (in that case, OpenAI would thank the EU, since it would get millions of users without having to make any special efforts).

In short, the issue is complex and, most likely, will lead to a sort of “half-update” for Apple users living in Europe who, barring any agreements between the Californian company and the European Commission, may never receive the most interesting news presented at the latest WWDC (in the worst case scenario).

What Apple Intelligence allows you to do

Apple Intelligence includes several features that are deeply integrated into iOS 18, iPadOS 18 And macOS 15 Sequoia. Among the most interesting applications of Apple Intelligence we remember:

  • Writing Tools: a set of tools thanks to which it is possible to rewrite the text by choosing between various versions created by artificial intelligence (function Rewrite), check lexical and grammatical correctness (function Proofread) and summarize portions of text (function Summarize).
  • Genmoji: it is a feature through which it is possible to generate emoji by providing a description to the AI.
  • Image Playground: it is a feature through which images can be generated with artificial intelligence starting from textual descriptions.
  • Siri: Thanks to AI, Apple’s voice assistant is able to better understand requests and, consequently, is able to satisfy them with greater precision by “relying” on OpenAI’s ChatGPT if it is unable to satisfy them independently.

The features and applications of Apple Intelligence, clearly, are not only those that we have just listed, also because these in one way or another touch every single aspect of the new operating systems of iPhone, iPad and Mac, whose public release is expected for next autumn.

What devices are compatible with Apple Intelligence

For completeness of information, we would also like to clarify that the functions linked to Apple Intelligence provided in the new versions of the operating systems require a certain hardware “push” and for this reason they will only be available for the following devices from the Cupertino giant:

  • iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max;
  • iPads and Macs equipped with an ARM Apple Silicon SoC (M1 or higher).
Apple Intelligence. Credit: Apple.