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Every iPhone model that will support Apple’s upcoming AI features (for now)

iPhone 15 Pro

Jason Hiner/ZDNET

After staying silent for two years about its AI developments, Apple finally played catch-up last week and shared its latest projects with the public during its annual developer conference, WWDC. At the event, Apple unveiled a variety of features that will significantly impact your device experience — but only if you have one of the newest iPhone models. 

The upgrades include a new and improved Siri, new summarization tools, a more customizable home screen, AI-powered photo editing, and more. However, you’ll need an iPhone 15 Pro (or a newer model, coming out this year) to use these features.

Also: I’m an Android user, but these three iPhone 16 features would win me over

While requiring Apple’s latest hardware to experience these new features may seem like planned obsolescence or a money grab, the provision is due to the processing hardware needed to support the AI features — especially for tasks that require on-device processing.  

Processing AI tasks on-device offers two key benefits: It keeps information more secure and ensures less latency. However, not all iPhones, especially older models, have the processing power to handle those tasks. The new AI features will rely on both on-device and cloud-based processing, depending on the complexity of the task. 

Specifically, these tasks require the A17 Pro chipset, which is currently found only in the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max. Even the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus won’t support the AI upgrades, as they run on the A16 Bionic. 

The good news is that you won’t need the newest model if you are a Mac or iPad user. To use the AI features on a Mac or iPad, your device will need at least an M1 chip; considering Apple is currently manufacturing M4-chip iPads and M3-chip Macs, most users with older devices should have some wiggle room. 

Also: iOS 18: All the iPhone changes Apple announced at WWDC 2024

Additionally, if you don’t own the iPhone 15 Pro and don’t plan on upgrading anytime soon, don’t worry; you will get to experience some of iOS 18’s AI features, specifically those that run on the cloud. However, if you want the full iOS 18 experience, you may want to start preparing for an upgrade. 

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