Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak no longer works for the company, but that doesn’t mean he’s afraid to comment on it. In fact, he often does, whether it’s with praise or tough love.
This time, Wozniak suggested — the horror! — that maybe Apple should make an Android phone.
“There’s nothing that would keep Apple out of the Android market as a secondary phone market,” Wozniak said in an interview with technology news site Wired this week.
“We could compete very well,” he went on. “People like the precious looks of stylings and manufacturing that we do in our product compared to the other Android offerings. We could play in two arenas at the same time.”
Wozniak also spoke about artificial intelligence, gadget innovation and which iPhone 5c color is his favorite (apparently all of them). But that part about Apple crossing enemy lines to build a smartphone with Google’s operating system — that’s a prime-time Woz-up.
(This is the iAndroid, as imagined by Yahoo Tech. Do you like it?)
Whether building an iDroid would make good business sense or not, it’s unlikely that a “Do as Steve would have done” mantra would ever allow for it. Steve Jobs’ personal beef with Google and Android execs was well documented, both in the press and in the courts, akin to his fights with Bill Gates and Microsoft.
The open nature of Google’s mobile operating system allows for brands like Samsung and HTC to modify Android into different OS versions of their own; Amazon drastically changed, or forked, Android for its own Fire OS for the Kindle Fire tablet. No Apple mobile device or Mac computer, meanwhile, has ever been built to run a third-party software platform. Instead, Apple is known for maintaining synergy between hardware and software development, with both designed in house from the ground up. To that end, iOS and OS X are not licensed for use with other hardware manufacturers.
As for Wozniak: This certainly isn’t the first time one of his comments has raised eyebrows.
After last year’s iPad Air and iPad mini unveilings, Wozniak was quoted as saying, “The iPads didn’t hit my needs,” when asked if he’d be in line to grab one on launch day. The now-retired Apple engineer explained that he wasn’t so taken with how thin the devices were, and that he was hoping for a 256 GB model.
In February of last year, Wozniak told German economic news site Wirtschafts Woche that Apple is “in my opinion … somewhat behind,” as reported by Apple Insider.
“Others have caught up,” he said. “Samsung is a great competitor. But precisely because they are currently making great products.”
But, even with his willingness to speak out, Woz’s allegiance and support seems to remain with Apple. In the recent chat with Wired, he explained that innovation and packing in features are not necessarily synonymous, this time critiquing Samsung.
“You pick up a Samsung phone and say smile and it takes a picture, but how much innovation is that? That’s just throwing in a lot of features,” Wozniak said.
“People don’t really choose their smartphones based on features. I think Apple is superior at being able to say no.”
We’ll say this about Woz: He’s not shy about telling us how he really feels.
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