From there, we need the next true innovation. That cannot come in the form of iPhone, iPad or iPod (unless they're remarkably different -- and I actually don't think they should be). It's more like iTV (remember that?) or something we haven't heard a rumor on yet.
The next leg up at Apple. It's overdue. That's what the company needs for the stock to take the next leg up past $1,000 and, for all intents and purposes, complete the best-case bull case.
Who knows? Maybe Tim Cook will shock us on Tuesday and introduce an ace in the hole early. He practically has no choice but to come through big time, however, in the first half of 2013.
Whenever the time comes, failure is not an option. Failure, or even something slightly north of mediocrity, could make recent volatility in AAPL look even more insignificant -- over the long haul -- than this past quarter's and this present week's instability will prove to be.
At the time of publication the author held no positions in any of the stocks mentioned.
This article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.