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Microsoft and Apple must work together

Phil Schiller is on stage.
Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

Apple announced its deal with OpenAI as part of Apple Intelligence at WWDC 2024, and now more details about the partnership have been released. According to reports from Bloomberg, Apple – just like Microsoft – will be given an observer role on OpenAI's board.

Former marketing chief and current Apple Fellow Phil Schiller is taking on the job. He will attend OpenAI's board meetings and find out what the company is planning and how it makes its decisions. However, as the name of the role, “Observer,” suggests, he will not be able to vote or otherwise participate in board proceedings.

According to previous reports, the partnership between Apple and OpenAI is entirely cash-free. Instead, OpenAI appears to be getting a long-term presence for ChatGPT, and in return, Apple will get the opportunity to stay up to date on the development of OpenAI products. However, other factors could also be at play.

ChatGPT has broken records as the fastest-growing consumer application of all time, so you might wonder if it really still needs Apple's “attention.” But talk of the so-called “AI bubble” suggests that we don't yet know whether interest in AI will stand the test of time. By partnering with the world's oldest tech giants, OpenAI can prepare for multiple outcomes.

OpenAI's other watcher, Microsoft, has long worked closely with the company, even investing when it was still a startup. They recently partnered on Microsoft Copilot – making it seem like ChatGPT is currently behind all the major AI products. However, despite their long friendship, macOS was the first operating system to get a native ChatGPT app.