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Apple 'somewhat behind' on phone features, says Wozniak

updated 01:20 pm EST, Thu February 7, 2013

'Loyalty is not given,' co-founder warns

The iPhone has fallen "somewhat behind" in terms of smartphone features, according to Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak. The comment emerged during Businessweek's Best Brand Awards. "I am proud that we have such loyal fans," he said. "But this loyalty is not given, the need to have the best products is always there. Currently we are in my opinion somewhat behind with features in the smartphone business. Others have caught up. Samsung is a big competitor. But precisely because they are currently making great products."

Together Apple and Samsung now effectively control cellphone industry profits. Samsung in particular has made major strides, coming off a series of successful phones like the Galaxy Nexus and Galaxy S III. The two are currently engaged in global legal battles however, since Apple accuses Samsung of plagiarizing some features.



By Electronista Staff
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  1. rickrobin

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 09-23-02

    Thank you to the Great and Powerful...

    ...and ever forthright Woz, now the primary, if not sole keeper of the Apple flame. What's happening may not be entirely blamable on the loss of SJ. But it's a heck of a high wire act to walk the line between maximum profit and maximum integrity the way he did. Not that he did it perfectly, but he never gave the world enough cause to seriously doubt the primacy in his value system of "insanely great." It's interesting that as Apple wrings every penny out of every product, and withholds functionality as a means of coercion of its "insanely loyal" customers to buy buy buy, instead of doing it with innovation (kill the iPod Mini in favor of the Nano - remember folks?), even Wall St. ain't buying.

  1. mminogue

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 02-07-13

    Long on rhetoric

    Like a lot of articles criticising Apple products this one is long on rhetoric and almost devoid of substance in the form of actual facts.

  1. afaby

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 07-18-05

    What features?

    What exactly is the iPhone missing? Samsung and their ilk have to cram every imaginable feature into their phones because the OS and applications are severely lacking.

  1. pairof9s

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: 01-03-08

    I'm w/ mminogue & afaby

    So what exactly does Apple need to catch up on? Maps? I'd like a bigger screen but not that big Fisher Price thing the Galaxy uses. Plus, I'd say let Apple fall a bit behind so they can take a turn ripping off someone else's successful ideas and not pay a single dime for it.

  1. mojkarma

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 10-13-11

    comment title

    What does Apple need to catch up on?
    Guys, just because you have no idea what that would be doesn't mean there aren't areas where Apple need to catch up.

  1. broohaha22

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 07-07-06

    email-based alerts would be nice

    I use my phone in a business setting, and here's one thing the old Blackberry has that doesn't exist in the iPhone. It's the ability to get alerted/alarmed when certain kinds of e-mail arrive. That would be really helpful to have. Most of the people in my dept switched to iPhones when our company gave us the opportunity to upgrade our work phones, but my boss decided to stick with BB and go with the model that was available last summer. And this particular feature was what sold him the most. I can sort of live without it, but it would be a really, really nice thing to have if it existed for the iPhone.

  1. bobolicious

    Forum Regular

    Joined: 08-15-02

    multi user for iOS

    might be my top software enhancement request aka BBRY home-business, but more versatile?

  1. Bobfozz

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 07-28-08

    Crazy Alarms??? Alerts?

    your comment

  1. DiabloConQueso

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 06-11-08

    Re: email-based alerts would be nice

    While it doesn't exist nearly in the breadth and depth that it does on the Blackberry platform, you can set up a "simple" email alerting system by adding people to your VIP list in Mail, then visiting the "Notifications" for the Mail app and having a different kind of alert set for VIP email, perhaps with a different type of banner alert or even an alert sound (alert sounds in meetings? KILL YOU!) that differs from the standard "new mail" alert sound.

    Like I said, not exactly super-powered like the Blackberry, but it may get you closer to the end-game until Apple adds this functionality sometime in the future (if? when? who knows?).

  1. thinkman

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 01-04-05

    Dancing with the irrelevant!

    Woz is a guy who made his mark decades ago, yet is still called upon to remark on all things Apple. What he did way back then was earth shattering! What has he done of any significance since then that he is so often quoted by the media? It baffles me. Woz, go buy an island and isolate yourself from your sense of self importance, and put your mind back to creating something amazing instead of being a media hound!

  1. iphonerulez

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 11-28-08

    Not everyone wants the kitchen sink...

    Most consumers are probably overwhelmed by feature overload. Every Android smartphone doesn't have every feature packed into one smartphone. It wouldn't be cost effective and it just downright isn't necessary.

    It's only tech-heads that are crying out for every feature possible. Tech-heads are upset that iPhone doesn't use quad-core processors. Tech-heads are upset that the iPhone doesn't have a 12MP camera. Tech-heads are upset that the iPhone doesn't have NFC. Most Android smartphones don't have any of those features.

    Most consumers buying iPhones are more than satisfied what they're getting for their money. Trying to pack everything into a smallish smartphone is probably an unreasonable suggestion. Current high-end smartphones are very powerful devices and can do plenty for the average user. However, battery life is a serious problem and that problem needs to be tackled before trying to add every possible feature under the sun.

