Skip to main content

Apple is an AI player – does it change the game for retailers?

Apple Intelligence mobile inbox (Image: Apple)
Apple Intelligence automatically prioritizes a user's inbox (Image: Apple).

One of the world’s most important tech giants is releasing a proprietary artificial intelligence platform with a unique approach.

Apple has unveiled a proprietary AI system called Apple Intelligence that the company is positioning as focused on the needs of individual users. Apple said the new platform combines generative AI with "personal context" to deliver "useful and relevant" capabilities.

Let’s take a closer look at a few key aspects of Apple Intelligence that set it apart from other AI models and how much impact they pose to the retail industry.


One of the most significant features that sets Apple Intelligence apart from other AI platforms is that it uses on-device processing, and many of the models that support it run entirely on the device. 

To run more complex requests that require additional processing power, a secure Private Cloud Compute capability extends the privacy and security of Apple devices into the cloud. This makes Apple Intelligence ideally suited as an engine to support advanced CRM, marketing and e-commerce offerings via customer iPhones and iPads.

In addition, employees equipped with Apple mobile devices can use them to perform highly targeted clienteling services with enhanced cross-selling and upselling capability, and also perform activities such as restocking inventory and pricing with greater accuracy.

Automated email and text filtering

Apple Intelligence is also designed to streamline user communications via email and text, using automatic AI filters that retailers sending customers messages and promotions via these channels will have to keep in mind.

Specifically, Apple Intelligence offers automatic prioritizing, summarizing and response to emails, as well as the ability to have chat notifications prioritized and summarized with AI. This means that promotional messaging to customers will have to be highly personalized, timely and relevant to make it through Apple Intelligence filters and surface in consumer priority email and chat alerts. 

The ability to automatically respond also means it will be even easier to customers to reject an email or text promotion, requiring offers to provide maximum value that meets customers’ most pressing and personal needs. 

Fortunately, retailers can also utilize Apple Intelligence’s AI-enabled text rewriting, summarizing and proofreading functionality to help ensure their customer messaging delivers maximum impact and makes it past AI gatekeepers to the top of customer inboxes.

Keeping it natural

Finally, retailers need to be mindful that Apple Intelligence is designed around natural language capabilities, such as searching for photos and specific moments in video clips with phrases such as "skateboarding in a tie-dye shirt."

And with a Memories feature, users can create a video and image story they want to see by simply typing a description. Apple is also integrating ChatGPT access, including its image- and document-understanding capabilities, without needing to jump between tools.

Other capabilities include generating original emojis. Retailers can harness all of these features to offer much more personalized searches, promotions and social media interactions. 

In addition to letting customers search product images on an iOS app using highly occasion- and use-specific terms, retailers could also enable iOS app users to create personalized stories featuring their merchandise (which could be shared on social media for contests, product hauls or as wish lists), or new emojis tied to their products or brand.

More Blog Posts in This Series

This ad will auto-close in 10 seconds