May 26, 2024


Apple CEO Tim Cook delivers remarks during an Apple special event on September 12, 2023 in Cupertino, California.

Apple CEO Tim Cook delivers remarks during an Apple special event on September 12, 2023 in Cupertino, California.
Photo: Justin Sullivan (Getty Images)

Apple CEO Tim Cook sidestepped questions about its AI strategy during its second-quarter earnings call with investors Thursday.

When asked exactly how Apple plans to monetize generative AI technology, Cook said, “We see generative AI as a very key opportunity across our products, and we believe that we have advantages that set us apart there.” Cook said the company would reveal more in “the weeks ahead.” That likely means Apple is waiting until its Worldwide Developers Conference the week of June 10.

Beyond that vague allusion, Apple’s given no clear indication of its AI strategy, even as its competitors like Google, Microsoft, and Meta loudly and proudly announce AI feature after AI feature. The only hint at what could be coming was its purchase of Darwin AI, a little known Canadian AI startup that develops technology to make AI systems smaller and faster. Since Apple has no other known plan for AI other than reportedly hiring some experts from Google to work in a secretive Swiss laboratory, it would have made sense for Apple executives to lay out more details about how it will implement the technology, particularly how it plans to incorporate Darwin AI — especially as iPhone sales struggled, said Paul Marino, an executive at exchange-traded funds provider GraniteShares.

Failing to give details about its latest acquisition could be a problem for Apple. “If they’re making these acquisitions. And they’re not implementing them. That’s going to be, I think, an issue after the earnings call,” Marino said.

Still, Apple’s sales beat Wall Street’s expectations and its share price surged in after-market trading on news of its largest-ever stock buyback of $110 billion.



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