Apple has entered the AI arena. The company recently announced that Apple Intelligence, with a bevy of AI-driven features, will be available on compatible devices for free later this year. In partnership with OpenAI, it will support GPT-4o access, custom AI-generated emojis, and more. 

But just how open are Americans to the idea of AI coming to their personal devices? 

New CivicScience polling following the announcement shows consumers are more than twice as likely to view the usage of generative AI in smartphones in a negative light (44%) than a positive one (21%). However, in what is likely an encouraging sign for Apple, that gap is only six percentage points among consumers who are favorable to Apple products, with 30% feeling positive about AI technology usage in smartphones. 

Weigh in: How likely would you be to purchase a smartphone that has AI capabilities?

More than a third of those with an Apple device say they’d upgrade to utilize Apple Intelligence.

Will those with positive feelings toward smartphone AI tech be inspired enough to upgrade their device to an Apple Intelligence-capable one? Among Apple users who don’t already own an Apple Intelligence-compatible device, 35% feel it’s at least ‘somewhat’ likely they would upgrade to a device supportive of the new AI features. Gen Z adults lead the way as a driver of interest in upgrading, followed by Millennials. In comparison, as many as two-thirds report they are ‘not at all’ likely to upgrade to have access to Apple Intelligence.

However, smartphones aren’t the only part of the equation when it comes to Apple Intelligence. MacBooks (and iPads) with an M1 chip or later will also support the new AI technology. Tablets and laptops joining the mix could inspire greater consumer demand – 38% percent of consumers say it’s at least ‘somewhat’ important that their next computer or laptop has an operating system able to run AI software, six points higher than those who say the same for their next smartphone (excluding not applicable and those unsure). 

Furthermore, as much as 55% of those who report they’re likely to purchase a laptop or tablet in the next three months say they’re likely to upgrade their Apple device to use Apple Intelligence. 

Join the Conversation: How do you feel about artificial intelligence (AI) technology overall?

Consumers aren’t overly enthusiastic about AI in general as ongoing CivicScience tracking of consumer sentiment about AI finds a seven-point increase in those expecting AI to negatively impact their quality of life since January, now up to 43%1. Enthusiasm levels for generative AI in other areas are also not very strong. The AI train left the station long ago and doesn’t appear to be stopping anytime soon. Apple’s move to jump into this environment might face skepticism from the Gen Pop, but its own customer base is much more open to the idea, particularly those in the market for new laptops.  

Want to see how your customer feels about the push toward AI and how it might impact their purchasing decisions? This article is only a tiny glimpse of the insights available to CivicScience clients thanks to the InsightStore™ database of over 500K polling questions. If you want to see the rest of the data, let’s talk.

  1. n=46,432 responses from 08/15/2023 to 06/16/2024 ↩︎