Woz worries about iPhone rivals

Apple co-founder talks about growing smartphone market, reflects on Apple's past

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak is concerned that Apple's smartphone prowess could be threatened by rival products coming to market.

Speaking at an Avaya event in the San Francisco Bay Area this week, Wozniak said when iPhone first came out, there was nothing like it. But now there are Windows and Google Android phones that are very usable, he said. Rival products are besting iPhone with some features, according to Wozniak: "I worry if that's going to hurt Apple or if Apple's market is different."

[ Developers are bullish on Apple's iOS devices but some find the company difficult to work with, a survey reports. | Subscribe to InfoWorld's Mobilize newsletter for analysis, opinions and product reviews in the mobile realm. ]

Wozniak, who is chief scientist at flash memory technology vendor Fusion-io, shared some perspectives on contemporary devices while also giving a history lesson on Apple, the company he started in 1976 with the late Steve Jobs. Apple's popular iPad tablet, Wozniak said, lacks the complexities built up in computers over time; it is a safe buy. "Only one program can run at a time, just like an Apple II," he notes.

He also sees the rise of videoconferencing. "Now, we're ready for video everywhere." (Avaya offers videoconferencing technologies.)

Reflecting on the early days of Microsoft and Apple, Wozniak said Jobs had viewed Microsoft as a company that could write software for Apple's products: "He thought that Bill Gates knew that the future was the Macintosh way." But Jobs viewed Gates as "really less of a person" for sticking to low-cost PCs, Wozniak said. The Macintosh, with its memory requirements, was always going to cost more than PCs and never did get the big market share, Wozniak recalled. The Macintosh "failed real heavily at the start," he said. Its ill-fated, expensive predecessor, the Lisa, meanwhile, "was the first machine with a mouse," Wozniak said.

Wozniak also gave credit to investor Mike Markkula as the third partner of Apple. "Mike Markkula really's the one that really made Apple the great success that it was more than anyone else." While HP, where Wozniak had worked, was an engineering-driven company, Markkula determined Apple would be marketing-driven, Wozniak said.

This article, "Woz worries about iPhone rivals," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Follow the latest developments in business technology news and get a digest of the key stories each day in the InfoWorld Daily newsletter. For the latest business technology news, follow InfoWorld on Twitter.

Read more about mobile technology in InfoWorld's Mobile Technology Channel.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags iPadsmartphonestabletsGoogleAppleiPhonecomputer hardwareAvayahardware systemsconsumer electronicsmobile technologyFusion-io

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Paul Krill

InfoWorld
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Skywatcher Dobsonian 8″ Collapsible Telescope

Learn more >

Family Friendly

Whodunnit™ Duo-Scope MFL-007 Microscope Kit

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Logitech Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 2 Bluetooth Speaker

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?