Tim Cook says Apple's $22.6 billion research spend is down to AI – Business Insider

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Apple’s hefty research spending may have been boosted by the current AI boom.
The company’s research and development spending hit $22.61 billion for the year so far, a figure that’s $3.12 billion higher than this time last year, its third quarter earnings showed. CEO Tim Cook said some of this budget was driven by Apple’s work on generative AI.
The CEO told Reuters: “We’ve been doing research across a wide range of AI technologies, including generative AI, for years.”
“Obviously, we’re investing a lot, and it is showing up in the R&D spending that you’re looking at,” he added.
Apple’s Q3 earnings saw a drop in revenue and declining sales, particularly in the iPhone department where sales fell short of analysts’ expectations. Apple stock slid around 2% in premarket trading, per Markets Insider data.
The tech giant has been notably quiet on AI — a stark contrast to some of its main competitors. Meta, Microsoft, and Google have all been engaged in what has been dubbed an AI arms race as they rush to bring new products to market. 
Apple, on the other hand, has been slow to make public progress in the space. In June, the company failed to make a single reference to generative AI during it’s two-hour-long WWDC keynote. The topic didn’t come up on Apple’s latest earnings call until an analyst questioned the company’s apparent hesitancy to discuss AI strategy or investments. 
Cook said during the call the technology was “absolutely critical to us,” adding that the company viewed AI and machine learning as “integral to virtually every product.”
The CEO said Apple had “been doing research across a wide range of AI technologies, including generative AI, for years” and planned to continue this going forward.
Not to be outdone by its tech peers, Apple is also reportedly stepping up its product production in AI. Bloomberg reported that the company is working on new AI tools including a large language model, which some employees have already dubbed Apple GPT after OpenAI’s LLM.
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