Wozniak Not Wild About All Things Apple

Apple's co-founder criticizes the company's engineers and the iPhone price cut.

TAMPA, Fla.—Steve Wozniak is proud of his Apple accomplishments, but that doesnt mean he loves everything about the company, or about old friend Steve Jobs.

In an interview following his keynote at the ConnectWise annual partner summit here Sept. 22, Wozniak had harsh words for todays Apple engineers, who he said often "give up too quickly," shortchanging usability.


Click here to read what Steve Wozniak said in his ConnectWise keynote.

"A lot of intuitiveness has really gone away," he said of recent Apple efforts. "Sure, once you get used to a program and you know where everything is … it seems intuitive then. But its got to be intuitive for the newcomer. Other things are absolute bugs [that] are wrong or missing, features that just doesnt work. Sometimes they never get repaired. They dont seem to get the attention.

"I know Steve Jobs doesnt like me criticizing Apple stuff, but a lot of times it doesnt live up to what Id like," he said.

And while Wozniak said hes gradually fallen in love with his iPhone, he was "disappointed" by Jobs controversial decision to cut the price from $599 to $399 just two months after the launch and issue $100 refunds to early adopters.

"The first adopters always pay a premium. I am one of them. I am used to that," he said. "But this one was too soon and too harsh. Nobody expects a product to drop that much in price in such a short time."

Still, Wozniak said hes glad he camped out all night like thousands of other Apple fans worldwide to be in line for the iPhone launch.

"The human gesturing just to scroll through lists is very comfortable and feels good," he said. "And why didnt anyone make [a smart phone browser] look like a real Web page before? That was the biggest thing that attracted me to the iPhone. Now I just love it."

While Wozniak expressed great respect for his old schoolmate and fellow Apple founder Jobs, he made several references to Jobs hard-driving business attitude. But he still speaks with genuine fondness for the young, impetuous Jobs who constantly charmed the bohemian crowd that followed the budding tech entrepreneurs. In the early days, Jobs was learning to be an executive and sales genius while Wozniak was focused on being an engineer.

"It was as clear then as it is now that we are two very different types of people," he said. "I never really witnessed what some people have called Steve Jobs bad behavior, of him just trashing people. He was always very respectful of me even when I didnt know very much of what I was talking about."

Wozniak said the pair remain friends "but not close friends ... like we do everything together."

But in the end, "what could be better than starting a successful business with your friend?"


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