How Apple Can Stymie Android's Growth: 10 Ways to Do It

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2010-11-02

How Apple Can Stymie Android's Growth: 10 Ways to Do It

Google's Android platform continues to make large strides in overall sales. In fact, during the third quarter, Google's Android sales far outpaced that of Apple's iOS platform, making it all the more likely that in a few years, Google will dominate the mobile space as all the other companies in the market, including Apple, try desperately to pick up the scraps. 

For Apple, such setback defeat is unacceptable. The company is one of those firms that hates to lose, no matter what the market or the competitor. Steve Jobs typically does everything he can to regain lost market share whenever his company loses it. 

But the mobile market is different. Apple's single smartphone-the iPhone-is competing against a slew of products from different vendors. Trying to compete with so many other companies can be difficult. But that doesn't mean Apple won't try. Furthermore, it doesn't mean that the hardware company can't find ways to stymie Android's growth.

Read on to find out how Apple can slow down Android's growth in the mobile market.

1. Keep the patent pressure on 

Recently, Apple filed another lawsuit against Motorola, claiming the mobile company violated several of its patents, including how multitouch is handled on the company's Android-based devices. Earlier this year, Apple took issue with functionality built into HTC smartphones running Android and Windows Mobile. Apple should keep the pressure on. It might not make everyone love the company, but if it can win, which it obviously believes it can, the company could go a long way in helping its cause. 

2. Maintain the design lead 

Part of the value of the iPhone and Apple's iOS platform is their design. Both products deliver an experience that easily bests that of the competition. If Motorola, HTC or other competitors start delivering similar experiences, it could be big trouble for Apple. The company has the unique ability to continue leading on design and easily beat the competition every step of the way. If it doesn't, it will lose out. 

3. Continue to innovate on software 

Aside from the design of iOS, Apple needs to think about how that software is improving the lives of people using its smartphones. Right now, most would agree that iOS is doing a far better job of improving the user's experience of using a smartphone than others on the market. But allowing iOS to cruise in the market without further improvements would be a mistake. Apple needs to find areas where iOS falls short and fix them. It should also bring new functionality to the market, to ensure Google constantly needs to catch up. 

4. Make the antenna issue a marketing ploy 

When the iPhone 4 first launched, consumers were concerned that the device lost some of its antenna signal when users held it a certain way. The uproar over the issues has long since died down, and Apple has effectively weathered that storm. But during the height of the outcry, Apple made it clear that other products suffer from antenna problems. If the company can find a way to actually improve the iPhone's reception and start taking the fight to competitors, it can go a long way toward holding Android back. 

Apple Must Bring All Its Resources to Bear


5. Apply marketing muscle to fight Google gains 

One of the best things Apple ever did was use its marketing muscle to wage a war on Microsoft and Windows. The result was an increase in Mac sales. It should follow a similar strategy against Google and Android. It can draw correlations between Microsoft and Google, and show why its product and the company are more reliable. If it can prove that point as effectively as it did against Microsoft, Google could have a serious identity crisis on its hands. 

6. Deliver something exciting to the next iPhone 

The iPhone is central to the success or failure of Apple's efforts to stymie Android's growth. With that in mind, Apple needs to find a way to deliver something totally out of the ordinary with the next update to its smartphone. Whether that means a new feature consumers haven't considered or major improvements to issues with the smartphone, Apple needs to find something that pushes the rest of the hardware competitors back. 

7. Work with Verizon-now 

Verizon is an important component in Apple's plan to hold Android back. With the carrier's help, Apple's smartphones can finally be made available to millions more customers. In the process, Apple can limit the impact of Android's availability on so many different networks. Ubiquity matters in the mobile market. It's time Apple realizes that. 

8. Focus on Google, not the smartphone universe 

The last thing Apple should do is try to start a marketing war involving all the smartphone competition as well as Google and the search giant's vendor partners. It's not that Apple couldn't win in such a fight, but there is a real possibility that it could be biting off far more than it can chew. In the process, it will lose its focus on its desire to take Google down. Apple needs to concentrate all of its efforts on Google.  

9. Look beyond smartphones

Google is currently competing most effectively in the smartphone space, but in the coming year, the company's Android platform will undoubtedly make a splash in the tablet market far more than it has already. When that happens, Apple will need to worry about Google in multiple markets. It's best if Apple starts considering that now and finds unique ways to stem Google's growth in that space. With any luck, the company will do a better job of holding off Google in the tablet market than it did with smartphones. 

10. Make the iPad a major contributor 

Speaking of tablets, it's important that Apple ensures that the iPad is a key contributor to the success of its plan to stymie Android's growth. As recent sales have shown, the iPad is a highly desirable product in today's mobile market. The chances of any Android-based product stopping that anytime soon seem awfully slim. Apple can use that to its advantage, and ensure that the iPad does its part to slow Android's growth in today's mobile market.

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