Beyond the Core: How Apple is Integrating AI to Redefine Personal Computing

Chris Roux

AI has rapidly transformed from a technological novelty to a fundamental tool driving business productivity and innovation. Apple empowers businesses with a unique blend of AI-powered software and state-of-the-art hardware. This combination streamlines operations, enhances decision-making, and fuels innovation.

Connection, as an Authorized Apple partner, plays a crucial role in this AI revolution. We leverage Apple’s cutting-edge technology to craft bespoke solutions that address your specific business needs. By harnessing the full potential of Apple’s AI ecosystem, Connection ensures your business remains competitive and achieves its strategic objectives.

The Mac Difference: How Unified Memory and Core ML Empower Your AI Initiatives

For businesses looking to leverage AI, Apple provides unparalleled tools and capabilities to enhance productivity and streamline operations.

Apple’s Evolution in AI Hardware

Apple’s AI hardware journey began in 2017 with the A11 Bionic chip, which introduced the neural engine—a specialized component for handling AI and machine learning tasks. This innovation enabled features like Face ID and Animoji.

With the transition to Apple Silicon in 2020, Apple seamlessly integrated the neural engine into its M series chips for Macs, continuously improving performance and expanding AI capabilities.

What Makes an AI PC?

Before we dive into Apple’s advantages, let’s clarify what we mean by an “AI PC.” According to Canalys, an AI PC is a computer that can process AI workflows locally using a dedicated neural processing unit (NPU). This local processing is key, offering several advantages over cloud-based AI solutions:

  • Enhanced Security: Keeping data on-device minimizes the risk of data breaches during transmission.
  • Lower Latency: Local processing leads to faster response times and smoother workflows.
  • Reduced Costs: Businesses can save on cloud service expenses by processing data on-device.

Every Mac powered by Apple Silicon is designed to excel at AI and ML tasks. The combination of a powerful CPU, GPU, and dedicated neural engine accelerates AI workflows while maintaining energy efficiency and impressive battery life. Apple is now on its third generation of M series chips insert on the Mac with built-in neural engines, outpacing competitors who are only just starting to introduce PCs with NPUs.

Hardware and Software Synergy

The true power of the Mac lies in the seamless integration of its hardware and software. Apple’s Core ML framework, along with a comprehensive suite of developer tools, drives both macOS features and third-party app utilization of AI and ML. This integrated approach ensures optimal AI performance by coordinating the efforts of CPUs with machine learning accelerators, powerful GPUs, and other components.

Unified Memory: A Game Changer

One of the standout features of Apple Silicon is its unified memory architecture, which allows all compute elements (CPU, GPU, neural engine) to share a large pool of high-speed memory. This eliminates the bottlenecks of traditional GPUs with separate memory pools, enabling Macs to handle large models and data sets with remarkable efficiency.

Core ML and Developer Tools

Core ML, available since 2017, serves as the central framework for machine learning on Mac. It’s optimized for secure, on-device performance, dynamically leveraging the CPU, GPU, and neural engine based on the task at hand. Developers can seamlessly integrate machine learning models using Core ML’s pre-built APIs or craft custom models with Create ML, Apple’s app for streamlined ML model creation and optimization.

Real-World Applications and a Thriving Ecosystem

The Mac ecosystem boasts a vast array of third-party applications that harness Core ML for AI and ML tasks. These applications demonstrate the practical benefits of Apple’s AI infrastructure, from intelligent features in Adobe Illustrator to enhanced capabilities in Zoom. Tools like Photo AI and Mac Whisper exemplify how AI can amplify productivity by automating complex tasks like image upscaling and audio transcription.

The Apple Advantage for Businesses

Why should businesses choose Apple for their AI endeavors? The answer lies in a combination of factors:

  • Boosted Productivity: Macs are designed to supercharge productivity, with macOS features like voice isolation for crystal-clear calls, secure offline dictation, and the ability to extract text from images without relying on the cloud. These tools make business operations smoother, more secure and focused on privacy.
  • Security and Privacy: Apple devices are built with advanced security measures at their core, safeguarding both personal and corporate data.
  • Seamless Integration: Apple’s ecosystem ensures a smooth flow of work across iPhones, iPads, and Macs, enhancing collaboration and efficiency.
  • Effortless Deployment: With zero-touch deployment and automatic enrollment in mobile device management (MDM) solutions, setting up Apple devices for your team is a breeze.
  • Cost Efficiency: While Macs may have a higher upfront cost, they often lead to lower total cost of ownership (TCO) over time. Studies have shown that Macs can save businesses significant amounts in hardware, software, support, and operational costs over a three-year period.

