Steve Wozniak thinks Apple should make Android phones

Samsung may be the world’s largest smartphone manufacturer – almost a third of the one billion handsets shipped last year were from the Korean OEM – but it’s Apple that still enjoys the greatest profits, and with a record number of iPhones sold last quarter, they’re obviously doing something right.

But Steve Wozniak believes that the company that he co-founded is missing out on a big opportunity in the smartphone space, and that there are considerable spoils to be enjoyed by bridging the gap between Apple and Android.

Speaking with WIRED, Wozniak said: “There’s nothing that would keep Apple out of the Android market as a secondary phone market.” He continued: “We could compete very well. People like the precious looks of stylings and manufacturing that we do in our product compared to the other Android offerings. We could play in two arenas at the same time.”

But he also highlighted a key distinction that separates iPhones from their Android flagship counterparts: feature overload. Apple, he reasoned, takes a more measured approach to adding new features to its devices. “If you have something really good, don’t change it, don't screw it up,” he said. “You pick up a Samsung phone and say 'smile' and it takes a picture, but how much innovation is that? That’s just throwing in a lot of features. People don’t really choose their smartphones based on features. I think Apple is superior at being able to say no.” 

Wozniak's comments come after it emerged that, over a decade ago, Steve Jobs had wanted to get Apple's OS X running on Sony Vaio notebooks. If Apple could share its software for use on another manufacturer's hardware, would it really be such a leap for the company to use a different OS on its handsets? 

Despite Woz’s enthusiasm for the idea of an Apple iDroid, let’s face it – it’s incredibly unlikely to ever happen. And don’t even get started on the idea of a Windows iPhone. 

Source: WIRED

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Apple will never do this for the simple reason that they can't control the user experience and turn it into a walled ecosystem. I wouldn't want Apple anywhere near Android, I got sick of their unethical business practices and control freakery and switched to Samsung phones. Love the openness and tinkerability of Android, never looked back. Can you install a custom built optimized ROM with custom stock apps on an iPhone? Nope! Because Apple like to control their walking dead zombies' wallets and experience

I love how I can keep my phone running quick with open source, for years to come, try doing that on a style-over-substance iDevice

That will never happen cus it'll mean they have to use big phone sizes, good high quality screens and cutting edge hardware to competeand charge a reasonsable price... Goes against apples belief system so would never work!!!

I went to the wired article and it would be nice if they actually quoted Steve actually saying what they claimed other than running a hypothetical scenario that Apple could make an Android phone at least in theory. In the whole article there is only one direct quotation relating to Apple and Android:

“There's nothing that would keep Apple out of the Android market as a secondary phone market,” said Wozniak-who, it should be noted, is no longer involved in the day-to-day workings of the company. “We could compete very well. People like the precious looks of stylings and manufacturing that we do in our product compared to the other Android offerings. We could play in two arenas at the same time.”

And that only speculates that Apple could do something but doesn't actually go so far as to say Apple should do something. Maybe so-called journalists at Wired shouldn't try to put words in Steve's mouth and actually quote word for word if he does actually say something along the lines that they claim he said.

It's only the hardware-software synergy that makes iOS devices worthwhile imo. This would be like buying a Mac specifically to run Windows on, a fairly uncommon scenario.

Why not? I think it makes sense. They should also make all their apps for Android including iCloud etc and plug Android into that allowing non apple android devices to access the Apple ecosystem.

That would be dumb and make the smartphone industry more complicated than it needs to be. Regular consumers (not ones on these tech forums etc) often don't know what they want... and when they use iDevices they'll be like wtf if it was running a non-Apple OS. That would be the same with a Microsoft or a Google device too. Keep them simple gosh and instead grow and be innovative with your own platforms.

Lately every time this guy opens his mouth, he sounds more and more like a bitter old nerd that's still ****ed at his former employer. I've lost nearly all respect for this guy.

-=MagMan=- said,
Lately every time this guy opens his mouth, he sounds more and more like a bitter old nerd that's still ****ed at his former employer. I've lost nearly all respect for this guy.

Former Employer??? Steve still receives a paycheck from Apple, so technically he is not a former employee..

While it may give Apple more market penetration, and a lot of Android phone makers a HUGE run for their money, it will never happen. Steve Jobs himself would turn over in his grave and jump out at the mere thought of this. I say, if it's not broken, don't fix it.

He doesn't think it, he just says that if it might go wrong, this might be a way out for Apple. Anyway, making Windows Phones would be more logic for Apple than chosing Android, after all Google and Apple aren't best budies. The relation Microsoft-Apple is much more healthy. But still, I don't see this happen.

I think I see his point. Keep the iPhone premium, but use a custom Android (possibly forked) to address to the lower price ranges. Nokia and Motorola have shown you can make good hardware under $200, and the Lumia 520 is the best selling Windows Phone globally.

A $150 iDroid, perhaps with more similarities to Asha, might work well. (similar to how MS could make use of Normandy) Just make sure there's a clear upgrade path to iOS, aid that key Apple services are on it (iCloud, iWork or iLife, iTunes). So, its an Apple experience, but not the FULL experience.

So which part makes a phone premium: iOS or the hardware? If its iOS, I don't see how they can deliver the Apple experience without the OS and its apps. If the premium is only the hardware, why can't they make a budget phone with iOS?

i_was_here said,
So which part makes a phone premium: iOS or the hardware? If its iOS, I don't see how they can deliver the Apple experience without the OS and its apps. If the premium is only the hardware, why can't they make a budget phone with iOS?

Its a bit of both. The key is to have a good, albeit focused, experience. A $99-199 iPhone light doesn't need Siri or a high end camera. If the apps are limited, maybe they can get away with a slower dual core or a faster single. There's a number of possible tradeoffs, but I think it only needs to provide basic services. Be a phone, be a browser, a media player, email/calendar, etc. Again, what an Asha is.

