Ditch the iPhone 5S Idea

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Ditch the iPhone 5S Idea

If Apple's past smartphone launches are our guide for the future, the company this year will launch a barely updated iPhone 5 called the iPhone 5S. But with Samsung's Galaxy S 4 likely to be a major upgrade from its predecessor, Apple needs to come up with something big. If it doesn't, Samsung might just take an even bigger lead in the smartphone space.

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No iPhone Minis

There has been talk recently of Apple possibly launching an iPhone Mini. That device, the reports say, would appeal to emerging markets and other parts of the world that aren't investing as heavily in Apple's full-priced iPhone. But the iPhone Mini isn't necessary. Carriers are already offering the iPhone 4 and the iPhone 4S at cheap rates. Adding another smartphone to the mix would be a bad idea.

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Let Jonathan Ive Do What He Does Best

What Apple is lacking right now is that Steve Jobs-like innovation. So the company would do well to allow its product designer Jonathan Ive to take more control. Apple should let Cook run the business side and Ive take on innovation. By doing so, Apple should be able to take a more convincing lead in design.

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Focus On China

China is a key piece of Apple's future. And yet, the company's products have proven too expensive in the Far East, hurting demand. In 2013, Apple must focus more heavily on China and try to find ways to bring its products to more of the country's consumers. To not do so could see Apple left behind in the key Chinese market.

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Expand Retail Stores as Much as Possible

Retail stores have proven extremely beneficial to Apple's business. In fact, with several hundred stores around the world, the company has been able to dramatically increase sales. Looking ahead, Apple must open more stores to keep that train moving.

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Forget About the Samsung Trials

Apple and Samsung are waging costly patent-infringement battles all over the world. But those endless cases are costing more than any advantage Apple is gaining from them. It's about time Apple gets away from the trials and dedicates its cash to products. Lawsuits only make Apple look bad.

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Launch That Television

With the iPod business declining and Mac shipments off from the prior year, it might be a good time for Apple to finally launch that long-awaited television. A high-end television from Apple could be just the product to jump-start its business and improve its financials.

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Focus On the Enterprise

The corporate world is an extremely important market for Apple. The issue is, the company hasn't necessarily acknowledged that. The time has come for Apple to invest even more heavily in the enterprise and establish itself as a corporate leader. Doing so could stem any chances of competitors catching up.

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Catch Up to Android

Speaking of catching up, Apple needs to do a much better job developing iOS. Android right now has more features and really useful functions that Apple's operating system doesn't. And judging by Android's popularity, many consumers are finding that out. If Apple is to be successful in the coming years, it will need to find ways to top Android. Right now, it's trailing.

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Revive the Mac Line

During the fourth quarter of 2012, Apple shocked investors with a decline in Mac sales. The company sold 5.1 million Mac units during the period, down from more than 6 million in the same period in 2011. Apple blamed part of that decline on trouble producing the new iMac, but the company was also impacted by iPad cannibalization. That cannibalization needs to be addressed. To do this, Apple should determine whether its product and pricing strategy across the Mac line is actually effective. There's strong reason to believe that it isn't.

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