STEVE WOZNIAK, co founder of Apple, has lashed out at smartphones (including the Iphone), the Macbook Air and Apple TV at the Broadband and Beyond conference in Sydney this morning.
Wozniak blamed developers for prioritising technology over people and noted how disappointed he was by Apple's decision to introduce the Iphone without 3G, declaring "To tell you the truth, I was disappointed...half the phones in the AT &T store were 3G already."
Wozniak, who created the Apple I and Apple II computers in the mid-1970s and left the company in the late 1980's, is still good friends with Jobs, but has been known to freely offer his sometimes harsh, but honest opinions. Although no longer a central figure at Apple, having moved on to various other projects, Wozniak is still a shareholder and employee of the company.
Wozniak's main gripe against the iPhone is that it only supports EDGE and standard 2G networks, which may offer speeds above GPRS networks but aren't quite as fast as 3G, which are capable of providing a downlink in hundreds of Kbps.
Steve Jobs has previously noted that the decision to put out an Iphone without 3G connectivity was based on problems with battery life, but this claim is one that Wozniak rejects. "I get as much life on my 3G phones as I get on my non-3G phones," he said.
He added, "When things are going too slowly, I'll get frustrated and I'll do it on my laptop later". Wozniak admitted to also carrying around a Motorola Razr for taking calls and browsing the web, highlighting yet another of the Iphone's pitfalls. "For voice, I still want another phone," he said.
Wozniak did have one good thing to say about the Apple handset, complimenting it on its user friendly Web interface. Claiming to have experimented on multiple rival smartphones, he reckoned that none even came close to the Iphone from the user interface point of view. He also had some stern criticism for Iphone's competitors on the subject, "I'm learning to use their menus, it's awkward. I feel like a slave and less important than the technology" Wozniak grumbled.
But Wozniak's rant, at a press conference following his keynote speech at the Broadband and Beyond Conference, didn't end with Iphone. Wozniak had plenty of criticism for the MacBook Air, agreeing with critics that the lack of a DVD drive, missing Ethernet networking port, relatively small 80GB hard drive and the inability to swap the battery, were just too irritating. Wozniak admitted that he liked to burn DVDs for his mates and watch battery sapping films on his laptop during long flights, and summed up his thoughts on the MacBook air as, " I don't think it's going to be a hit".
Apple TV didn't emerge unscathed either. Wozniak criticised both the quality of YouTube videos played on it and the strict 24-hour time limit on rentals, noting, "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". µ
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