Apple Intelligence

Apple Says Running Apple Intelligence on Older iPhones Would Be Slow and Useless

Apple’s new AI features are expected to launch later this year. The tools called “Apple Intelligence” will add on-device and cloud AI features to your iPhone and Mac. However, while the future looks exciting for AI, Apple has limited these new features to very specific devices under the company’s umbrella.

Only iPhone 15 Pro users will be able to benefit from Apple Intelligence on mobile devices while all “M” chipset owners can use them on Macs and iPads. This means that Apple Intelligence is going to be quite a slow rollout and if you don’t own a newer Apple product, you won’t get to use these tools.

Most fans gathered that Apple restricted these AI features to the iPhone 15 Pro due to its A17 Pro chip. The company has now confirmed that’s the case. During a WWDC 2024 wrap-up discussion called The Talk Show Live From WWD 2024, Apple’s AI chief John Gruber touched on the tech limitations of older devices.

Gruber says that running Apple Intelligence is an incredibly taxing process that is computationally expensive. It requires a lot of bandwidth in the device and fully utilises the Apple Neural Engine. He followed up by saying that older iPhone models could, in theory, run these tools but due to the limited bandwidth and size of the Apple Neural Engine inside these phones, it would be slow and not very useful.

The inference of large language models is incredibly computationally expensive. So it’s a combination of bandwidth in the device, it’s the size of the ANE [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 it would not be useful.

When asked whether or not limiting Apple Intelligence to only the iPhone 15 Pro is a marketing ploy to sell new phones, Gruber denied the idea. He says that if Apple wanted to use AI to sell new iPhones, the company would have limited the tools to only recent iPads and Mac devices too. However, Apple Intelligence is launching across Mac devices and iPads that are a few years old.

Apple is currently testing out its new software including iOS 18, iPadOS 18, macOS 15 and WatchOS 11. The software is currently in beta. Find out more about the features here and catch up on all the supported devices here.

Marco is the owner and founder of GLITCHED. South Africa’s largest gaming and pop culture website. GLITCHED quickly established itself with tech and gaming enthusiasts with on-point opinions, quick coverage of breaking events and unbiased reviews across its website, social platforms, and YouTube channel.

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