Can Apple’s Growth Problem Be Fixed?

The company’s ability to maintain its growth momentum has been a huge point of debate for watchers of Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL). Are the iPhone maker’s main markets saturated? Can the company’s products keep attracting repeat buyers? Can it leverage its cultish following to stay as crazily profitable in the coming quarters as it has been in the past few?

No one has a certain answer to any of those questions, of course, but there are several industry watchers with ideas on what direction Apple needs to take to stabilize its stock in the near future and remain a good investment for stakeholders in the longer term. According to UBS analyst Steve Milunovich, the key for Apple will be in maintaining the “stickiness” of its platform to take advantage of the “lock-in effect.”

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This is what will separate it from some of the recent bust or almost-bust tech stories, including Research in Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM), Nokia (NYSE:NOK), Sony (NYSE:SNE), Nintendo, and Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) unit Motorola.

“The iPhone isn’t a phone, it is a portable computer that brings consumers and developers together through iOS,” Milunovich wrote in a note to investors, according to Barron’s. “The use of iCloud, purchase of apps, and existence of Apple families makes switching inconvenient. The company’s success is creating a new generation of users such that iOS is the new Windows.”