Cook’s steadfast aversion to the cloud presents a challenge as Apple tries to build up new features powered by machine learning and AI. To build and run machine learning services you need computing power and data, and the more you have of each the more powerful your software can be. The iPhone is beefy as mobile device goes, and it’s a good bet Apple will add dedicated hardware to support machine learning. But it’s tough for anything it puts in your hand to compete with a server—particularly one using Google’s custom machine learning chip.
I appreciate whatever complications Apple is going through in their stance on privacy. I much prefer their approach to these issues over Google’s and Facebook’s.