2014 Will Be The Year of Tim Cook
But this is the year that all that is going to change. 2014 will be the year that people go from questioning Apple's ability to innovate to judging Apple's execution of delivering innovation. This will be a significant shift in the tone of Apple punditry.
I am certain that we are nearing the time when one or two new products are ready. I suspect that the iWatch—whatever Apple calls it—will be first, and that it will sooner, rather than later in the year. When that happens, Apple's critics will magically turn on a philosophical dime and go from proclaiming that Apple can't innovate to judging Apple's innovation.
The irony will be that most of them won't acknowledge how wrong, ill-informed, and in some cases how stupid their previous pronouncements were, but that's a subject for another column.
Once Apple launches a new product category, the years since Steve Jobs's death will quickly diminish in importance, and it will set the new bar by which Tim Cook is judged. Future products will be compared to what is released this year—Are they as important as the iWatch? Will they have have as much of an impact as the iWatch? Will they sell as well as the iWatch?—and all of the angst from Apple haters and Tim Cook doubters that have characterized the last two and a half years will vanish.
I can't wait.