The problem for Apple is it needs to be good, but not a no-brainer versus a normal iPhone. Otherwise, people will import them like crazy and possibly cannibalize the high end market.

I am not sure I get his point. iOS has the strongest App store out of all the competition and a high market penetration. What possible other reason could there be for entering into the Android market space? His reason seems to be that they should just because they could.

KeR said,
they should just because they could.

I think it's the engineer/inventor/tinkerer in him talking - nothing wrong with that...but obviously unrealistic

I'd say to make money, as android has huge market share and apple would make money selling devices running android, seems like its quite simple to me.

Sell iphones
Sell android phones (lower end)
Win?

I'm not saying he's right, I'm just saying its clear what he is saying.

duddit2 said,
I'd say to make money, as android has huge market share and apple would make money selling devices running android, seems like its quite simple to me.

Sell iphones
Sell android phones (lower end)
Win?

I'm not saying he's right, I'm just saying its clear what he is saying.

Lower end phones don't make money.

People don't really choose their smartphones based on features.
That's quite a strange thing to say. I like Woz but this has to be one of his really insane ideas.

Lots dont pick a phone for the features. Lots dont even use their phone to quarter of its capabilities. The see someone with a device, thinks its cool, and goes out and by it.

There are many that dont know what they have, or how to use it...or use it fully. Doesnt matter if it is a phone, PC, car...whatever.

Romero said,
That's quite a strange thing to say. I like Woz but this has to be one of his really insane ideas.

i don't know, lots of people buy iphones with their tiny little screens, which is a bad feature (which is why they're making the screen larger soon)

techbeck said,
Lots dont pick a phone for the features. Lots dont even use their phone to quarter of its capabilities. The see someone with a device, thinks its cool, and goes out and by it.
That sort of behavior is so unfamiliar and downright illogical to me that I didn't even consider it, but perhaps you're right. Looks of sheeple out there for sure!

Hmm maybe Apple should make Windoze 8 laptops/tables too?

Well actually there already is boot-camp in OSX so maybe do the same for the IOS /s

Simon Fowkes said,
Hmm maybe Apple should make Windoze 8 laptops/tables too?

Well actually there already is boot-camp in OSX so maybe do the same for the IOS /s

My family ran Windows on our Macbooks for 4 years via boot camp. We never booted into Mac OS. We have upgraded to HP's 2-in-1 PCs recently though. I have the Spectre x2 which uses a fanless i5.

Android could use a fresh UI and Launcher. But on the hardware side, all pale next to the HTC One M7. Best kept secret in smartphones. Something's wrong at HTC that they can't market this thing.

Anyway, Androids weakness is it's UI and Launcher IMO. WP8 is better and so is iOS in those areas. Other than that, Apple would be just another unless they pull off some amazing hardware designs.

Do you have a WP? I ask because I am a WP8 user (Lumia 620) and Android's launcher is much better what we have in WP8. How do you find WP better?

MorganX said,
Android could use a fresh UI and Launcher. But on the hardware side, all pale next to the HTC One M7. Best kept secret in smartphones. Something's wrong at HTC that they can't market this thing.

Anyway, Androids weakness is it's UI and Launcher IMO. WP8 is better and so is iOS in those areas. Other than that, Apple would be just another unless they pull off some amazing hardware designs.


Well android is an open platform. Which means you can customize it with launchers, icon packs, live wallpaper, and more of you don't like how it looks on stock

InTheSwiss said,
Do you have a WP? I ask because I am a WP8 user (Lumia 620) and Android's launcher is much better what we have in WP8. How do you find WP better?

This falls heavily in the personal preference category. But I also like WP8 launcher much, much, much better than Androids. =)

Scabrat said,

This falls heavily in the personal preference category. But I also like WP8 launcher much, much, much better than Androids. =)

True I regret getting my Lumia though so I am probably not the best person to talk to about WP lol.

It happens =). I liked the S3 for a while but I would rather have a pure Android experience like the motos or nexus give. But I like my Lumia so I think I will stick to that =). But if I were to go back to android Nexus or current moto will be my choice =).

Scabrat said,
It happens =). I liked the S3 for a while but I would rather have a pure Android experience like the motos or nexus give. But I like my Lumia so I think I will stick to that =). But if I were to go back to android Nexus or current moto will be my choice =).

Yeah I had a Nexus 4 and loved it (switched from an iPhone 4s) but I broke it with a little drop onto the ground I didn't have the money to spend on another Nexus so I picked up a Lumia 620 as it was cheap and did what I wanted/needed. I have had it since September 2013 and while it was ok at first it soon started to show its weaknesses. Then 3 weeks ago it just stopped charging for some reason! I had to send it to a service centre and it had its "main board" replaced and is all working now. Still it is the first phone I have ever had actually have a hardware fault which has put me off even more. I would love to get a Nexus 5 but I just can't justify it at the moment as I have a holiday soon that I need money for. Maybe when I get back!

Oh man, that is ill fated =(. I havent had a board go out on a phone yet, and God willing, it wont. Cause that would be a pain. If you do get the Nexus 5 after holiday make sure you keep the Lumia if you are at all a bit curious about Windows Phone 8.1. It should be a big update =). But the nexus 5 is a solid phone too. And it just recently got an update .

I don't think he's recommending to do so, simply suggesting it as a (from my point of view relatively insane) possibility:

nothing that would keep Apple out [...] could compete very well. [...] could play in two arenas at the same time.”

if Steve jobs was alive, he would have committed a suicide. better give IOS to other device makers to make cheap cell phones and still enjoy the profits.