Hey Apple, where's that Steve Jobs-inspired iTV?
Apple should be able follow through on the vision for changing television that Steve Jobs had before his death, but investors and consumers are growing impatient, Walter Isaacson, author of the best-selling biography of the Apple co-founder, told CNBC on Wednesday.
In the last year of his life, Isaacson explained in a "Squawk Box" interview, "Steve had a vision, a real dream for certain products that would come along. Things like watches … or a camera that would take dozens of exposures in a nanosecond … and of course television—the ability to do for television what he had done for music."
But it's been nearly two years since Jobs died, and Apple under the leadership of CEO Tim Cook has yet to release any revolutionary products, which was abundantly clear at this week's event introducing the incremental iPhone 5S and a new cheaper, colorful iPhone 5C.
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On stage Tuesday, Cook "used the word 'incredible' two or three times a sentence," Isaacson said. "Had it been the mystery word in a drinking game you could have knocked out an entire fraternity halfway through the show. But nothing was 'incredible.'"
The same could be said for shares of Apple over the past year, as the company's product lines stagnate. The once highflying stock has dropped about 30 percent from its record highs of more than $700 reached in September 2012—nearly a year after the death of Jobs.
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"Every few years, starting in 2001 with the iPod, Steve Jobs would come up with something totally amazing … that's what's missing," argued Isaacson. "You didn't know you needed a thousand songs in your pocket before he told you you did."
Isaacson acknowledged that Jobs did not do it all by himself. "What Steve did very well was awesome, but he needed a Tim Cook by his side to run the company."
"Tim has some wonderful strengths. He's a cool, competent person," Isaacson continued. "But when you watch that video yesterday [Tuesday] of those product announcements, there wasn't the spark. There wasn't sort of that soul and spirit of Steve Jobs."
"At some point they got to have an amazing product person that just says 'Hey, you didn't know you need this, but it's indispensable,'" he added.
Asked whether Apple would be in a slump even with Steve Jobs still at the helm, Isaacson said, "No."
"We have empirical evidence," he continued. "The mid-1970s to 1985, he's running the company, new things come out. He's in the wilderness for 15 years, it declines. He comes back, they blow us away with new ideas."