“Apple is frittering away its lead in the augmented reality space after setting a rapid pace with ARKit in iOS 11 and advanced hardware in iPhone and iPad, according to KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who sees Chinese upstart Oppo gaining ground with less complex — and less expensive — solutions,” Mikey Campbell writes for AppleInsider.

“Kuo in a note to investors seen by AppleInsider says Apple’s lead in AR has been ‘significantly narrowed’ by Oppo, which has in part caught up to the iPhone maker thanks to solid hardware and software integration,” Campbell writes. “The analyst believes it took the Chinese electronics manufacturer only six to nine months to arrive at a workable platform on par with Apple’s offerings.”

“Whereas Apple employs a bespoke AR platform with customized A-series processors, closed-loop cameras, gyroscope and other equipment, Oppo was able to recreate similar digital experiences with low-cost components. According to Kuo, Oppo relies on CPUs made by Qualcomm and MediaTek, an open-loop camera system and acceleration sensor, hardware common to many Android handsets,” Campbell writes. “The analyst argues Apple’s software innovations, or lack thereof, are to blame for the supposedly ceded ground.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: We’re not buying Kuo’s assessment. Kuo is great for uncovering materials and specs. We remain unconvinced of Kuo’s acumen at predicting unit sales or assessing software. We need more proof than Kuo offers that proves “Apple is frittering away their AR lead.” Not that Tim Cook’s Apple is incapable of frittering away leads (far from it: Apple TV, Siri, professional content creation, etc.), but we require concrete proof, not just anecdotes.

That said, we do still await the first “killer AR” app and AR revolution that’s been frequently touted by Apple CEO Tim Cook. Perhaps we’ll have to wait for Apple’s smart glasses. Perhaps you’ve noticed: There’s lot of waiting with Tim Cook’s Apple. It’s “in the pipeline,” dontcha know.

Another worrying related issue: Apple has 800 people working on iPhone cameras, but with “Portrait mode” results Google did with one camera what it took Apple to do with two cameras. Why?

Ming-Chi Kuo: Apple’s TrueDepth camera system puts iPhone X years ahead of Android competition – October 2, 2017
Apple CEO Cook on Augmented Reality: ‘I regard it as a big idea like the smartphone’ – February 10, 2017