According to a new report from Charlie Gasparino at Fox Business Network, there is "concern" on the board that Apple is lagging on the hardware front – concern that has manifested itself as "pressure on Tim Cook to do something fast." Some caveats: Mr. Gasparino cites only anonymous sources inside Apple, and no one at the Cupertino company is commenting on the rumors publicly.
Still, we buy that there might be some grumbling in the halls of Apple HQ. Here's why: Although Apple effectively set the pace for the entire smart-phone industry with the original iPhone, and although the company is basically responsible for kickstarting the current tablet craze, we haven't seen a whole lot of groundbreaking products out of Apple recently. (The iPad Mini doesn't count.)
Ironically, in this way, Apple is a victim of its own success: Bust the paradigm with a couple of amazing products, and everyone's going to want you to keep innovating every year, forever. Which is pretty hard to do.
"To outsiders, it looks like Apple has stalled," writes John Brownlee of Cult of Mac. "Far from it. You only need to look at the changes Apple is making with iOS 7 to see that Cupertino isn’t standing still... That said, everything Apple is set to announce next month — the iPhone 5S, the iPhone 5C, the iPad mini 2 and the iPad 5 – are just sequels to what they’ve already done."
This is where we revive the recurring gossip on the Apple TV set and the Apple "iWatch," an Internet-connected timepiece. Last we heard, Apple was "aggressively" hiring designers to help it build the watch. If true, it could be exactly the shot of creativity that Apple's board – not to mention consumers – would like to see.