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Woz Worried About Apple's Creativity vs. Microsoft

By - Source: TechCrunch | B 42 comments

Apple co-founder expresses concern in firm eventually dying due to lack of innovation.

Steve Wozniak has expressed his worry in Apple's creativity, with the Apple co-founder stating that Microsoft is becoming the more creative firm between the two industry giants.

In an interview with TechCrunch, Wozniak was open to the idea that the latter has been spending a considerable amount of time to create more "wow" products than the iPhone creator.

Wozniak was less interested in Microsoft tablet Surface when compared to the idea that it's working on technology that made simultaneous translations. "If they're making strides in this voice recognition area, I fear that Microsoft might have been sitting in their labs trying to innovate."

Comparatively, "Apple was just used to cranking out the newest iPhone and falling a little behind and that worries me greatly," he stated. "It worries me because I love Apple. It worries me if Apple were to lose ground because they were making the same things they know how to make. Improving is not Apple-style innovation."

When asked whether the recent departure of former iOS chief Scott Forstall (which was apparently due to the lack of apology for Mapgate) meant that Apple is putting its creative side on the back-burner, he didn't really have an opinion. However, he did state: "I don't believe Steve [Jobs] had to be as much of a real rugged bastard, put people down and make them feel demeaned." 

The Apple co-founder, of course, isn't the only one critical of the firm's lack of innovation. An analyst had agreed with consumer concern over the latest products from the firm not offering a substantial upgrade when compared to predecessors (see: iPad 4), with innovation at the world's most richest and valuable company said to be "sputtering".

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  • 35 Hide
    jupiter optimus maximus , November 18, 2012 9:23 PM
    Apple is becoming like Apple of the 90's after Steve Jobs departure, except this time he is gone for good.
  • 26 Hide
    memadmax , November 18, 2012 9:13 PM
    That's right apple, go back in your closed garden corner...
  • 20 Hide
    lilsanta , November 18, 2012 9:14 PM
    I bought a Windows Phone 8 on Friday. I like it. The Nokia 822 from Verizon. Has gorilla glass even, to my surprise.
Other Comments
  • 26 Hide
    memadmax , November 18, 2012 9:13 PM
    That's right apple, go back in your closed garden corner...
  • 20 Hide
    lilsanta , November 18, 2012 9:14 PM
    I bought a Windows Phone 8 on Friday. I like it. The Nokia 822 from Verizon. Has gorilla glass even, to my surprise.
  • 14 Hide
    rohitbaran , November 18, 2012 9:16 PM
    Well, MS is trying to do something new with Windows 8 (although many people aren't exactly loving it), but they are essentially trying to fix what isn't broken. Similar to Apple who launch their 'new' products and label the older ones as obsolete, forcing people to upgrade through software locking and all. I can't tell much difference between the innovations of the two to be frank.
  • 35 Hide
    jupiter optimus maximus , November 18, 2012 9:23 PM
    Apple is becoming like Apple of the 90's after Steve Jobs departure, except this time he is gone for good.
  • 19 Hide
    kog91 , November 18, 2012 9:45 PM
    killerclickThen again, the iterations of these "old" products are still selling better than the competition and at a considerable profit, so Apple might not see the incentive to innovate at the moment. Windows 7 wasn't innovative, but it's still a great product and Microsoft is going to innovate their way into irrelevance.


    I think you have a false understanding of the markets. Samsung continues to hold a larger portion of the mobile market as far as smartphones go. They have continually outsold all other smartphone companies for 3 quarters now. The iPhone may be the most successful single SKU, but consumers don't want to have the same device as everyone else. They want something new and different, not to mention better.

    A lot of people are upset about the newest iPad for instance. Many had just purchased an iPad 3 because of the better screen, etc. but then the new iPad comes out 7 months later with the processor the iPad 3 should have shipped with.

    As for Windows 8, you have a few things you need to understand. First, only this year Windows 7 finally beat out XP in terms of active devices. That's right, it took a decade for Microsoft to churn out a more successful OS than XP. That is no small feat either, as most of the active XP devices are in government and medical facilities (I know because I am a software developer for the medical industry).

    Microsoft will continue to make money for years on the sale of Windows 7 outside of the consumer markets. Meanwhile, they can sell newer versions of the OS to consumers to try out new ideas and make the next Windows 7. This will mean that Microsoft won't be innovating toward their downfall, but toward their future success. Windows 8 might have a lot of new things for people to learn, but so did XP. So did Windows 7. This means that Microsoft is actively trying to improve and produce better products. They don't have to release a new OS every six months as an over-glorified service pack *cough* snow leopard *cough* in order to make people think they are working toward a better Windows.
  • 6 Hide
    JOSHSKORN , November 18, 2012 9:50 PM
    I doubt Toms readers are complaining about this. I'm not. :D 
  • 18 Hide
    NightLight , November 18, 2012 9:51 PM
    he's basically confirming what everybody allready knew. And would you please stop talking about jobs like he was some kind of genius, this would happen eventually even if he was still there.
  • 6 Hide
    Anonymous , November 18, 2012 10:06 PM
    They just need to buy some more startup companies to get some fresh ideas.
  • 14 Hide
    jhansonxi , November 18, 2012 10:14 PM
    They've both been innovative on the legal front.
  • -8 Hide
    eklipz330 , November 18, 2012 10:21 PM
    please, woz is an afterthought now. just a few months back he claimed apple's stock would hit $1000. he's no good at predicting anything, he just takes the current trend and exaggerates it, while most anti-apple people knew the way apple was going
  • 2 Hide
    kog91 , November 18, 2012 10:28 PM
    killerclickYou don't get to decide what they want. Sales numbers seem to suggest that they want the iPhone. And the iPad. Sales numbers also seem to suggest that consumers don't want Surface, Windows 8 or Windows Phone devices.So? I paid $250 for the Nexus 7 and three months later it's $199. It's what happens, and it's what's supposed to happen.Every company is actively trying to improve their products, there are times when it pays to be conservative and there are times to go all-out and innovate. When you hold 90% of the market, that's precisely the wrong time to transform your core product. Microsoft got spooked by the success of iPad/iPhone/iOS/Android and since they can't compete on merit (compelling products), they're trying to drag their existing user-base into their failed mobile ecosystem. According to reports, it's not working, Surface is not selling well, Windows 8 devices are not selling well and WP8's white knight Nokia 920 is still available if you want to buy it (ie demand is not overwhelming).


