Apple’s big WWDC announcement could be the creation of an AI App Store

This year’s WWDC Keynote in June is going to be exciting. Apple is reportedly working on the biggest iOS update of all time and iOS 18 is going to include Apple’s new AI initiative some of which will be cloud-based and some of which will be run on-device. Having an AI chatbot as a native iOS feature might excite some, but many more are really hoping that AI makes Siri a more formidable challenger to other digital assistants.
Ben Reitzes, head of technology research at Melius Research, has an idea of what will be Apple’s big announcement at WWDC this year and he told everyone about it during CNBC’s ‘Squawk on the Street’ program on Monday. The analyst says that at WWDC, Apple will discuss a new AI App Store that will allow iPhone users to select and install AI-based apps from different developers along with AI apps created by Apple.

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He also said that Apple has traditionally been able to get developers to create apps while the tech giant works on the ecosystem where the apps are consumed. Using iTunes and the iPhone as examples, Reitzes notes how with the former, the late Steve Jobs met with labels telling them about his vision of selling songs for a buck apiece and, according to the analyst, “iTunes saved the music industry.” With the iPhone, Apple made third-party apps better, Reitzes said, adding that Apple is planning to do the same with AI.

In his note to clients, the technology analyst says, “We think Tim and his team are running around speaking to rivals because they are channeling their “inner Steve persuasion skills.” He adds that Apple is talking with Google, Open AI, and others about having their AI models accessible to iPhone users via an App Store that can take advantage of AI offerings from third-parties. “Tim knows how to do this,” Reitzes said.

The analyst says that during WWDC Apple will  “lay the groundwork” for the new App Store and explain how users will be able to buy AI apps from the new App Store including, as we already stated, some developed by Apple itself. In that new App Store, we might find an AI app that will replace the current version of Siri. He adds that Apple’s second-largest business segment, Services, could see improved results from the new AI App Store, and he also suspects that we will see a “huge upgrade cycle” for the iPhone in 2025. That year, according to Reitzes, will see Apple optimize both the iPhone software and the silicon for AI.

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