Here’s Why Your Old iPhone won’t be Able to run Apple Intelligence


Apple’s showcase of its AI features during WWDC 2024 was admittedly impressive, giving Apple fans (as well as us Android enthusiasts) a preview of what its new “Apple Intelligence” is capable of. With that being said however, the company made it clear that not all Apple devices will be receiving AI features, with these being limited to devices running on the company’s M-series and A17 Pro chips.

Speaking to Daring Fireball, Apple’s head for AI and machine learning John Giannandrea addressed the limitations, stating:

So these models, when you run them at run times, it’s called inference, and the inference of large language models is incredibly computationally expensive. And so it’s a combination of bandwidth in the device, it’s the size of the Apple Neural Engine, it’s the oomph in the device to actually do these models fast enough to be useful. You could, in theory, run these models on a very old device, but it would be so slow that it would not be useful.

Craig Federighi, Apple’s chief for software engineering also added that hardware elements such as the A17 Pro chip and 8GB of RAM onboard the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max mean that Apple’s AI will be able to run better – by comparison, the base model iPhone 15 comes with 2022’s A16 Bionic chipset, in addition to slightly lesser 6GB of RAM.

In comparison, it can be remembered that Google faced backlash after an employee previously stated that the base model Pixel 8 will not be able to run Gemini Nano, which at the time was mentioned as an exclusive feature for the Pixel 8 Pro. However, the company has since made Gemini Nano available for all Pixel 8 models, including the newly-launched Pixel 8a.

Whether or not Apple changes its stance on Apple Intelligence limitations remains to be seen, so iPhone users with a lower-tier device will need to upgrade to a newer Pro model, unless the company says otherwise.

Source: Macrumors

Mike Viray
A writer and content creator with a love for tech and music, Mike is also an avid gamer as well. He and his wife are big fans of Mario Kart.

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