    Smartphone sales: Q2-2011 through Q2 2012

    http://www.engadget.com/2012/07/27/idc-samsung-and-apple-ship-almost-half-of-all-smartphones-but/

    Nobody expected the Surface to sell as well as other devices. Microsoft designed it to set the bar for other companies. Even if they don't sell, Microsoft will make a killing in OEM fees for other Windows 8 devices.

    As for the iPad 4, the biggest issue is that Apple released a device that is twice as fast shortly after most consumers started switching to iPad 3, for the same price. That is not even close to the same scenario as the Nexus 7 getting a doubling of storage capacity for 50$ more.

    I whole-hearted disagree when you say that Microsoft picked the wrong time to change Windows. 90% of the market share means you can afford to lose a few percent because of consumers being resistive to change. Microsoft did not get spooked, they are trying to move into a market that they previously have had little success in. Of course they expect growing pains and lower revenues. WP7 was wildly successful with people who couldn't afford the other more expensive smartphones. Maybe not as much in the US as the rest of the world. As for the WP8 devices, the adoption rates are increasing dramatically as more SKUs become available. The 820 is doing well, and as other manufacturers start selling their WP8 devices, we will see even better sales.
  • -7 Hide
    killerclick , November 18, 2012 10:43 PM
    kog91Nobody expected the Surface to sell as well as other devices.


    Except the fanboys... and Microsoft...

    kog91Even if they don't sell, Microsoft will make a killing in OEM fees for other Windows 8 devices.


    Those are not selling either.

    kog91That is not even close to the same scenario as the Nexus 7 getting a doubling of storage capacity for 50$ more.


    16 GB Nexus was $250
    32 GB Nexus is now $250

    It's double capacity for the same price after three months.



    kog91I whole-hearted disagree when you say that Microsoft picked the wrong time to change Windows. 90% of the market share means you can afford to lose a few percent because of consumers being resistive to change.


    I'd say having 90% of the market means you pretty much nailed it. Microsoft could have concentrated on WP and/or tablets, but instead mangled their core product, hoping they'll drag hundreds of millions of Windows users into their walled garden.


    kog91Microsoft did not get spooked, they are trying to move into a market that they previously have had little success in.


    Yeah, they didn't get spooked, they panicked, made a series of blunders and now they're starting to pay the price.



    kog91WP7 was wildly successful


    I'll just stop right here. You've taken fanboy delusions to a whole new level. Bye
  • 14 Hide
    checo , November 18, 2012 10:57 PM
    In 20 Years apple will just be a company full of lawyers just making money solely off patent wars.
  • 3 Hide
    Anonymous , November 18, 2012 11:11 PM
    Creative marketing: pissing off your customers.
  • 4 Hide
    DRosencraft , November 18, 2012 11:20 PM
    Woz makes a good point. There is a fine line between pushing people hard to make great stuff, and just be a ***. Being a *** makes people on the receiving end be the same way. So, even if for a while they do what you like, they will get fed up at some point. And worse, you drive away real talent that doesn't want to deal with your BS or those of less fame who seek to imitate you. Jobs was a "rockstar" so people were willing to put up with his antics. Those working there now who used to be under his rule, or are looking to get into the industry, are not going to take such a shine to someone else trying to copy Jobs. There is going to be a lull now that Big Brother in the form of Jobs isn't meticulously controlling the show. The question for Apple is if they can reshape themselves. Everyone was asking if Cook could continue where Jobs left off, but that was the wrong question. The question is can Cook reshape the company to perform well under his style of leadership. He isn't Jobs, so trying to run the company like Jobs isn't gonna cut it. The company may or may not fail if he reworks the company. But it is more likely to end up on the wrong track if he and the heads of the company go for "second coming of Jobs", IMHO. I can't really say I care much one way or the other what happens to Apple, but for the sake of those who do like Apple or work for them, it's better if they can at least hold serve rather than collapse (or at least collapse slowly so everyone has time to run for safer ground).
  • -2 Hide
    Anonymous , November 19, 2012 12:17 AM
    Woz is worried that Apple's walled garden is under threat form Microsofts walled garden! Do not be so worried WOZ beacuse after the gates close on the Microsoft walled garden, there will only a few squirrels some moles and one big knuckle dragging ape of a CEO! The rest of the smarter animals will have headed on to greener open pastures!
  • -4 Hide
    Anonymous , November 19, 2012 12:27 AM
    Woz I do not see Microsoft taping out their own custom ARM based CPUs for their surface tablets! And M$ does no appear to be undercutting your products in the market pricewise! and Look M$ innovation has Steam actively working towards moving to Linux! I think Apple has more to worry about with Samsung than M$!
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