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Apple ain't heavy, it's my ex-employer

20 Mar 2013

The road is long, with many a winding turn, and Apple's former CEO John Sculley believes the company's 'innovation lull' will end.

Lending a phrase from The Hollies, open to debate, the Cupertino firm's ex-boss has leapt to Apple's defence, insisting any problems with innovation stem from an industrywide problem.

In an exclusive interview with the Huffington Post, Sculley was responding to industry criticism of the company, while explaining his own comments that he "wouldn't expect to see a creative leap from Apple for maybe a few years."

Fresh from BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins taking aim at the company, branding it's iPhone as old as the day is long, Sculley blamed the market as a whole, not a loss of Apple's mojo.

"I don’t think that it’s because Apple has lost its ability to innovate," he said. "My guess is that it has nothing to do with Apple at all, but with the current stage of technology."

After joining the firm from Pepsi in 1983, Sculley and Apple co-founder Steve Jobs didn't exactly see eye to eye, but Sculley's respect for his former boss and company remain untouched.

"If [Steve Jobs] were alive today, I suspect he’d be really fascinated about what’s happening with sensors," he said. "When you look at the ability to capture all kinds of information with sensors and then customize services back to individuals, that is so Steve Jobs.

"That’s the kind of thing he’d have salivated over."

Drawing on speculation of an Apple iWatch, Sculley believes Apple are well-placed to spot the next big trend, along Google and it's wearable glasses may have something to say about that.

"I think the next big area of product [innovation] is probably not around a television, as many are speculating -- actually, Apple TV is pretty good right now," he said. "I think it will be around wearable sensor-type products."

With strong rumours circulating that the company is experimenting with a smartphone style watch, former Apple employee Bruce Tognazzini also added further credibility to the claims, saying:

"“The iWatch will fill a gaping hole in the Apple ecosystem.

"Like other breakthrough Apple products, its value will be underestimated at launch, then grow to have a profound impact on our lives and Apple’s fortunes.”

So for those, like Heins, writing the Apple obituary be warned, as there seems to be plenty of fight in the old dog yet.

Can Apple make the next big breakthrough? Or will it be Google, Samsung, Microsoft etc? Tell us your thoughts below