In a recent CNBC interview, Apple’s Johny Srouji and John Ternus brushed off suggestions that the company trails rivals in artificial intelligence. Instead, they emphasized Apple’s custom silicon expertise as a strategic advantage powering iconic devices.
When asked about critics claiming Apple lags in AI prowess, both executives chuckled lightheartedly, with Ternus quipping, “Not too worried.” Their confidence stems from immense in-house resources dedicated to custom chip design.
Srouji explained Apple’s vertical integration enables tight collaboration between hardware, chip, and software teams years before launch. This unified approach allows holistic product optimization unattainable by rivals reliant on off-the-shelf components.
By avoiding commodity silicon in favor of proprietary Apple SoCs, the company crafts bespoke technical foundations to realize product visions. Ternus highlighted how previously Apple was constrained by available technologies. But owning the chip design process now grants immense strategic flexibility.
This chip advantage manifests most visibly in standout user experiences powered by Apple’s A-series and M-series SoCs. But Srouji noted most consumers don’t realize their iPhone or Mac brain stems from internally designed silicon. Still, he believes users care deeply about overall product excellence that custom chips unlock.
Both executives touted Apple’s chip team as world-class talents enabling the company’s legendary designs. Srouji suggested few other consumer tech firms control silicon and software synergies at Apple’s scale.
When asked about manufacturing capacity, Srouji deferred specifics to partners like TSMC. He acknowledged Apple currently depends heavily on TSMC production, but aims to diversify its supply chain by exploring alternate foundries able to meet stringent requirements.
Overall, Ternus and Srouji framed Apple’s sharpened silicon focus as instrumental for product triumphs both now and in the future. While rivals race to emulate Cupertino’s chip advancements, Apple enjoys years of accumulated IP and expertise sustaining its advantage, clearly views custom silicon, not just AI, as the real engine powering innovation.