Apple fans are eager for any sign at all of its AI intentions after a rough year

Apple fans are eager for any sign at all of its AI intentions after a rough year
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Apple CEO Tim Cook’s future AI plans are under scrutiny.

  • Fans and investors are hoping that AI might help save what’s shaping up to be a bad year for Apple.
  • On Thursday, Apple shares rose more than 4% on news it plans to revamp Macs with an AI-focused chip.
  • Apple watchers have been seeking some good news amid its antitrust and China sales issues.

It looks like Apple investors will jump at any sign of good news on the AI front after the company’s rough start to the year.

On Thursday, Apple rose more than 4% after Bloomberg reported that it will overhaul its Mac lineup with new M4 processors focused on AI.

It was the best day for Apple’s stock since May and a welcome boost after a number of setbacks this year have weighed on the shares. It’s also a sign that investors are watching very eagerly for even the smallest signal that Apple is taking steps toward an AI-led future.

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The company has reportedly suffered a drop in iPhone sales in one of its biggest markets, China, and has been unseated as the country’s best-selling smartphone maker. In February, it abandoned its decadelong project to build an electric vehicle.

Apple has also faced heightened scrutiny from regulators in 2024.

Last month, the US Justice Department sued Apple, alleging the company is using anticompetitive tactics to illegally maintain a monopoly in the smartphone market by “making it harder or more expensive for its users and developers to leave than by making it more attractive for them to stay.”

Apple said in a statement to BI at the time that the lawsuit “is wrong on the facts and the law, and we will vigorously defend against it.”

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Weeks before that, the European Commission had slapped the company with a fine of 1.8 billion euros, or roughly $1.9 billion, related to App Store restrictions around music streaming apps. The Commission, part of the European Union, alleged Apple “bans music streaming app developers from fully informing iOS users about alternative and cheaper music subscription services.” Apple has said it plans to appeal this decision.

Investors’ reaction to the M4 processor news shows just how crucial the company’s future AI plans are. Some investors and analysts already believe Apple is lagging behind competitors in AI. But despite reportedly dropping the electric car project to refocus on AI, it hasn’t really revealed any concrete details.

And a lot of people are waiting for them. After Bloomberg reported earlier this month that the company was exploring home robots as its next big thing, Wedbush analyst Dan Ives said spending money on such efforts “would be a horror show.”

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“They need to focus on AI,” Ives said on CNBC at the time. “For Cook, his legacy is going to be AI. If they went after robots, that would be a black eye moment for Apple.” 

Apple’s annual WWDC event is set to be held June 10 to 14 this year, and all eyes will be on the company to announce some solid AI developments then.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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