For any company, but maybe especially Apple, there tends to be a lot of focus on what Apple isn’t doing at any given moment. In this case, we have KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo leveling some insight on which department Apple is lagging in these days.
As reported today by MacRumors, Kuo believes that Apple’s “biggest challenge in innovation in recent years has been in software, not hardware”. In the research note that the publication was able to obtain, Kuo believes that Apple is lagging significantly in software development, but that it is holding its own when it comes to hardware:
“In several cases we have seen Apple lagging in software versus hardware development, which bodes badly for its innovation strategy of software and hardware integration.”
Interestingly enough, the reason for this is that Kuo believes Apple’s significant lead in the augmented reality (AR) market, ARKit, has been narrowed by a large margin by Chinese smartphone manufacturer OPPO:
“We think Apple’s endeavors in the AR field should have enabled it to offer AR applications popular with the market before the Android camp, including: (1) the announcement of ARKit, an AR development tool, ahead of Google; (2) customization of the SoC (including CPU and GPU); and (3) customization of the rear camera.
However, since the debut of the ARKit nearly a year ago, there has been no heavyweight AR application on iOS. Given that the AR version of Honour of Kings runs not only on the iPhone but also on OPPO’s smartphone, Apple’s first-mover advantage gap in AR has been significantly narrowed by OPPO.”
As it stands right now, Apple appears to be focusing on software this year, with reports suggesting that the company is actually holding some planned features for iOS back by at least one major software release. Apple instead will be refining its iOS 12 software, aiming to clean up the experience and improve it in significant ways.
Nothing too surprising here. It will be interesting to see what iOS 12 has in store for us, though. Will the refining of the software really mean no great forward facing features? Or will Apple try to find a happy balance?