Steve Jobs biographer sees Apple falling behind Google

But Apple ought to "do something huge" in 2014, says Walter Isaacson.

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    Is Apple falling behind in the innovation race?
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Walter Isaacson, the man who quite literally wrote the book on pioneering Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, says that Apple may be falling behind Google when it comes to innovation. 

In an interview with CNBC, Mr. Isaacson, the president of the Aspen Institute, referred to Google's acquisition of Nest as proof of an "amazingly strong integrated strategy that Google has to connect all of our devices, all of our lives, from our car, to our navigation system, to how our garage doors are going to open." 

By comparison, Isaacson suggested, the post-Jobs Apple has yet to "disrupt" a major industry in the way the iPhone and iPod once did. (Apple has received a good deal of criticism for subtly refining its smart phones rather than completely overhauling them; last year, there were even reports that Apple's board was putting pressure on current CEO Tim Cook to "do something fast.") 

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"I think Steve Jobs would have wanted as the next disruptive thing to either have wearable-like watches or TV, an easy TV that you can walk into the room and say put on 'Squawk Box' … or disrupt the digital camera industry or disrupt textbooks," Isaacson said, adding that in 2014, "we ought to see... Apple do something huge." 

As the Monitor's Karis Hustad has written, the reportedly $3.5 billion-Nest deal is part of Google's move from search and social networks to the "Internet of Things – a term for the increasingly interconnected physical and Web world that has started to gain traction in the form of smart refrigerators, alarm clocks, and whatever other household item that comes to mind." 

So what kind of "something huge" will Apple unveil to match that? Well, maybe it has something to do with a liquid-metal iPhone. Or an Apple TV set

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