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Apple won’t launch AI features in Europe this year, cites complex EU rules

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European iPhone users will have to wait longer for Apple‘s (NASDAQ: AAPL) flagship artificial intelligence (AI) features, with the tech giant blaming new regulations for the delay.

The Cupertino-based company announced the new AI features, known as the Apple Intelligence suite, earlier this month during its annual Worldwide Developers Conference. In partnership with OpenAI, the company has integrated AI into its Siri voice assistant and will use the technology to offer new features such as photo retouching and phone call transcription.

However, the company also revealed that it intends to delay the launch of Apple Intelligence for EU users.

“Due to the regulatory uncertainties brought about by the Digital Markets Act, we do not believe that we will be able to roll out three of these [new] features — iPhone Mirroring, SharePlay Screen Sharing enhancements and Apple Intelligence — to our EU users this year,” the company stated, as reported by the Financial Times.

The Digital Markets Act was first proposed in late 2022 and took effect two years later. It aims to eliminate anti-competitive practices by gatekeepers by forcing them to open their businesses to competition from European companies.

However, EU watchdogs have only recently started enforcing the law and cracking down on tech giants. Earlier this year, the European Commission opened probes into Apple, Google (NASDAQ: GOOGL) and Meta (NASDAQ: META) for failure to uphold their roles as gatekeepers under the DMA.

Three days after Apple announced the AI delay for EU residents, the Commission accused the company of breaching the DMA.

“Our preliminary position is that Apple does not fully allow steering. Steering is key to ensure that app developers are less dependent on gatekeepers’ app stores and for consumers to be aware of better offers,” said EU competition chief Margrethe Vestager.

Apple’s AI pause in the EU comes just days after Meta announced that it would also temporarily halt using EU users’ Facebook and Instagram data to train its AI models. This followed the valiant efforts of NOYB, an Austrian privacy rights advocacy group, to halt the move. NOYB filed complaints with 11 European regulators over the move, which it claimed violated European data protection rules.

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