Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...

I might skip the iPhone 16 entirely if Apple delays its Siri AI launch

Published Jul 8th, 2024 1:18PM EDT
Apple iPhone 14 Pro Front
Image: Christian de Looper for BGR

If you buy through a BGR link, we may earn an affiliate commission, helping support our expert product labs.

I’m a longtime iPhone user who is dying to upgrade to an iPhone 16. I might go for a non-Pro device for the first time, something I’ve told readers before. The iPhone 14 Pro proved to me that I no longer need a Pro iPhone.

I’m looking for three things from the iPhone 16: better battery life (because, of course, I’m still worried about that), the new Capture button (to trigger the camera immediately), and the Siri AI experience that Apple demoed at WWDC 2024 a few weeks ago. Siri is especially interesting this year, but it turns out I’ll have to wait a long time before I can actually get it on my iPhone — and that might dictate which iPhone 16 variant I pick this fall.

It’s not just about Apple releasing iOS 18’s Siri AI assistant sometime in 2025. It’s also about the European Union’s ongoing fight with Apple. DMA worries might lead to additional delays for Apple Intelligence on the old continent. That will impact me directly, no matter when Apple rolls out its big Siri upgrade in the US.

Mark Gurman said in his Power On newsletter over the weekend that it’ll be a while before the Siri AI experiences Apple demoed at WWDC roll out to users.

Initially, iOS 18 will deliver a Siri redesign and the ChatGPT integration. Neither is that appealing right now. Thanks to the new Vocal Shortcuts feature, I can already invoke ChatGPT by voice in iOS 18. As for the new Siri design, it doesn’t really matter what it looks like.

Siri gets an AI-powered upgrade in iOS 18.
Siri gets an AI-powered upgrade in iOS 18. Image source: Apple Inc.

What I want is to be able to control apps with Siri, both on the iPhone and the Mac. That experience will enter beta in January. It’ll then roll out to all users via an iOS 18.4 upgrade sometime in spring 2025. Unfortunately, the smart Siri might not roll out simultaneously in all markets.

Specifically, it’s unclear when European users will get Apple Intelligence. Apple already confirmed it will delay the features to ensure Apple Intelligence complies with the Digital Markets Act (DMA). I already experienced something like this with ChatGPT, Gemini, and even Claude, so it’s not a surprising development. Even new apps like Meta’s Threads launched in Europe long after the US.

Assuming Apple will delay the Apple Intelligence rollout by at least a few months in Europe, I expect similar delays for the Siri AI assistant feature I want from Apple.

So, how will that impact my iPhone 16 buying decision? A few days ago, I said that the A18 chips might be one big factor when choosing an iPhone 16 Pro over the iPhone 16. I thought of futureproofing the iPhone for Apple Intelligence features in iOS 19 and beyond.

But if Apple Intelligence is significantly delayed in Europe, especially the Siri AI assistant component, I have no real reason to care about the Pros. I’m sure the base iPhone 16 or the iPhone 16 Plus might be enough.

I expect battery improvements across the board, not just the larger models or the Pros. Also, the Capture button will be available from all four models. Add to that the Action button and USB-C connectivity, which are iPhone features I’m yet to experience on a daily basis, and the iPhone 16/Plus should do just fine.

I’ve even started contemplating skipping the iPhone 16 series entirely, and waiting for the “iPhone 17 Slim” instead. I hope I don’t have to do that because I don’t think the iPhone 14 Pro I own can really last another year. I haven’t experienced the same battery issues as other Pro owners, but the device isn’t getting any younger. Not to mention that I still want the non-Siri Apple Intelligence features whenever they get to Europe. The iPhone 14 Pro will not be good for any of that.

But it all depends on when Apple’s exciting new Siri AI features finally arrive in Europe. If it won’t be until sometime later in 2025, it might be silly for me not to wait for the iPhone 17 to upgrade.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.