How Apple Can Become the King of Smartphones Again

As one of the first and biggest names in the world of smartphones spy on a cell phone, Apple has been fighting a constant battle to stay on top for the past several years. And while the results have been decidedly mixed (enter Apple Music), Apple still holds a good chunk of market share. But it’s clear that competitors like Samsung and even Blackberry are eating into Apple’s former dominance of the market. But that doesn’t have to be the case. Here’s how Apple can become the king of the smartphone market once again, simply by making simple changes that won’t alienate the user base. While most of these seem obvious, especially with the benefit of hindsight, we hope someone at Apple takes a hint.

Focus Less on the 2-Year Update Cycle

Believe it or not, a good chunk of Apple users are still holding on their iPhone 4 and 4s models even with models such as the iPhone 5c and the 6 lineup having been out for a while. And let’s be real here. How radical of an update does each new iteration of the iPhone really offer? For all intents and purposes, iPhones are all boxy, rectangular smartphones with an intuitive layout. Aside from a few updates, like 3D touch and Apple Pay, users get the same experience on their phones for the most part. Focus less on chasing the users with older phones. They’re using an older phone for a reason. When someone’s phone is automatically made to feel obsolete in such a rapid period of time with no real reason to update their phone, it’s a recipe to breed resentment among iPhone owners. But Apple can do a lot better. Either offer more substantial reasons for users to update or relax and be more accommodating of users who prefer their phones.

Declutter iTunes

You heard us. iTunes has been a part of Apple since 2001. But it’s time to simplify it, especially when it comes to how we listen to music and use iTunes on our phones. Even through the Music app (without considering whether or not a subscriber might be using Apple Music), users are overwhelmed with dozens of features they’re not likely to use anytime soon, including Genius. iTunes itself is cluttered with the same features and offers a one-stop hub for everything from music to, inexplicably, audio books. Declutter iTunes. Make buying music a genuinely fun and intuitive experience. If anything, iTunes and the Music app’s layout need a serious update.

Widgets

The Mac, through the Dashboard feature, has widgets. So why can’t the iPhone finally experience the convenience of them? As opposed to having to open multiple apps, why not give users the option of viewing simple things such as the weather that day or peeking at their stocks all from one quick widget menu. Bring the Dashboard to the iPhone. The iPhone was founded on making users’ lives more convenient- why not let that happen?

Support Radical Innovation

When’s the last time Apple really revolutionized the smartphone? Not since they first threw the iPhone on the market if we’re going to be perfectly honest. With companies like Samsung promoting wireless charging and other out-there ideas, it’s time Apple did the same. Smartphones are becoming as mundane as the family car. Make us excited about iPhones again. New charging methods, new shapes, more powerful batteries and specs- it’s what fans have been asking for a long time. Apple can’t afford to be stagnate, especially when its surrounded by competitors who are willing to do anything (and we mean anything) to attract new customers.