Apple's upcoming iOS 18 AI software updates could reignite interest in the iPhone in China

Apple is rumored to be bringing big new AI features to iOS 18 this coming September and that's likely to get Chinese buyers interested again.

1 minute & 12 seconds read time

While we don't know an awful lot about what the upcoming iOS 18 software update will bring in terms of new features or redesigned interface, we do know that there is a lot of noise surrounding Apple's ongoing work in the world of AI. The company is thought to be leaning heavily on AI for its upcoming software updates, including iOS 18, but it isn't clear what that will actually mean. The smart money is in improvements to the ailing Siri digital assistant, and a new report claims that AI features could well be enough to get Chinese buyers excited about the iPhone once again.

A paywalled DigiTimes report, picked up by MacRumors, says that even though the Chinese smartphone market has started to lean in on high-end models with price tags to match, sales of iPhones have struggled so far this year. Local Chinese brands have started to offer new AI-powered features and that has been enough to cause people to choose not to buy Apple's phones, but iOS 18 could arrest that.

Apple's upcoming iOS 18 AI software updates could reignite interest in the iPhone in China 02

It's reported that Apple's iPhone sales declined 13% in December 2023 alone and it's thought that things have only gotten worse as 2024 has rolled in. But with AI claims being made, people could choose to give the iPhone another try - assuming those AI improvements do come to the iPhone.

The DigiTimes report says that Apple will need to make big improvements in its AI capabilities if it is to compete with Chinese phone makers and we should learn about the update at this year's WWDC event in June. We could also expect more leaks and information to arrive before that point, too, so we may have more answers as to Apple's AI plans in the coming weeks and months.

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Based in the UK, Oliver has been writing about technology, entertainment, and games for more than a decade. If there's something with a battery or a plug, he's interested. After spending too much money building gaming PCs, Oliver switched to Apple and the Mac - and now spends too much on those instead.

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