Product reviews, deals and the latest tech news

Apple Could Outsell Samsung with New ‘Free’ iPhone Offer

The unveiling of Apple Intelligence at WWDC showcased a mix of familiar tools and a few unique concepts, all wrapped in Apple’s signature polish. However, one crucial detail was missing: will Apple Intelligence remain free indefinitely?

Apple Intelligence

Apple has not explicitly stated whether its announced tools—such as Rewrite, Image Playground, and Genmoji—will be free for a limited time or if some will eventually have premium tiers. The only mention of pricing in press releases concerns ChatGPT’s integration into iOS 18, which Apple says is “free without creating an account.” When questioned, Apple merely stated that “they’re free” without specifying how long this would last.

This ambiguity is reflective of the broader uncertainty surrounding AI-powered smartphone tools across major manufacturers, none of whom have disclosed detailed future pricing plans. As this is a new frontier, companies are likely still determining their strategies, with the popularity of AI being a key factor. Currently, many AI tools are perceived as high-end demo products since they are not yet integral to the core smartphone experience. However, if Galaxy AI, Google AI, or Apple Intelligence become essential to the One UI, Android, or iOS experience, premium plans for the best features will likely emerge. If Apple AI remains free, it could gain a significant advantage over its competitors.

Samsung has been vocal about Apple’s third-place position in the AI race, joking about it on Twitter following WWDC. Nonetheless, Apple’s late entry into the AI market might not matter if its features remain free while Samsung’s AI tools are free only until the end of 2025, as hinted by their ominous disclaimers. Apple has a history of extending free trials; for instance, its Emergency SOS feature, which utilizes satellite communication to text emergency services, was initially free for two years before being extended to three years. This could provide insight into how Apple might handle pricing for Apple Intelligence.

Apple is reportedly investing $450 million in building infrastructure to support Emergency SOS, in addition to development costs. Like AI, this is not a cheap feature to create and maintain. The way Apple approaches pricing for satellite communication may offer clues about its future plans for Apple Intelligence.

Currently, the four main competitors are engaged in a standoff regarding AI subscription plans. While Google and Microsoft have some paywalled features, their headline skills are free. Samsung’s AI tools are also free, though they reserve the right to charge in the future, as indicated by their vague disclaimer. It appears that all companies are waiting to see who will first introduce a comprehensive, detailed subscription plan for smartphone AI tools.

Apple, for now, maintains that its AI tools are free with no caveats. Time will tell how free they truly are. Will the Image Playground app start charging users after a certain number of images are created, similar to Google’s approach with Magic Editor? If Apple keeps these tools genuinely free, as they have stated, it could secure a significant edge in the competitive AI landscape, despite being a latecomer to the AI market.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *