OpenAI, SoftBank, Apple Designer Ive in ‘AI iPhone’ Talks – FT


ChatGPT maker OpenAI is said to be in “serious” talks with former Apple design guru Jony Ive and SoftBank’s Masayoshi Son to build an “artificial intelligence iPhone”.

The project is being backed by more than $1 billion in funding from the Japanese tech investment house, the Financial Times reported on Thursday.

Sam Altman, OpenAI’s chief, has tapped Ive’s company LoveFrom to develop the ChatGPT creator’s first consumer device, the report said.

Discussions are said to be “serious” but no deal has been agreed on, and it could be several months before a venture is formally announced, the report said, adding that Son, Altman and Ive have discussed creating a company that would draw on talent and technology from their three groups.


Also on AF: China EV Startup Nio Seen in Tech-For-Cash Talks With Mercedes


SoftBank declined to comment on the FT report. OpenAI did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment. Ive and LoveFrom could not be reached for comment.

Tech website The Information first reported on Tuesday that Ive and Altman have been discussing building a new AI hardware device and that Softbank’s Son has also been involved in some aspects of the conversation.

Ive was a close creative collaborator with Apple co-founder Steve Jobs. He spent more than two decades at the tech giant and led the design of the candy-coloured iMacs that helped Apple re-emerge from near death in the 1990s as well as the design of the iPhone.

SoftBank has been looking for deals in AI, including a potential investment in OpenAI, after the blockbuster listing of its Arm unit, the FT reported earlier this month, adding that Son was looking to invest tens of billions of dollars in the technology.


  • Reuters with additional editing by Sean O’Meara


Read more:

SoftBank Eyes OpenAI Investment Amid Arm IPO Fever – FT

Japan Watchdog Warns ChatGPT-Maker OpenAI on Data Privacy

OpenAI Boss Urges Regulations to Prevent ‘Harm to the World’

China’s AI Startups Facing a Shakeout as Costs Surge

Baidu, SenseTime Launch ‘ChatGPT’ Bots After Beijing Approval



Sean O'Meara

Sean O'Meara is an Editor at Asia Financial. He has been a newspaper man for more than 30 years, working at local, regional and national titles in the UK as a writer, sub-editor, page designer and print editor. A football, cricket and rugby fan, he has a particular interest in sports finance.

Recent Posts

Tesla’s China-Made Monthly Sales Slip 18% Year-on-Year

The US carmaker sold 82,432 of its Shanghai gigafactory-produced vehicles last month as rival BYD…

10 hours ago

Cyclone Forces Foxconn, Pegatron to Shut India iPhone Factories

Cyclone Michaung was sweeping down India’s eastern coast, closing Chennai’s airport and sweeping cars away…

11 hours ago

India to Overtake China to Become Global IPO Leader

Chinese indexes saw double digit falls in the number of IPOs, compared to last year,…

15 hours ago

Emerging Asia Sees Largest Outflows as Funds Stay Cold on China

Hedge funds rotated their positions to developed Asia markets, including Hong Kong, Singapore and Japan

15 hours ago

EU Leaders Flying in for Economic Summit in China This Week

Chinese President Xi Jinping will meet with European Council President Charles Michel and European Commission…

15 hours ago

Record Number of Chinese Blacklisted for Debt Defaults – FT

The number of Chinese blacklisted for defaulting on debts has hit a record high, which…

16 hours ago