Apple COO Jeff Williams on Monday said (via Reuters) the company’s mobile phone lineup is a major platform for artificial intelligence.
The Apple executive’s AI outlook was at Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company’s 30th anniversary celebration in Taipei, ahead of the iPhone X launch later this week. TSMC is a major chip manufacturing partner of Apple, making its latest latest A11 chips that have onboard “neural engines.”
“We think that the frameworks that we’ve got, the ‘neural engines’ we’ve put in the phone, in the watch … we do view that as a huge piece of the future, we believe these frameworks will allow developers to create apps that will do more and more in this space, so we think the phone is a major platform,” Williams told event attendees.
If there was any doubt which direction Apple is taking its AI tools, it’s mobile first. Williams added AI would bring changes to several industries, including healthcare, echoing previous sentiments of Apple.
“I think we’re at an inflection point, with on-device computing, coupled with the potential of AI, to really change the world,” Williams said. He added technology innovations will improve life without sacrificing privacy or security.
Apple has already discussed the importance of AI, but it’s exact plan for attack has been seen as lagging behind Amazon, Google, and other competitors. Perhaps Williams latest comments can provide more clarity surrounding the company’s AI vision. Siri and your iPhone look to be at the center of it.
According to Reuters, Williams revealed at the event that Apple decided to give TSMC 100 percent of its new iPhone and iPad chips to manufacture. It’s rare for Apple to use one sole supplier in case of production issues, and you usually don’t find Apple executives discussing supply chain specifics.
Further, Williams on Monday met with Foxxconn CEO Terry Gou to likely discuss iPhone X manufacturing ahead of pre-orders later this week. On Friday, KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said just 2-3 million iPhone X would be ready to deliver to customers at launch, and that production would be ramping up into November.
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