The mobile OS wars between iOS and Android have occupied much of the past ten years. They reached varying levels of intensity in early days of competition over market share, but have matured a bit over the past few years.
Now a component of those operating systems could reignite the competition: their respective AR development kits. More importantly, ARkit and ARCore carry their parents’ DNA and their positioning in the smartphone era. For Apple, it’s all about apps. For Google, the web.
But the question is which AR platform is positioned better for growth and market share? It won’t be a winner take all market, just as iOS and Android have coexisted for years. And there is evidence that they’ll have some compatibility, or at least portability of graphical assets.
But they’ll still compete on many levels, and there are signals that indicate competitive differentiation on both sides. Google has greater scale and a technical lead from years invested in Tango. But Apple has more control over the hardware in its classic vertical integration.
In terms of reach, Apple has the short-run advantage, due to more unified hardware and software, which support wider compatibility with ARkit. But Google has longer-term scale as ARCore compatibility cycles into the larger Android universe (3.6 billion devices by 2020).
This was the topic of ARtillry’s latest report and is also broken down — much more succinctly — in the latest episode of ARtillry Briefs. See the episode below and stay tuned for ongoing coverage as ARCore and ARkit continue to evolve and get deployed by mobile AR developers.
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Disclosure: ARtillry has no financial stake in the companies mentioned in this post, nor received payment for its production. Disclosure and ethics policy can be seen here.