Apple Joins AI Competition with DarwinAI Acquisition

What you should know


  • Apple acquires Canadian AI startup DarwinAI to boost its AI capabilities, with the acquisition leading to significant additions to Apple’s AI division.
  • Apple plans ambitious AI expansion with generative AI features expected in iOS 18 in 2024, as part of efforts to catch up with other tech giants in the AI space.
  • DarwinAI’s expertise in enhancing visual inspection of manufacturing components and compressing AI systems aligns with Apple’s focus on device-based AI processing.
  • Despite Apple’s recent AI acquisition, the company has been perceived as lagging behind in the AI race, with competitors like Nvidia and Microsoft seeing significant stock gains due to their early and successful AI investments.


Full Story

Well, well, well – guess who finally decided to show up? Yep, it’s Apple, crashing the AI party like it owns the place. You heard it right. Bloomberg’s very own oracle, Mark Gurman, spilled the beans. Apple went ahead and scooped up DarwinAI, a Canadian gem in the artificial intelligence realm. Talk about being fashionably late, huh? Everyone else, and I mean the big guns in the galaxy of corporations, have been playing the AI game for a while now. And Apple? Just tiptoeing in.

But hey, better late than never. This move? It’s a chunk of Apple’s grand plan to beef up its AI game this year. We’re talking about fancy generative AI features making their debut in iOS 18 come 2024. Tim Cook, the man steering the Apple ship, has been dropping hints. Groundbreaking AI stuff, he says, with the big reveal expected at the worldwide developers conference in June.

Digging into the nitty-gritty, this acquisition was a done deal “earlier this year.” A bunch of DarwinAI’s brainiacs got absorbed into Apple’s AI division. Mum was the word on this until now. DarwinAI’s bread and butter? Boosting how we inspect manufacturing components visually across industries. Plus, they’re all about making AI systems run leaner and meaner. That’s music to Apple’s ears, especially since they’re all in on processing AI on devices rather than just cloud computing.

One of the big names making the leap to Apple is Alexander Wong. A top-notch AI researcher from the University of Waterloo and a co-founder of DarwinAI. He’s now playing a big role in Apple’s AI squad.

Following the whispers of this acquisition, Apple’s stock did a little happy dance, jumping more than 1%. Seems like the market’s giving it a thumbs up. Speaking of stocks, Apple’s had a bit of a rollercoaster. Last week? Not their best moment in 2024, with shares dipping to $169. Back in January, they were lounging at around $195.

While Apple’s been playing catch-up, others have been riding the AI wave like pros. Microsoft’s stock is up 8.5% this year. But Nvidia? They’re on fire, with a whopping 78% increase in 2024 alone. Their market cap is even giving Apple a run for its money.

Despite Apple’s slow start, whispers in the wind say that’s about to change. Come WWDC this June, iOS 18 is rumored to be all about that deep AI integration. 2023 was a golden year for Nvidia, with a staggering 240% gain, making it the S&P 500’s MVP. Arm Holdings, another chip-maker getting cozy with AI, saw its shares leap by 80% recently. That’s what happens when the demand for AI chips goes through the roof.

And just like that, Nvidia outshined Alphabet (yep, the Google folks) to become the third most valuable US company. Only Microsoft and Apple are ahead, with Apple clutching that silver medal tight.

Derrick Flynn
Derrick Flynn
With over four years of experience in tech journalism, Derrick has honed his skills and knowledge to become a vital part of the PhonesInsights team. His intuitive reviews and insightful commentary on the latest smartphones and wearable technology consistently provide our readers with valuable information.


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