Walter Isaacson, author of the biography Steve Jobs, said in a CNBC TV interview that Apple is now less innovative than Google, and that while securing the China Mobile agreement was a big deal, it was less important than Google’s acquisition of Nest.
Google buying Nest shows an amazingly strong, integrated strategy that Google has to connect all of our devices, all of our lives … the Internet of things is actually real, there are these devices we’re gonna want to have and Google’s going to get ahead of that game [...]
The greatest innovation today is coming from Google. Fadell was one of the team that created the iPod. He was very deep into the Apple culture … when Apple was so innovative … Now Tony Fadell is going to Google because he’s part of the Nest deal …
When it was put to him that Apple was almost certainly working on exciting new products in its labs, Isaacson responded that Steve Jobs would have wanted to be doing the next disruptive thing right now, and implied that Tim Cook was vulnerable if he didn’t do so this year.
Steve Jobs was a disruptor. I think that now Tim Cook has done this big thing in China, he’s got two things to do now: take over the company … In the late February shareholders meeting, they probably have to start thinking about who should be on the board next. This board is all Steve Jobs’ people. They aren’t exactly the Tim Cook fan club
Second, he’s got to say ‘What am I going to disrupt? Is it going to be wearables? Is it going to be a watch? Is it going to be TV?’. We ought to see, in 2014, Apple do something huge.
While Apple’s secrecy is legendary, Tim Cook has on several occasions that the company has “big plans” for 2014. In Apple’s Q2 earnings call last year, he said:
I’m just saying we’ve got really great stuff coming [...] across all of 2014.
And in an email to staff last month, said:
We have a lot to look forward to in 2014, including some big plans that we think customers are going to love,
Speculation on what those plans might include has focused on a larger screen iPhone, a larger iPad, a Thunderbolt 4K display, a television and a smartwatch.