Apple co-founder Steve 'Woz' Wozniak has some choice words for former cohort and current Apple CEO Steve Jobs. Woz says the iPhone, MacBook Air and Apple TV could have all been so much better. He then goes on to explain why.
Woz evidently thinks that Apple’s biggest mistake has been not to include 3G connectivity in the current iPhone. He said he was 'really disappointed' when he found out that it didn’t do 3G, and that Apple CEO Steve Jobs had cited poor battery life as a reason:
“I was shocked because Apple was bringing full internet with full webpages, and I was surprised that it would not be 3G, and I knew that that would be a speed detriment,” APC reports.
“I don’t understand why it would be a battery issue. I get as much life from my 3G phones as I do on my non-3G phones.”
Woz admits that he hasn’t been privy to information that Apple has on this though. He is also apparently unaware that a 3G iPhone is coming this year – possibly as early as May or June.
He praises the iPhone for its usability – something he says many other smartphone makers seem to have forgotten. “I’m learning to use [smartphone] menus, it’s awkward. I feel like a slave and less important than the technology.”
“Not one of them made me feel good about accessing the internet, browser-style until the iPhone,” ZDNet Asia reports Woz as saying.
Woz also kicked out at the restrictions imposed on users by Apple TV, particularly the 24-hour time limit Apple has imposed on online movie rentals: “I don’t like to be given control of something by remote control, then have restrictions put up against me about how I can use it. That interferes with my feelings of human-ness.”
Woz explained that his lifestyle was too hectic to finish watching a movie in the same 24-hour time-frame as when he first started watching it.
However Woz isn’t strictly right: there is plenty of anecdotal evidence from Apple TV users who suggest that the 24-hour viewing window is actually a good deal longer in practice – the original rental appears to expire, but you can carry on watching anyway. You don’t have to pay again.
Woz’s most damning – and fairest – criticism though is reserved for the MacBook Air. For while he loves the display and keyboard - “I can type faster, it’s a more positive experience" - he slates the lack of a built-in optical drive and limited connectivity options:
“I don’t think it’s a benefit if you have to carry a DVD player with you, a couple of extra dongles to connect to the Ethernet and things, maybe an extra hard disk to carry your music on...”
Woz also doesn’t think the MacBook Air will be a hit – even among those who like the idea of a second ultra-portable computer. “I know some people love it and it works great, they have a computer at work, and they use their Air to give presentations, but I don’t see a massive swing over to them.”
Evidence emerging today though suggests Woz is wrong. Ars Technica reports that the MacBook Air is selling out almost daily in major stores, with Apple struggling to meet demand. Analysts have also said that the MacBook Air is selling well, according to Electronista.