"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," says Kuo, in a research note obtained by MacRumors.
Kuo points to Apple's lead in AR. The new augmented reality version of the popular Honour of Kings game will be compatible with both the iPhone and OPPO's lower priced smartphones. This means that Chinese smartphone maker OPPO has been able to catch up to ARKit in just six to nine months, says the analyst.
"The key is that OPPO is in charge of developing API, integrating hardware and software, and cooperating with SenseTime's algorithm and Tencent's game software development team," said Kuo.
The analyst also notes the lack of a 'heavyweight' augmented reality app for iPhone or iPad.
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.
Apple has suffered a slew of bugs and security vulnerabilities in its software over the past year but has reportedly refocused on improving the quality of its software for both iOS and macOS. Unfortunately, this will likely delay some of the new features that Apple had in the works.
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