It will take Apple's Android competitors up to two and a half years to replicate the functionality and user experience of the TrueDepth Camera in the iPhone X, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo told investors in a note shared this morning.
In a previous report, Kuo predicted it would take one to two years for competitors to catch up, but having watched Apple's official technical demonstrations in detail, it's now believed it will take longer to replicate the user experience.
The TrueDepth camera will give Apple a solid technological lead throughout 2018 and 2019, leading Kuo to say KGI has "full confidence" in the iPhone's growth prospects in the high-end smartphone market over the next couple of years despite iPhone X constraints in 2017.
KGI Securities has revised its 2017 iPhone X shipping estimates from 40 million to 30 to 35 million units, but Kuo says the firm stands by its "positive outlook" on shipments of future iPhones equipped with the TrueDepth Camera.
Apple's TrueDepth camera system enables its Face ID facial recognition system and other features like advanced face tracking and analysis for Animoji. Rumors suggest the difficulty of manufacturing the TrueDepth camera
is what has led to significant iPhone X production issues, severely limiting initial available supply.
Apple's competitors like Samsung and Google will also need to overcome these development and manufacturing hurdles to create a product that's similar to the TrueDepth Camera. Samsung has already released a device with facial recognition capabilities, but it is inferior to Apple's solution as it is limited to 2D tracking making it less secure and easy to fool.
Ming-Chi Kuo previously said that should Apple's TrueDepth camera prove to be popular with consumers, all of the company's future iPhones are likely to adopt the feature