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  • How Tim Cook's Augmented Reality vision paid off for Apple

    DAalseth said:
    It seems a bit premature to put the title in the past tense. 
    Yes not jumping on the VR bandwagon was smart. But AR is still only a gimmick. It isn't mainstream. Not that it won't necessarily, be huge eventually. But that is to be seen, as several comments pointed out, some years down the road. We don't actually know if AR will be huge, or will be the next 3D-TV.
    One difference between Apple's current approach with AR and 3D displays is that AR is a passive technology that uses existing hardware (motion sensors and cameras) to do advanced new things. So when Apple launched ARKit 1.0 in iOS 11, it could support AR experiences on millions of existing iPhones/Pads with at least A9 chips sold over the previous 2 years-- customers that did not buy their devices "for AR" because it hadn't even been released yet. Maintaining and developing AR also requires limited extra cost for Apple beyond the software. And some of the support that drives AR (motion sensors, True Depth, etc) have other compelling uses as well. People who "adamantly refuse to use AR" are not really paying extra for Apple's AR support. 3D displays on the other hand add significant expense to the bill of materials.  

    Google's Tango partners were adding expensive hardware to offer Tango AR features, and these made them less competitive in the commodity market for Androids. None of them took off, partly for that reason. 

    ARKit added extra allure to Apple's best new iPhone X, allowing it to do more new things. So it was both supporting existing iOS users and helping to upsell new more expensive models. A lot of commenters here are being dogmatically cynical about AR being competely worthless because they don't see a personal attachment to the concept, but its certainly clear that if Android phones were offering AR while iOS lacked any capability, this would be unhesitatingly cited as an exciting, exclusive feature where Apple was behind. We certainly saw that with Gear VR/Daydream--at least until it became clear that nobody was really using it and certainly not paying for it, despite it being a fun thing to demo. 
  • How Tim Cook's Augmented Reality vision paid off for Apple

    bkgx said:
    This is my first time dabbling with the Apple Insider community here, but I have to say it’s a bit surprising to read the reactions to the story. 

    If the rumors are true that Apple’s AR glasses are finally coming this year, then you’d imagine a community of Apple fans would cheer this article on. Else, are you anticipating this is the riskiest thing Apple has ever done and it will fail? Clearly Apple has been ramping up in talent acquisition, software and hardware investments – as per the article – for precisely this release.

    Google and Facebook totally bungled their respective strategies. Read Harris’ ‘The History of the Future’ or Kilday’s ‘Never Lost Again.’ Sure, VR will payoff one day but we’re not even close; whereas, people here are questioning AR when Niantic – Google expats – have grossed ~$4B since Q4-2016 on just one game. And the AR functionality on IOS is leaps and bounds ahead of Android, ironically. That’s one app.

    I think you all may be using your Measure apps wrong: The article is premature but I’m all for it. This is what’s happening just like 2007. Kudos.
    Thanks for your comment. In addition to what you pointed out about clearly successful App Store AR ventures such as Ninantic's, it's useful to note that Apple materially participated in those successes as well. So Apple has been recouping its investments in AR in both hardware sales and in App Store sales and subscriptions, strengthening the iOS ecosystem as well.

    Phone VR participants not only put significant efforts into building and marketing hardware that they essentially gave away but also spent big money on content that didn't find an audience willing to pay for it. Building a VR experience is more complex and expensive than other content, and there was never any indication that anyone was willing to pay anything for this kind of content, no matter how fun or technologically interesting it might have been. And VR gaming, the brightest potential content category, was demanding stuff that really asked for a dedicated PC or console setup, rather than running from your mobile phone and destroying its battery for a short bit of fun. 

  • How Tim Cook's Augmented Reality vision paid off for Apple

    ”How Tim Cook's Augmented Reality vision paid off for Apple”
    How does the story support that headline? 
    Answer: It doesn’t
    Apple sells hardware. 
    Check the stock price. 
  • How Tim Cook's Augmented Reality vision paid off for Apple

    elijahg said:
    elijahg said:
    I don't know that AR is really any more popular than VR... I've seen much more hype about AR than VR. I think AR is probably more useful, but VR is more impressive so gets more press coverage. In any case both are pretty cool, but I am yet to see a particularly compelling AR app that has me coming back for more. It's more a tech demo of "look what this does", never to be used again.
    The article is examining the commercial results of two strategies to earn profits, sustain development, and continue building future products.

    It isn't an opinion on whether VR is neat or not. 
    Well it's rather difficult to know if anyone has bought an iPhone exclusively for AR. I honestly doubt it, even amongst hardcore Apple fans. I very much doubt anyone on the Android side has explicitly gone out and bought a phone that's good for AR either, so not sure commercially AR has been much of a success. I completely agree phone based VR is pretty dumb, though for a few dollars it was a fun fad for a short time. I agree too that the media's obsession with Apple doing VR is also dumb, it's mostly gaming and as we all know, Apple doesn't like games. Plus the announced VR stuff at WWDC '17 is essentially vaporware at this point.

    That said, quite a number of people have gone out to buy real VR headsets that use a PC/console as the processor. And people are willing to pay a fair whack for the headsets too, which does make it a fairly successful niche. Of course if you have an iPhone, you already have everything you need for AR. Which makes it a reasonable value-add, but not sure it really adds a huge draw for consumers.
     VR Headset Sales Drop Over 40 Compared to Last Year  Why
    People don't have "exclusive reasons" for buying an iPhone, but Portrait Lighting was a primary feature Apple has been advertising. Apple has sold many hundreds of millions of AR-capable phones, and hundreds of millions of ultra-premium phones that specifically promote selfie-AR features. 

    "The announced VR stuff at WWDC '17 is essentially vaporware at this point" No it isn't. Apple has supported VR content creation on the Mac. Not really VR clients.

    When you say "
    quite a number of people" have bought VR devices, and are talking about a few hundred thousand units, recall that hundreds of millions is a hundred times larger. Also, a high-end iPhone is +$1000, while an Oculus Rift S/Quest is ~$500 and a PSVR with games is ~$350.


  • How Tim Cook's Augmented Reality vision paid off for Apple

    elijahg said:
    Also not really sure where DED gets the idea that the portrait modes on iOS are AR, they use AI to do their job, but not AR. The link takes you to AppleInsider's AR page, which only mentions AR in the context of using the lidar sensor for better 3D maps.
    Portrait Lighting uses AR face mapping. You can read about it.