Apple reportedly entered into discussions with Alphabet-owned Google to licence its Gemini generative AI (GenAI) models for iPhones, an agreement which could prove transformative for the AI industry.

Bloomberg reported the two companies are in active talks about Google Gemini potentially powering some features of Apple’s upcoming iOS 18, which will be used in its next iPhones.

According to the news website’s sources Apple is also building its own AI models, but its work is focused on features that operate on its devices rather than on the cloud. It would theoretically use Google’s Gemini for GenAI functions, such as creating images and writing essays based on simple prompts from users.

Apple has also held talks with OpenAI about a similar arrangement.

A deal between Apple and Google could prove significant in numerous ways. For one, it would build on an existing agreement in search, with Alphabet currently paying Apple billions annually to make Google’s search engine the default option on its Safari web browser.

Apple would also gain access to leading AI technology for its devices, keeping pace with rivals in this area. Samsung notably uses Gemini to power AI features in its latest devices, unveiled in January.  

For Google, integrating Gemini into iPhones would give its technology access to billions of users, potentially giving it the edge in a battle with Microsoft and other players for AI supremacy.

A blockbuster AI agreement between the two heavyweights is, however, likely to draw antitrust concerns. They are already under the regulatory microscope in the Europe and US over their search agreement.

Bloomberg added an AI deal is unlikely to be announced, if an agreement is reached, until June when Apple holds its annual Worldwide Developer Conference.