Apple’s TrueDepth Camera Is ‘2.5 Years Ahead’ of the Competition

Apple's TrueDepth Camera Is '2.5 Years Ahead' of the Competition
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The technology that makes Apple’s TrueDepth Camera work is years ahead of its competitors, according to renowned analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities.

More specifically, it could — and likely will — take Android phone manufacturers up to two and a half years to produce a system comparable to the functionality and user experience of the TrueDepth Camera, Kuo wrote in a research note distributed to clients Monday. Previously, Kuo had estimated a shorter time period of one to two years, but amended his prediction after seeing details in Apple’s official technical demonstrations.

KGI Securities has “full confidence” in the iPhone’s growth prospects in the premium market segment throughout 2018 and 2019, due to the solid technological advantage that the TrueDepth Camera boasts. That’s in spite of the supply constraints expected to plague the iPhone X’s launch through the end of this year.

Over the weekend, KGI Securities lowered its iPhone X shipping estimates for 2017 from 40 million units to around 30 to 35 million. That’s partly due to production issues with the TrueDepth platform. Kuo added that Apple will likely solve those problems shortly, allowing it to ramp up its mass production into 2018.

In the meantime, Kuo said that any negative market reaction to supply constraints will represent an attractive opportunity for prospective buyers of AAPL stock.

The TrueDepth Camera relies on cutting-edge proprietary technology, including a suite of infrared sensors and advanced facial tracking. Although the difficulty of producing such a complicated system may have affected iPhone X production in the short term, it also means that competing phone makers will need to overcome some technological hurdles to achieve a similar system.

As an example, the Galaxy S8 has a facial recognition option for its biometric security — but Samsung’s 2D scanning system pales in comparison to Face ID’s security. While the S8’s system can be cracked by a photo, TrueDepth’s 3D scanning capabilities will make it comparatively spoof-proof.

Indeed, like it did with the very first iPhone in 2007, Apple seems to be — once again — setting a precedent for what consumers will come to expect from a modern smartphone. Kuo also believes that Face ID will eventually be present in all iPhone models moving forward.

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