Apple: What the analysts are saying about ARKit

Excerpts from the notes I’ve seen.

Michael Olson, Piper Jaffray: ARKit for iOS 11 Instantly Creates World’s Largest AR (Augmented Reality) Platform. Apple announced ARKit, an augmented reality developer platform, for iOS this morning. ARKit will take advantage of the processors, motion sensors, camera, and other components of the iPhone and iPad. The company describes ARKit as a way for “developers to tap into the latest computer vision technologies to build detailed and compelling virtual content on top of real-world scenes for interactive gaming, immersive shopping experiences, industrial design and more.” We believe AR has become one of Apple’s largest areas of focus, when it comes to innovation. We expect 3D sensing and potentially other new functionality on iPhone X will further Apple’s foray into AR. iOS 11 is expected be available in the fall.

Gene Munster, Loup Ventures:  ARKit is the single most important announcement from today’s keynote, enhancing iOS 11 devices for augmented reality. ARKit instantly creates a multi-100m user base for AR developers over night, which compares to Google’s Tango platform which we believe has well under 10 million users. We believe AR will be the core technology that eventually replaces the smartphone. Today’s announcement lays the groundwork for Apple to succeed in that future as ARKit represents the first tangible commitment from Apple to establish itself as the leader in the race to build a dominant AR-driven OS. The company will build AR-enhanced iPhones that include depth cameras and other additional hardware in the future, but they will also bring along the existing iOS device base to bring AR to all sooner than later.

Katy Huberty, Morgan Stanley:  On the AR front, Apple introduced and gave live demos of the new ARKit, a tool that will give app developers the capability to create new AR/VR-focused apps in the future. Ultimately, we believe the heightened AI/ML and AR/VR focus of the new operating systems will help the 16M strong developer community drive greater app development ahead of the anticipated 10th anniversary iPhone, which will expand iPhone user spend, improve customer stickiness and drive the 19% Y/Y services growth required to hit the company’s target of doubling Services revenue by 2020.

Ben Bajarin, Techpinions: ARkit is really a big deal and it was obvious. Most folks have never really had a good AR demo so it was interesting to see all the reactions from folks experiencing incredible AR demos on iPad and iPhone in the hands on areas. Developers can download the kits and the examples and start learning how to use them. Apple’s statement, that day one, they will have the largest AR development platform in the world is something to seriously consider. While one could argue Facebook has more reach, we know Apple has more engaged users and developers and this single factor trumps reach and gives Apple the advantage. Just looking at the devices it supports, it is likely that by the end of the year over 80% of Apple’s iOS installed base is an augmented reality customer. That equates to a market opportunity of around 600m people by the end of the year. Developers will be quite pleased with that.

Neil Cybart, Above Avalon:  Enough time has passed since Apple acquired key AR assets, so [was] a question of when things [were] ready… Over time, Apple’s AR push will include new form factors in the wearables space as Apple unveils devices for our eyes (there will also be ways to bring a form of AR to our ears). If it wasn’t already clear, Apple is going to have the largest AR platform thanks to its iPhone and iPad installed bases. This should concern many companies looking to entice developers with their own AR platforms, including Facebook and eventually even Snap.

See also: Augmented reality jump ball: Google, Microsoft, Apple


  1. Fred Stein said:

    Delighted to see the above analysts get it.
    Apple once again creates powerful new platform(s) – not sure if gaming, AI, AR/VR (call it GAAV) are one platform or several. Regardless, GAAV platforms are fragmented now. Apple becomes the consolidator, creating a new mass market for developers.

    June 6, 2017
  2. Robert Paul Leitao said:

    These resources are being delivered to developers roughly four months before Apple embarks on the biggest upgrade cycle in the company’s history with new products containing the latest graphics and processing technologies available to consumers in a handheld form.

    The company’s economic moat is getting wider by the day.

    June 7, 2017

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