Jun 10, 2024 - Technology

Apple AI play fails to excite investors

Animated illustration of Apple's logo slowly rising from the bottom of the screen to the middle, against a background of binary numbers.

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

Apple's generative AI play unveiled this afternoon can be summed up in three words: personalized, private, practical.

Why it matters: Apple has been the slowest of the major tech companies to detail a generative AI strategy, and today's announcements represent its broadest effort yet to hang the banner of modern AI over its popular products, Axios' Ina Fried notes.

Zoom in: Consumers are worried about how their data will be used by tech companies to train their models.

  • To that end, Apple said Monday that "many" of the models needed to run AI will be done so "entirely on device" and that the company has also created "private cloud compute" when more computational power is needed from servers that "never" store or share data.

Apple also spent nearly 30 minutes demonstrating all of the different use cases of generative AI on iPhones and other devices, including...

  • The familiar — talking or typing to Siri using natural language.
  • The productive — keeping track of plans made in text messages like lunch reservations.
  • The creative — whipping up custom emoji that Apple is calling "Genmoji."

Investors seemed to want more, sending Apple shares lower today as the announcement progressed. They closed down 1.9% to $193.12 by end of trading.

Line chart showing the apple stock price per minute from 9:30am to 4pm on June 10, 2024. The stock dropped from $197 at opening to $196 when the WWDC  keynote began. By the end of the day, it was $193.
Data: Yahoo Finance; Chart: Tory Lysik/Axios Visuals
  • Maybe they were thinking the same thing I was — how can more emoji create new demand for devices?
  • But as influential tech reviewer 30-year-old Marques Brownlee noted on X, "Genmoji... Generate an emoji using a text prompt. I just know that hits different with a demographic younger than me."

What we're watching: Apple also announced a slate of other updates to its software platforms, including the ability to customize and animate text message fonts, change backgrounds for FaceTime calls, manage passwords, and make music videos in the photo albums app.

Go deeper: Here's what else Apple announced at its Worldwide Developers' Conference

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