Apple TV, the iPhone, and the MacBook Air are all less than perfect, according to Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak who bluntly listed several of the newer products’ shortcomings. According to Wozniak, who created the Apple I and Apple II computers in the mid-1970s, the new stuff is lacking important features.
"To tell you the truth I was really disappointed when the iPhone was introduced ... half the phones in the AT&T store at the time were 3G phones," Mr Wozniak said during a press conference following his keynote speech at the Broadband and Beyond Conference in Australia.
"I was shocked because Apple is bringing the full Internet [to mobiles] - full web pages with pictures and everything - and it's not 3G and I knew that would be a speed detriment.” Wozniak said that a faster 3G iPhone would be released eventually, as it had "sort of been known since day one that it would be here".
At the UK launch of the iPhone, CEO Steve Jobs said Apple left out 3G support because it would have a detrimental effect on battery life, but Wozniak doesn’t know where Jobs got that from.
"I never heard that it was a battery issue," said Wozniak. "I don't understand why it would be a battery issue - I get as much life on my 3G phones as I get on my non-3G phones."
Wozniak says he still uses an iPhone, which he says has some great Internet capabilities, but he also carries a Motorola Razr for phone calls and web browsing.
Wozniak also agrees with the criticisms of the recently launch MacBook Air. Reviewers have complained that Apple traded off too many essential features to make it so light and streamlined. Particularly it is lacking a DVD drive, as well as an Ethernet networking port. It also has a relatively small 80GB hard drive and you can’t swap out the battery.
"I don't think it's going to be a hit," Woziak admits. Since he likes to burn DVDs for friends and watch movies mid-flight, the ability to quickly swap out batteries on the go is important to him.
"I'm trying to figure out a way to make the Air a part of my life because I'm a one-laptop-only person," he said.
"I don't feel it's a benefit if you have to carry the Air plus a DVD player plus a couple of extra dongles to connect to Ethernet things and also maybe an extra hard disk to carry your music - but still there's a pureness about it and really I like it."
Wozniak said he believed Apple TV - with its on-demand access to movies and TV shows without the need for a computer - was "a really good indicator of where the future is". However, he is not impressed with the 24-hour time limit given to users who rent shows via the device.
"My life is way too global and unpredictable for that [24-hour time limit] - I'll get interrupted by something and I won't finish it; I don't want to have to pay again," Wozniak said.
Wozniak has moved on to new ventures since Apple but is still an employee and shareholder, so it can’t be said that his criticisms are due to bitterness over Apple’s success. Not at all, in fact, the more successful the company gets, the more generously it lines his pockets. Rather Wozniak is just being Wozniak—the man famous for his bluntly honest opinions, which is one of the traits that Jobs appreciates about the man who has remained his good friend.
He said Jobs doesn’t complain about him making his opinions known for the most part. "We're really good friends, never argued over these things. But once in a while he [Jobs] will just have a comment: 'Thanks a lot'."
Posted by Rebecca Sato.
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