Ming-Chi Kuo: Apple's Biggest Challenge to Innovation in Recent Years Has Been Software

Discussion in 'MacRumors.com News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Apr 11, 2018.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Apple's "biggest challenge in innovation in recent years has been in software, not hardware," according to KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.


    "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," wrote Kuo, in a research note obtained by MacRumors.

    Kuo's sole example is that Apple's first-mover advantage in augmented reality has been "significantly narrowed" by Chinese smartphone maker OPPO.

    He believes that OPPO has caught up with Apple's ARKit platform in only six to nine months, largely based on the fact that the augmented reality version of Honour of Kings will be compatible with not only iPhones but also OPPO's lower-priced smartphones when it launches next month, despite high-tech requirements.

    "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, referring to the two Chinese companies that developed Honour of Kings, estimated to have over 200 million players, mainly in China.

    Kuo adds that, since the debut of ARKit at WWDC 2017, there has been no "heavyweight" augmented reality app for iPhones and iPads.
    In terms of software in general, it can be argued that the past year wasn't Apple's greatest. iOS 11 and macOS High Sierra have suffered from several bugs, ranging in severity, including a major root password vulnerability on Macs to iMessages appearing in the wrong order across devices.

    Fortunately, in January, multiple reports claimed that Apple plans to increase its focus on the quality of its software platforms, presumably resulting in a greater emphasis on bug fixes, performance improvements, and stability.

    Article Link: Ming-Chi Kuo: Apple's Biggest Challenge to Innovation in Recent Years Has Been Software
  2. britboyj macrumors 6502a

    Apr 8, 2009
  3. MacHiavelli macrumors 65816


    May 17, 2007
    new york
    Software (and hardware) delays are down to one thing and one thing only: the transition to ARM.
  4. yaxomoxay macrumors 68020


    Mar 3, 2010
    For once, I agree with him. I also think that the year-to-year OS release badly damaged sw quality.
  5. AppleMad98004 macrumors 6502

    Aug 23, 2011
    Cylde Hill, WA
    Although for me Apple wins my business right now because of the integration of the platform with mobile/desktop/homekit... I do believe they need to really innovate or they will lose the next generation to Windows and Android.

    Apple is using the model of Siemens PLM Teamcenter. Once locked into their ecosystem it is very hard to leave even if there is better tech out there.
  6. itsmilo macrumors 68020


    Sep 15, 2016
    Just let me place my app icons wherever. It’s been 11 years god damn lol
  7. scott911 macrumors 6502a

    Aug 24, 2009
    As an interesting note - OPPO also was - until about two weeks ago - maker of the nearly undisputed best CD, DVD, Blueray playback units.

    People with six-figure speakers. and amps costing as much as a sports car, would happily use Oppo's several hundred dollars units as their source for playing physical media.

    I'd bet on OPPO - they really know their stuff - at least in that area...
  8. EvilEvil macrumors 6502a


    Jan 8, 2007
    New York City
    Apple hires the worst software developers and UX/UI designers.
  9. Ghost31 macrumors 68000


    Jun 9, 2015
    You should go work for them and show them how it’s done
  10. Frederik on MacRumors macrumors member

    Frederik on MacRumors

    Oct 7, 2015
  11. AdonisSMU macrumors 603

    Oct 23, 2010
    That's not true at all. In fact they are grossly underrated.

    I agree that apple should fix their software bugs. the problem for apple has been that they aren't as focused on fixing bugs. There is only so much hardware you can sell. They need to hire more folks tbqh.
  12. Relentless Power macrumors Core

    Relentless Power

    Jul 12, 2016
    Then why is iOS highly favored for those who want simplicity and stability? I Would never consider going back to Android ever and I can attest to many others around me who share similar thoughts.
  13. jadot macrumors 6502


    Apr 6, 2010
    There was always the promise that photos would become more of a platform than it has. The underlying program was supposed to be open to developers shoehorning in plugins and tools on top of a basic DAM (photos) software.
    It never came to be, likely because Apple still believe that cross platform photo libraries in iCloud would be threatened by the compatibility of such bolt-ons from MacOS to iOS. Basically, Photos is an iOS software that runs on MACOS too. Visa-Versa is too complicated.