How Connection Elevates Your Apple Experience

Connection leverages its extensive expertise and strong partnership with Apple to deliver unparalleled support and solutions tailored to your business needs. By offering a range of services from deployment to lifecycle management, Connection ensures that your Apple devices are seamlessly integrated and optimized for peak performance.

Comprehensive Support, Tailored for You

Connection is structured to support diverse sectors, with dedicated divisions for Business Solutions, Enterprise Solutions, and Public Sector engagements. This enables them to cater to specific industries like healthcare, manufacturing, retail, and financial services, offering tailored IT solutions and services that align with unique needs.

Your Authorized Apple Partner

With a 40-year relationship with Apple, Connection is an authorized Apple service provider, offering Apple-certified support. This long-standing partnership ensures access to top-tier services like Apple Business Manager, Apple School Manager enrollments, and volume purchase programs. Connection also facilitates AppleCare for Enterprise, AppleCare Plus enrollments, and Apple Financial Services, providing flexible financial solutions tailored to your business.

Professional Services That Fit Your Needs

Connection’s professional services are designed to meet a wide range of business needs. These services include readiness reviews, mobile device automation, Mac proof of concepts, authentication and identity integration, and comprehensive IT lifecycle services. By proactively managing device refresh cycles and ensuring proper recycling of end-of-life resources, Connection keeps your business at the forefront of technology.

Holistic IT Lifecycle Management

Effective device management is crucial for any organization. Connection assists businesses in planning and executing refresh cycles for iOS and Mac devices, ensuring that outdated hardware doesn’t impede productivity. They offer trade-in options and proper recycling services, making it easy for businesses to retire and replace devices while maintaining a seamless workflow.

Enhanced Support with AppleCare

Connection’s partnership with AppleCare provides an extra layer of support from experts who know Apple products inside and out. AppleCare for OS agreements focus on IT department-level support, while AppleCare for Enterprise caters to employee support, providing priority on-site service and 24/7 help desk support, including next-day business device repair or replacement.

Advanced Services Through TIDC

Connection’s Technology Integration and Distribution Center (TIDC) is a unique value-add that sets them apart. As a Jamf Pro and Jamf Gold partner, Connection offers MDM-agnostic solutions, custom packages, automated device automation, and Mac evaluation units. These services provide a comprehensive health check of your environment, ensuring optimal performance and seamless integration of new technologies like the M3 MacBook Air and M3 MacBook Pro.

Business Outcomes That Matter

Connection’s offerings are focused on delivering tangible business outcomes, including digital transformation, managed services, professional services, and supply chain optimization. With a strong emphasis on data and AI, Connection empowers businesses to harness the power of AI within their operations, creating custom workflows that drive efficiency.

Unifying Device Management with Microsoft Intune

Many organizations seek a unified platform to manage all devices, regardless of operating system. Microsoft Intune fulfills this need, offering a streamlined, cost-effective solution for managing Apple devices within a Microsoft environment.

Building Your AI-Powered Future with Apple and Connection

Apple’s AI-enabled Macs provide a powerful synergy of hardware and software optimized for AI and ML workflows. With top-tier security features, power efficiency, and a vibrant ecosystem of third-party apps, Macs are the ideal choice for AI-driven tasks and everyday business needs.

As AI continues to evolve, Macs are well-positioned to lead the way in business productivity and innovation. The seamless integration of hardware and software, coupled with the ability to run complex AI models locally, ensures that Macs will remain at the forefront of technology, delivering exceptional performance and value to businesses worldwide.

Connection’s deep expertise and long-standing partnership with Apple empower businesses to harness the full potential of Apple’s cutting-edge technology. From deployment and integration to ongoing management, Connection ensures your AI initiatives are not only successful but also drive real business results. Together, Apple and Connection provide a comprehensive solution for navigating the AI landscape and positioning your business for future success.

Chris is Manager of Digital Partner Programs at Connection. He has more than 10 years of experience in IT product and marketing management. In his free time he enjoys spending time with his wife and daughter, doing volunteer work in his community, and playing basketball or tennis.