10 Things Apple Must Do to Hold On to Its Smartphone Crown

1 - 10 Things Apple Must Do to Hold On to Its Smartphone Crown
2 - Use WWDC to Announce New iPhones
3 - Launch the iPhone 6 Sooner Than Later
4 - Bring On That Phablet
5 - Push the Free iPhone
6 - Improve the Celebrity Effect
7 - Drop the iPhone 5S Price After WWDC
8 - Start the Security Refrain
9 - Focus on Samsung
10 - Keep an Eye on HTC
11 - Make the Big China Push
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10 Things Apple Must Do to Hold On to Its Smartphone Crown

by Don Reisinger

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Use WWDC to Announce New iPhones

The Worldwide Developers Conference is right around the corner, and it's the perfect place for Apple to announce new iPhones. Obviously, customers like what they're seeing from the company, so why shouldn't Apple announce new devices and keep that momentum going? The secret to Apple staying atop the smartphone space is continuing its smartphone launch cycle and maintaining hype. It can do that with a big WWDC announcement.

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Launch the iPhone 6 Sooner Than Later

One of the issues with announcing a new iPhone at WWDC is that current iPhone models might see sales start to slip as customers wait for the new device. That's why Apple shouldn't delay in announcing and launching its iPhone 6. The sooner the company can get the device on store shelves, the sooner it can elevate sales around the world.

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Bring On That Phablet

The latest rumors suggest Apple is working on a phablet with a 5.5-inch screen that will be available later this year. If so, that's a good idea. An iPhone 6 that launches soon will help buoy sales now, but a phablet launching later this year will handle the busy holiday shopping season. A phablet seems like the perfect solution for keeping Apple's mobile sales up throughout the year.

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Push the Free iPhone

Apple needs to do a better job of pushing the free iPhone 4S. Although Apple might make more on the iPhone 5C and iPhone 5S, the company's free iPhone 4S (with a two-year contract) is the secret to getting more smartphone novices to buy into the iOS ecosystem. Apple should push the iPhone 4S at customers on a budget as well as at smartphone novices to get them hooked and eventually sell them on the bigger and better products.

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Improve the Celebrity Effect

A recent Apple job posting said that the company was looking for a person to handle its "buzz marketing" by attracting celebrities and getting its products into their hands. That's a good move. Samsung has proved that it can attract celebrities to its products, and its strong sales suggest the efforts are working. Apple needs to do a better job of attracting celebrities to sell more product.

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Drop the iPhone 5S Price After WWDC

After WWDC is over and Apple (hopefully) announces a new iPhone, the company needs to drop the price of the iPhone 5S. As mentioned, customers will be inclined to wait for the new iPhone 6, which could hurt sales of the iPhone 5S unless it has a more amenable price. The iPhone 5S will remain on store shelves through next year, so Apple shouldn't waste time trying to bleed customers dry until the iPhone 6 hits store shelves.

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Start the Security Refrain

It's somewhat surprising that Apple hasn't said more about its own security compared with Android. The company used the "more-secure" tack with OS X with great success in its battle against Windows, but it isn't doing that with Android, even though that operating system is suffering from thousands of malicious malware attacks. If Apple impress upon buyers that its OS is less likely to be infiltrated by malicious hackers, it might have more success stealing customers from Android-based devices.

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Focus on Samsung

Samsung is Apple's biggest threat, as proven by the latest data from Counterpoint. Therefore, Apple should focus more of its marketing efforts on comparing its products to those of Samsung's and showing customers why it believes its devices are better. Samsung is a threat to Apple's dominance in smartphones, and the Cupertino, Calif.-based company can't forget that.

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Keep an Eye on HTC

HTC might not be a major threat to Apple right now, but the company is doing a fine job delivering high-quality products. The HTC One M8, in fact, is arguably the top Android-based handset on the market. Apple should keep an eye on HTC to make sure it doesn't get too popular among smartphone customers. Stopping HTC before it can grow is paramount.

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Make the Big China Push

China is exceedingly important to Apple's future. The Chinese market is growing in leaps and bounds, and literally hundreds of millions of people are going to be buying smartphones in the coming years. Apple needs to focus its time on China to ensure it's providing standout products that can take on companies like Samsung and Xiaomi. If Apple can't dominate China, it leaves a massive opening for competitors to take it down. Apple mustn't forget that.

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