    I don't think the iPhone can be said to be falling behind because it doesn't have every feature some other smartphone has. Apple's iPhone is still very useful and plenty of consumers are continuing to buy them despite their higher cost. Trying to figure out what's a useful feature and what isn't is hard to judge.

    Wozniak is entitled to his opinion, but if he thinks he's so smart, he can create his own smartphone company and see if he can make a go of it with a smartphone that has everything in it and still expect to sell it for under $1000 unsubsidized.

  1. iphonerulez

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 11-28-08

    Not everyone wants the kitchen sink...

    Sorry for that one big paragraph, but that's not my doing. I broke it down into small paragraphs. This site is messed up when it comes to formatting. Why the hell it's putting slashes before my apostrophes, I have no idea.

  1. cgc

    Professional Poster

    Joined: 03-25-03

    Originally Posted by afabyView Post

    What exactly is the iPhone missing? Samsung and their ilk have to cram every imaginable feature into their phones because the OS and applications are severely lacking.



    A bottle opener would be nice.

  1. chas_m

    MacNN Staff

    Joined: 08-04-01

    Hey gang, don't get all bent outta shape about Woz's comments. He is a little like Rain Man sometimes, brutally honest (and a bit tactless) in his comments, but sincere from his particular perspective. Taken as a comment from a man who is a deep gadget freak with an engineer's passion for new and interesting ideas, Woz is right.

    By virtue of having many manufacturers make umpteen models each with their own approach, and skinning -- and in some cases even their own fork of Android -- you get features (some of which are junky, some of which are not) that the iPhone doesn't have or at least have yet.

    He did not say that makes Android superior. He said Apple is a little behind on features. It is what it is.

    If you asked him how he feels about the fact that most Android phones never get more than one significant upgrade, he'd have an opinion on that too -- and I suspect it would please iOS fans a great deal. :)

    We're used to carefully-chosen and polished quotes from media figures, but Woz is -- sometimes delightfully, sometimes wincingly -- candid in his views. As for those who dismiss him because he hasn't changed the world six times before breakfast, all I can say is this:

    1. He continues to work as a Chief Scientist for a significant Apple (and others) tech supplier. This doesn't sound like a guy with nothing left to contribute.

    2. You might want to remind yourself that without his contributions, your ability to express your view in a worldwide forum like this might well be non-existant -- or at least radically different -- than it is. :)

  1. blahblahbber

    Banned

    Joined: 02-01-05

    Heard from the horses mouth folks!

    Thank you Woz for making this clear to the zombie fans that crApple has.

  1. driven

    Addicted to MacNN

    Joined: 05-08-01

    Lately?

    I'm reading Thinkman's comment, and I'm in agreement. Woz is a nice guy and all, but what has he done since the Apple II days to warrant asking him his opinion on anything? It could be argued that any number of people who have been involved at least since the 90s would be better to ask.

    I hope Woz keeps doing what he does, but I'm thinking that perhaps he shouldn't be considered an authority on mobile technology.

  1. Grendelmon

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: 12-26-07

    comment title

    Most consumers are probably overwhelmed by feature overload.

    :rollz eyes:

  1. Grendelmon

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: 12-26-07

    Well...

    Woz, go buy an island and isolate yourself from your sense of self importance, and put your mind back to creating something amazing instead of being a media hound!



    I still highly respect Woz and what he says. He uses every gadget on the planet and I think he's fairly objective in his product summaries. I mean, come on... look what he carries in his backpack:

    Woz's backpack

    http://www.engadget.com/2012/07/17/apple-founder-steve-wozniak-reveals-contents-of-his-backpack-iphones-ipads/

  1. mac_in_tosh

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 12-14-11

    comment title

    > Woz is a guy who made his mark decades ago, yet is still called upon to remark on all things Apple. What he did way back then was earth shattering! What has he done of any significance since then that he is so often quoted by the media? It baffles me. Woz, go buy an island and isolate yourself from your sense of self importance, and put your mind back to creating something amazing instead of being a media hound!

    thinkman: without Woz there would have been no SJ, the real media hound..

  1. sbarton05

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 01-19-05

    wrong

    "without Woz there would have been no SJ, the real media hound."

    What great things did Woz go and do after he left Apple again??

    At least we have Pixar and NeXT and then Apple again as a measure of SJ.

  1. Grendelmon

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: 12-26-07

    Uh huh

    Originally Posted by sbarton05View Post

    "without Woz there would have been no SJ, the real media hound."

    What great things did Woz go and do after he left Apple again??

    At least we have Pixar and NeXT and then Apple again as a measure of SJ.



    What a ridiculous comment. Woz has been credited with being extremely philanthropic among many organizations as well as his local school district. He's been highly active in promoting education, especially with information technology.

    Jobs, well... his motivation was to be the best salesman he could be.

  1. mac_in_tosh

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 12-14-11

    > Jobs, well... his motivation was to be the best salesman he could be.

    Grendelmon: Thank you for not making me have to reply to sbarton05's comment.

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