Once considered the Rolex of the smartphone industry, Apple didn’t just help change the way we viewed a phone, but they also provided the best quality made devices, too. The combination helped to pave way for an untouchable set of releases that appealed to a wide user base. However, as Steve Jobs passed away, the creative department seems to have come to a near complete halt over at Apple’s innovation department. Expected, never the less, but a serious issue for the company and investors alike.

At this very moment in time, Apple appear to be relying on entering new international markets for strengthening growth. With innovation seemingly lacklustre, entering a new market could help to excel sales. Issues in China, however, are proving to be a headache for this specific approach.

It could be said that the smartphone market, as a whole, is now competitive and the opportunity for a market share is far higher than before. The rise of Google’s Android mobile operating system has consistently grown over the years, providing a more universal option to consumers. This is because you aren’t just restricted to a specific brand of handset, you’re also able to choose from a winding variety. One big issue for Apple is that they’ve focused so heavily on the smartphone and tablet industry, that if they begin to stall, it could nose dive the company.

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Previously considered the only premium smartphone, many alternatives now boast better performance, features and build-quality. Samsung has especially delivered on this very new promise when releasing the Samsung S6. How did Apple react? By launching a smartwatch that never had mass-appeal possibilities – at least that’s how many felt. The very idea that the majority would be attracted to a device, that offered less than a smartphone in the first place, was always destined to fail.

The smartphone market has plenty of competition today, far more than when Apple first created the iPhone back in 2008. Apple more-or-less created the original mass-selling smartphone, and this is something we should all admire. Yet, the company seem to have lost one of their better selling points, which has always been ‘build quality’. Tacky plastic rear casing quickly became foreign to the iPhone brand.

With Nokia failing to progress onwards, back in a critical time for the phone company, it was Samsung who has since proven to become the real winner along with Google. Yes, the Android system by Google is now bundled with the majority of phones and tablets alike.

Apple’s extensive focus on the new smartwatch market has proven naive, and the lack of consumer excitement has shown.

Without serious re-thinks, the Apple brand can only expect to decline, and unless they explore other industries, the company could be a far distance away from the world’s wealthiest company, which they once were.

Diversity is generally an issue for tech companies, the saying of ‘never put all of your eggs in the one basket’ rings true very often within this very industry. After all, we constantly see extremely popular companies eventually disappear. Perhaps this is why Facebook is entering a variety of different markets – quite possibly. Certainly, Google is well spread over many different areas. Apple, on the other hand, could be in big trouble if things don’t go their way with the upcoming and expected release of the iPhone 7. What’s more, the tablet market is on a strong decline – not good news for Apple, either.

Interestingly, Apple were formerly classed as the richest company in the world, yet they are now ranked at number 12. With the share price slumming and ideas currently lacking, things certainly seem unsettled over at Apple headquarters.

It’s important to remember that this could all be changed by an iPhone 7 release, which had all of the exciting features that smartphone buyers generally demand. If this was to happen, then Apple might not need to spend so much attention on attracting a wider international audience. After all, market expansion is something many manufactures can seek, not just Apple.

Do you feel that Apple’s progress within the smartphone industry has started to stutter? What are your views? Feel free to leave your views, comments and ideas in the comment box below.