Walter Isaacson: Google is Innovating at a Higher Rate Than Apple


Today, Walter Isaacson, the author of the best-selling biography “Steve Jobs,” told CNBC’s Squawk Box that Google’s acquisition of Nest Labs is a bigger news story than Apple selling iPhones in China on the world’s largest carrier, China Mobile.

Isaacson acknowledged that Apple’s effort to get the iPhone on China Mobile is a “big deal,” but he said the partnership between Google and Nest:

“Shows the 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.”

Nest’s portfolio of products, including their smart thermostat and smoke detector, will be added to Google’s line of tools which also include Google Glass and self-driving cars. Even more prevalent is the fact that Nest’s co-founder and CEO, Tony Fadell, will also be joining Google as a part of the deal. Fadell was one of the brilliant Apple employees who helped develop the original iPod.

Isaacson says in order for Apple to catch up they need to do something big is 2014, like a wearable device or a television.

“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.”

CNBC also interviewed Daniel Ernst, a principal at Hudson Square Research, who said Tim Cook continues to hint toward Apple developing products in new categories.

“Let’s give them the whole calendar year. But I think that the unanimous answer among Apple investors is that this better be the year. There’s only so long the boy can cry wolf.”

Ernst says that Cook should start thinking about who will be on Apple’s board of directors next, since the current board was selected by Steve Jobs.

Apple is set to release the iPhone on China Mobile on Friday, January 17.

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