Mobile World Live (MWL) brings you our top three picks of the week as Apple revamped its AI strategy, Nokia dialled into the world’s first 3D spatial audio call and billionaire Carlos Slim grabbed a stake in BT Group.

Apple introduces ChatGPT to iPhone in AI overhaul

What happened: Apple made a deeper genAI push by introducing Apple Intelligence, a system that functions as a personal assistant designed to help users with a range of tasks including generating messages and emojis, on top of integrating OpenAI’s ChatGPT with Siri and expanding its non-AI offerings.

Why it matters: Apple’s announcements at WWDC 2024 demonstrated its attempts to keep up with rivals in GenAI with its own in-house system and through a mooted collaboration with OpenAI. CCS Insight’s CMO Ben Wood and principal analyst and the company’s director Americas Leo Gabbie said that while the new features “will help placate nervous investors”, it will not “radically alter the dynamics of the consumer electronics market”. Apple also has big plans to launch new features in the upcoming iOS18, including satellite-based messaging, RCS and built-in app security systems.

Nokia claims immersive voice call first

What happened: Nokia CEO Pekka Lundmark dialled into a call with Finland’s ambassador of digitalisation and new technologies Stefan Lindstrom via the new 3GPP Immersive Voice and Audio Services (IVAS) codec, which it claims allows consumers to hear 3D spatial sound in real time.

Why it matters: The IVAS technology will be part of the upcoming 5G-Advanced standards, and the vendor stated innovations in immersive spatial communications “paves the way towards extended reality and metaverse applications”. Lindstrom commented the new system makes interaction more lifelike and engaging, while Lundmark pointed to its “significant benefits” for enterprise and industrial use cases.

Mexican tycoon Slim snaps up £400M stake in BT

What happened: America Movil founder Carlos Slim bought a 3 per cent stake in BT Group for £400 million through investment arm Inbursa, joining other big-name stakeholders including Deutsche Telekom and Altice UK.

Why it matters: Slim has previously acquired stakes in Netherlands-based KPN and Telekom Austria. Kester Mann, director of consumer and connectivity CCS Insight, told Financial Times Slim’s investment was an “endorsement” of BT’s strategy shift under CEO Allison Kirkby, which signals a “good momentum” for the operator. Meanwhile telecoms expert at Enders Analysis Karen Egan believes the transaction shows BT is still “undervalued”, while noting “the telecoms sector as a whole has been out of favour with investors for a long time”.