Ming-Chi Kuo: Apple is frittering away their AR lead, lack of software innovation to blame

“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


  1. Apple, the former maker of world class computers, announced today groundbreaking new products in the AR space. It will be launching AR ({[PRODUCT RED]}) and AR ({[PRODUCT PURPLE]}) on Friday. These new products celebrate Apple’s commitment to innovating methods of reproducing and colors that are very fashionable. In related news, Apple officially discontinued it’s entire line of Macs and MacBooks so that it can concentrate on new RED and PURPLE announcements.

  2. With great Apple management aquired wealth comes great lethargy, apathy and inattention to a prior important product line and an overall lack of urgency to most everything else.

    Where questions like “Where should we go to lunch/dinner today?’ or “Do you like the Apple Park executive washroom chartreuse or lavender doilies better?” hold the greatest importance, in between siestas.

  3. I think tech is very easily copied or reverse-engineered so it doesn’t surprise me that Apple can’t maintain a huge time lead over other companies who are willing to sell their products with somewhat similar features at a cheaper price. I don’t think it’s something Apple should be criticized for because that’s just the nature of a competitive market.

  4. Separate the phone business (named Apple Phone, Inc.) and attach Cook to it goodbye. Prosper or ruin, it’s his bug, and he can keep getting himself carried away as much as he wants and as long as he lasts. In the meantime, a newly refreshed and reinvigorated Apple, Inc. will begin to restore itself to the former self. Rejoice, rejoice!

      1. Rather than hiding behind your ever changing avatar name, if you have some intelligence to say anything which might be sensible and contributing to the comment forum, negative or positive, people might pay attention to you, lol
        I know this post is not sensible either, but I at least know that, hahaha

  5. From what I’ve seen, Ming-Chi Kuo’s whole game consists of throwing a TON of predictions about Apple out there then playing the law of averages – something’s gotta stick, right?

    That said, in a post-Jobs Apple it’s not unheard of for the company to jump way out in the lead in some new category then sit on it and shit away that lead. Examples:

    1) Siri – I’m sorry but it just plain SUCKS! It’s no better and no more useful than when it was introduced the day before Jobs died. Harbinger?

    2) Apple TV – this week I picked up a couple $59 Roku streaming sticks because on these I can get the Spectrum TV App and do away with the Spectrum cable boxes that I’m paying $10 a month each for. The stick just slips in a vacant HDMI port, it’s powered by a USB port. Simple, no AC plug, takes up zero counter/desk/table space – with a MUCH larger content library that’s not locked down to Apple’s gatekeepers. I agree with the walled garden approach for software but definitely not for channels……

    FTR – The Spectrum app is also available on Samsung Smart TV’s. Ya know where it’s NOT available? Apple TV. And that’s just ONE example of a missed opportunity for Apple TV. I have them on three TVs and unless I want to watch something on iTunes (no need anymore as I can find any movie I want on the Roku) or an Apple event, these go very largely unused.

    Mini Computers ie Mac Mini

    Pro Level Desktops AND Laptops – sure they put out MacBook Pro laptops regularly but look at the specs. Really Apple? You can, with good conscience, sell a dual core machine with a shitty keyboard as a Pro laptop in 2018? The iMac Pro looks like a beauty but if I’m spending $5k on a desktop computer then I will need to be able to upgrade the RAM, SSD, video cards, etc if I so desire.

    Car Play – sorta useful but ridiculously limited and, when the car is in motion, horribly hampered by it’s dependence on the joke that is Siri.

    Retina Display – while still beautiful other manufacturers have surpassed Apple’s display prowess…

    There are other examples but you get the picture. The point is Apple shoots this stuff out the gate then just lets it languish, as if just introducing an idea is enough – no need to develop or improve it.

    This is Tim Cook’s Apple. Hate hearing this? Don’t hate on the messenger – Cook’s the CEO – get rid of that caretaker CEO and light a fire under the asses of the VPs who clearly have become fat & happy and content – with the possible exception of Craig Federighi – we’ll see how he does with his new responsibilities. Jobs inspired the impossible because he inspired, when necessary, fear. He got the best out of people and to achieve what he envisioned that is what was necessary!!!!!

    Cook inspires a lackadaisical attitude. Under him Apple can’t walk and chew gum at the same time. As MDN has pointed out so many times – the way this company operates you’d think Apple is a company with 4 or 5 developers locked away somewhere with virtually no budget to get things done – not a company with virtually endless resources and the (supposedly) best developers in the World.

    I’ve been a certifiable Apple Fanboy for quite a while now – though not as long as some of you. I create and record music using Logic Pro X, used 2 Logic versions before this one, plan to purchase Final Cut Pro for some upcoming video work. I love my Maxed out 27″ iMac (with both Magic Trackpad and Magic Mouse 2), iPad, iPhone 8, Apple Watch, Airpods. I loved my Airport Extreme and Express, both of which lasted over 10 years with nary a glitch until a power surge took ’em out. I would have replaced them with new Apple network devices but…oh yeah that’s right, Cook pulled Apple out of that space. As much as I love my Apple stuff though I no longer am confident that new apps, worlkflows, tasks, etc are going to work without question. I didn’t used to think like this, now we pretty much have to because Cook apparently has a different view of what ‘it just works’ is supposed to mean. Apple stuff is still the best for my needs and I’ll continue buying and using it – until it’s not.

    1. I’m not sure the Animoji are considered AR unless there’s a mode that allows you to overlay them on photos or live video recording now. Closer to face tracking IMO.

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