Apple needs to prove it can still make the "creative leaps" it did in the mobile phone business, former CEO John Sculley told CNBC on Wednesday.
Investors, however, shouldn't hold their breath for that kind of bold statement to come during Wednesday's afternoon conference call following the company's quarterly earnings report, Sculley said during an interview on "Squawk on the Street."
"What's interesting is we're coming up this fall on three years of Tim Cook serving as CEO since Steve Jobs died, and this may be the time ... for his first creative leap with a product that is truly different from something he inherited from Steve," Sculley said. "That'll be a really interesting time as to whether Apple has still got its mojo."
Cook has set a high bar for new products in 2014, Sculley said, but most of them will come in the latter half of this year. That won't stop shareholders from sifting through Wednesday's conference call for hints.
Barclays IT analyst Ben Reitzes, who received hate-mail for comparing Apple's stock performance to Microsoft earlier this year, said investors "desperately" await any signs of innovation from Apple leadership.
"We hope to hear about something soon," Reitzes told "Squawk on the Street." "The stock really needs it."