A couple of weeks after describing Google as more innovative than Apple, and suggesting that Tim Cook was vulnerable to a shareholder revolt if he didn’t quickly release disruptive new products, Steve Jobs’ biographer Walter Isaacson has downplayed his remarks in a round-table discussion on Bloomberg TV.

I think [Google is] very innovative. I was not trying to contrast it to Apple or something. I know, all the Apple fans got mad […]

The one thing I will say is innovation is great, but it ain’t everything. It’s not the holy grail. Execution is what really matters, and Apple is the best at execution … 

Isaacson also dismissed as irrelevant suggestions that poor sales of the iPhone 5c suggested Apple didn’t know how to make low-end products.

I don’t think Apple will ever be great at doing low-end. It really makes insanely great products, to use a phrase Steve used 30 years ago when he launched the Mac. What I think is going to have to happen is they’re going to have to figure out a whole new set of disruptive products. You’ve heard Tim Cook hint about that, whether it’s television or a wearable watch. I don’t think Apple’s going to do well trying to be on the commodity low-end race with Samsung and others.

Quite a change in tone from “[Shareholders] 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” …

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Ben Lovejoy

Ben Lovejoy is a British technology writer and EU Editor for 9to5Mac. He’s known for his op-eds and diary pieces, exploring his experience of Apple products over time, for a more rounded review. He also writes fiction, with two technothriller novels, a couple of SF shorts and a rom-com!

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