    As it happens iCloud (and the lack of proper sharing/collaboration) screwed up the potential for Photos anyway. This is apparent when you look at the better cloud services from microsoft (For Storage) and particularly Google Photos for sharing.

    Photos is a joke. And Apple know it.
  14. sziehr macrumors 6502a

    Jun 11, 2009
    This is not to far off the mark. They in a process of unifying even more libraries to cross platform so when they recompile to arm it is simple. The thing is people forget apple moves in waves then slow then a wave.
  15. ThisBougieLife macrumors 68000


    Jan 21, 2016
    SF Bay Area, California
    I'll be honest: I don't care a whit about AR.

    But it does sometimes seem that Apple plays catch-up with software. Maybe in 70 years when they come out with macOS 11 we'll see something truly innovative.
  16. sracer macrumors 604


    Apr 9, 2010
    in exile
    Sorry but you can't be trusted to know the best placement for icons. The fact that you don't want an auto-flowing grid of icons proves it. :p;)
  17. AxiomaticRubric macrumors 6502


    Sep 24, 2010
    On Mars, Praising the Omnissiah
    I think Kuo is conflating the popularity of one game with the future potential of AR. How good this Honour of Kings game is may or may not have anything to do with the trajectory of AR in general. I just don’t see AR catching on the way Apple and other tech companies hoped it would.

    There needs to be compelling use cases for developers to fully implement AR Kit. I can definitely see use cases for industry and business (which most of the public will never see) but the average App Store shopper will see it as a gimmick or fad, mostly for games.
  18. EvilEvil, Apr 11, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2018

    EvilEvil macrumors 6502a


    Jan 8, 2007
    New York City
    Underrated how? There's too many egos and confirmation bias going on at Apple. Apple is poaching top talent and buying out companies but it hasn't helped them one bit in terms of software.
  19. Will.O.Bie macrumors 6502


    Aug 29, 2016
  20. madKIR macrumors 6502a

    Feb 2, 2010
    Apple's QA has been a joke lately...I couldn't agree more: iOS11 has been the worst software release from Apple so far, ranging from trivial and very stupid bugs to very questionable UI solutions. Especially, on the X. It's decent with 11.3, but it took them half a year to fix whatever should've worked from the very beginning.
  21. gnipgnop macrumors 65816

    Feb 18, 2009
    Sounds like Kuo is trying to hype up OPPO as the new Apple rival and iPhone killer. Good luck with that...
  22. AppleMad98004 macrumors 6502

    Aug 23, 2011
    Cylde Hill, WA
    One other issue with software innovation is all their software is tied only to Apple hardware. They no longer sell software since it is free. It only supports the hardware sales. Unlike Google/Microsoft which license their software to other hardware companies which need new innovation to move sales.

    Software now plays a supporting role to hardware. Just look at HomePod. Great breakthtough hardware but the Siri and content (Apple Music) are the supporting cast, and suck.
  23. nviz22 macrumors 601


    Jun 24, 2013
    Might want to replace Johnny Ive on the iOS side of things.

    iOS 11 was the worst update in terms of bugs in quite some time. iOS is also lacking consistency because you have productivity features on iPads and do not include them on phones. PIP mode, split-screen multi-tasking are two aspects that can bolster iPhones. You do not have a dark mode to improve battery life on the OLED iPhone X either.

    At this junction, you're just paying for the brand, customer service, long-term support, the OS, and the ecosystem.

    You're not really paying for innovation throughout the smartphone market either because it's a mature market. Sure, Samsung has DeX, but that isn't really innovative when Motorola tried the Atrix years ago. Samsung is a display pioneer right now because their phones and TVs offer the best displays. At least they have that going for them.

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