Who is the only person with the AI and data sets to power things like Google Now and really make form factors like Glass or Watch practical? You don't hear anyone talking about that. They're talking about SDKs or users or app stores or whether or not I can set my own default browser on my phone.
Google Now is the big deal here that everyone glazes over when talking about Glass. They're already putting it into Google's web interface (for the desktop, yeah), Chrome (though it makes more sense in Google.com rather than Chrome to me), Glass and I'm sure more and more services will continue to feed into it. They announce more every few weeks.
"There are some positives in the product. It's probably likely to appeal to certain vertical markets. The likelihood that it has broad appeals is hard to see."
I think that's actually a fairly well-balanced statement. He also says this about glasses and watches:
"Nothing that's going to convince a kid that's never worn glasses or a band or a watch or whatever to wear one. At least I haven't seen it. So there's lots of things to solve in this space."
This isn't saying that Glass will never work or that it's a bad idea, just that as it currently stands it needs a lot of work to have a mass appeal, which is probably true. I, for one, am looking forward to see what Glass becomes in two or three iterations time.
"Nothing that's going to convince a kid that's never worn glasses or a band or a watch or whatever to wear one."
I'm kind of embarrassed by Tim's comments. He won't even make a non-pessismistic comment about watches, which, I guess everyone could be wrong but it seems they'll introduce one soon; it's as if he's already pushing the notion "Apple iWatch is magical and people want to wear it and not the three competing Android watches that better integrate with your phone and have more features".
Who knows, it's taken HTC years (and losing tons of market share) to design fashionable looking hardware. Maybe Apple will win purely on design and Tim's comments will be vindicated. Either way, I hope he's not putting all his eggs in that iPhone basket, unless iOS7 just prints money.
with the AI and data sets to power things like Google Now
And I've used Google Now and I fail to see what makes it so incredibly advanced that no one else could possibly replicate it. Maybe I am missing something but it doesn't seem to hold a candle to say Watson.
I've used this example before, but Google Now already recommends destinations based on what I Google Maps at my desk before I head out. It also knows what is on my "grab when I go by the grocery store" list before I quickly use Google Now and say "Google: note to self, pick up milk" and it's in there.
[soon] So now, when Google's autonomous car is driving me home and I'm watching the road attentively, Google Now pops up in Glass and offers to redirect the car to the grocery store most minimizing the way out of my route (or the one that has the best deals listed with Google Shopping, or that has the best coupons, or that Google Wallet has my rewards card for). And it reminds me to grab my milk. [/not yet]
And then on the way out of the store it again offers directions back to my house.
This is all there (except the Keep intuition bit that I sincerely hope is coming and will really prove Google Now). (And sadly, and I'm whining, but I didn't get into the super special Glass program :[)
Sorry, I've rambled, back on point: I don't doubt that those you list have the power and smart people to build the tech, but I don't think they have the data. I think Apple Maps was but a small example of the advantages Google has in areas of data.