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Want to use Apple’s AI features? Make sure you have one of these iPhones

Apple Intelligence on AI
Apple

Apple’s WWDC 2024 keynote was one of its biggest in years. Not only did we see some big changes coming to iOS 18, like new ways to customize your home screen even more but we are also getting a ton of new AI features.

Apple Intelligence, as Apple calls it, is a suite of powerful AI tools that will help make your life even easier. From new writing tools and summarization features to image generation and even creating any emoji you’d ever need, Apple Intelligence definitely looks impressive.

But will your current iPhone be able to run Apple Intelligence once it launches in beta this fall? Unfortunately, it might not.

iPhones that will get Apple Intelligence

Blue Titanium (left) and Natural Titanium iPhone 15 Pros on a concrete bench.
Christine Romero-Chan / Digital Trends

As of this writing, there are only two iPhones that will support Apple Intelligence: the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max.

Yes, you read that right — not even the base model iPhone 15 or iPhone 15 Plus will be able to run Apple Intelligence. You need at least one of the Pro models in order to use Apple Intelligence.

Once the iPhone 16 lineup comes out in the fall, it’s likely that those base models will be able to run Apple Intelligence, as it’s rumored that the iPhone 16 and iPhone 16 Plus should have at least the A17 Pro or a newer chip (the A18) this year.

iPhones that will not get Apple Intelligence

A close-up of the iPhone 14 Pro's camera module.
Apple iPhone 14 Pro Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

Naturally, that means there are a lot of iPhones that won’t be getting Apple Intelligence. The below list includes all of the phones getting the iOS 18 update this fall, but will not get the new Apple Intelligence features:

  • iPhone 15 Plus
  • iPhone 15
  • iPhone 14 Pro Max
  • iPhone 14 Pro
  • iPhone 14 Plus
  • iPhone 14
  • iPhone 13 Pro Max
  • iPhone 13 Pro
  • iPhone 13
  • iPhone 13 mini
  • iPhone 12 Pro Max
  • iPhone 12 Pro
  • iPhone 12
  • iPhone 12 mini
  • iPhone 11 Pro Max
  • iPhone 11 Pro
  • iPhone 11
  • iPhone XS Max
  • iPhone XS
  • iPhone XR
  • iPhone SE (2022)
  • iPhone SE (2020)

Even though all of these iPhones will be able to run iOS 18, only the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max will get Apple Intelligence. So, if you are using an older iPhone, or even the base model iPhone 15, you’re going to be out of luck.

Despite not having Apple Intelligence, iOS 18 still has plenty of cool new features that older iPhones can enjoy. Some of these features include more home screen customization options, a revamped Control Center, the ability to swap out lock screen controls, a completely new Photos app, new text effects in iMessage, RCS support, and much more.

Why won’t my iPhone get the new AI features?

Natural Titanium iPhone 15 Pro with Chopper and BD-1 droids around it.
Christine Romero-Chan / Digital Trends

Apple hasn’t explicitly said why older iPhone models and the base model iPhone 15 won’t be getting Apple Intelligence. However, we can make some educated guesses based on what we do know already about AI in general.

AI systems, like Apple Intelligence, need a lot of processing power to run. On the iPhone’s side, this means it needs the latest chip and enough RAM to process all of those tasks since many of them happen locally on-device.

The iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max are the only iPhones currently available with processing power that can handle Apple Intelligence. That’s likely because of the A17 Pro chip inside and the 8GB RAM that the Pro models have.

Older iPhones, like the iPhone 14 Pro Max and even the base model iPhone 15, only have 6GB RAM. So even though previous models have the 16-core Neural Engine with A16 Bionic and earlier, Apple Intelligence still needs that extra processing power of the A17 Pro and 8GB RAM to run.

Christine Romero-Chan
Christine Romero-Chan has been writing about technology, specifically Apple, for over a decade. She graduated from California…
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