iPhone 13 mini
Bank of America analysts foresee a future with 'IntelliPhones' - a new breed of smartphones powered by AI. These intelligent devices will anticipate our needs and seamlessly integrate with our lives Pexels

Apple's already-impressive portfolio may soon include a game-changer for investors: AI-driven smartphones. Bank of America analysts have dubbed these high-performance devices "IntelliPhones," which they believe will revolutionise the current smartphone landscape.

Senior equity research analyst Wamsi Mohan and his team painted a future where smartphones require significantly more processing power. This increased capability will come in handy for handling the daily use of "AI agents."

These AI-backed agents are expected to become ubiquitous assistants for tasks ranging from booking travel and real-time translation to scheduling appointments and providing tutoring. This is a significant opportunity for Apple to upsell its massive customer base of over 2.2 billion active smartphone users on the newest and most advanced AI technology.

"We see the introduction of AI smartphones (IntelliPhones) as a once-in-a-decade upgrade event," Mohan and his team wrote a research note highlighting several future capabilities that could make these gadgets better than existing handsets.

BofA IntelliPhones
BofA predicts AI will drive the shift from smartphones to “IntelliPhones.” Twitter / Mike Zaccardi, CFA, CMT @MikeZaccardi

They believe this innovation will trigger a multi-year upgrade cycle, mirroring the dramatic advancements witnessed with the initial smartphone revolution. "Context awareness will be the key differentiator," Mohan added.

IntelliPhones: A New Era of Mobile Intelligence

Bank of America analysts predict that IntelliPhones will usher in a new era of mobile experiences, far surpassing the capabilities of current smartphones. These next-generation devices boast an impressive array of augmented and virtual reality features, coupled with advanced health monitoring and other functionalities.

"As AI technology evolves the gap between IntelliPhones and traditional smartphones is likely to widen further by offering even more sophisticated and personalised functions driving the desire to upgrade," Mohan and his team wrote.

This Could Be Hype

While the potential of AI-powered smartphones is undeniable, it's important to acknowledge there's a lot of hype surrounding AI at the moment. Analyst predictions, particularly those made close to industry events like Apple's upcoming WWDC conference, can be influenced by this hype cycle.

Adding to the intrigue, Apple recently secured a patent hinting at a self-healing display for its next-generation iPhone. Last year, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman anticipated Apple integrating generative AI features into Siri by 2024. However, this functionality still needs to be implemented.

Apple's stock price has seen a modest increase of just over 7% in the past year. This trails the broader market performance of the S&P 500 and especially the surge within the big tech sector. However, Bank of America analysts anticipate a reversal of fortune with the impending arrival of AI-powered smartphones.

Anticipation is high for Apple's WWDC event, where the company is expected to showcase a range of innovative AI features for iPhones. As is often the case preceding major product announcements, Wall Street analysts are likely to issue bullish research reports and "buy" recommendations. Given Apple's upcoming WWDC conference, investor optimism is expected.

Despite the hype, Mohan presents persuasive arguments. Should AI functionalities on smartphones truly differentiate them from existing devices, consumers will have a compelling reason to upgrade to the latest models.

"We see the introduction of AI smartphones (IntelliPhones) as a once-in-a-decade upgrade event," Mohan wrote. At the recently concluded I/O conference, Google unveiled a slew of AI capabilities for Pixel, Samsung, and other Android phones.

"It's a once-in-a-generation moment to reinvent what phones can do," Android chief Sameer Samat told Business Insider. "We are going to seize that moment."

IntelliPhone Capabilities

Apple remains tight-lipped regarding potential AI-powered smartphones, but whispers within the tech industry have yielded intriguing possibilities. Last month, the iPhone maker quietly revealed it is training its AI on millions of licensed Shutterstock images, fueling speculation that this data will be used for the iPhone 15.

Now, BofA has revealed some of the potential capabilities of the IntelliPhones. This includes context-aware assistance, proactive suggestions, object and scene recognition, real-time translation, predictive health alerts, AI-driven content creation, Music Haptics, and Vocal Shortcuts.