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Wozniak weighs in on iPod, Intel Macs

updated 03:15 pm EST, Thu February 23, 2006

Woz on iPod, Mactels

Although it ha been 21 years since he officially worked for Apple, Steve Wozniak still maintains a keen interest in the goings-on of the company. In a recent interview from New Zealand with globeandmail, Woz--who is still on the Apple payroll "just out of loyalty" (and health insurance)--is quoted as being somewhat apprehensive about the iPod and Apple's recent switch to Intel processors. "It's like consorting with the enemy. We've had this long history of saying the enemy is the big black-hatted guys, and they kind of represent evil. We are different, and by being different we're better," says Wozniak. "All of a sudden we're the same in this hardware regard, so it's a little hard to swallow your words from the past."

Wozniak admitted that the switch was necessary from an engineering veiwpoint, as Apple needed to find a way to increase performance per watt, but he reportedly still has "some questions as to how much it's needed."

Wozniak also thinks that perhaps the iPod should be a spin-off of Apple, noting in the interview that the iPod has its own operating system, software, and processor. "We're a computer company, and we really think computers. Spinning off a separate division makes a whole lot of sense." Wozniak pointed to the success of Apple's two computers-- the Apple II and the Macintosh- that it made in the 1980s, and the fact that the two units "were in separate units and didn't interact much."

In response to recent vows of iPod comeptition from companies such as Microsoft, Wozniak said in the article that "they better do it excellent, excellent, excellent because the iPod sure is... Micorsoft wants to get out of the whole image of the big, black Darth Vader evil guy. Innovation is probably going on within the company, because any time you put smart engineers in places eventually they wind up talking and innovating no tter how much you try to hold them back."

"I hope Microsoft improves and becomes more like Apple."

by MacNN Staff




  1. fahlman

    Joined: Dec 1969


    It's the OS!

    It's never been the processor that apple different. It's always been the OS. 680X0, PPC, Intel, who cares as long as it runs Mac OS X.

    Spinning of the iPod! Is he crazy. The iPod is funding Apple. Spinning it off would be great for "iPod, Inc.", but bad for Apple Computer, Inc.

  1. SiliconAddict

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Its both.

    No it’s the OS and the hardware. You can't have a good experience without quality in both. You can have the world’s slickest OS but if it’s running on hardware that should have been put out to pasture 3 years ago what’s the point?

  1. Sinemacula

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Gotta agree that it is both the OS and the hardware - the issue isn't so much what the hardware is, but more that Apple controls what it is so that they control the quality, and limit the number of variables the OS has to work with in terms of drivers, etc. -- giving us tight OS/hardware integration, whatever the details may be.

  1. piecewise

    Joined: Dec 1969


    He's wrong

    Apple isn't just a computer company anymore (and they aren't an OS company either, poster). Their strategic goal is making products that integrate and improve our digital lifestyle. That's the Mac, OS X, iTunes, the iPod, and so on. it's all related to that one core concept.

    If Apple were still just a computer company, they WOULD be out of business. In the 80's they wanted to make great computers. Their current goal - which I think is even more noble and suited for what they're best at - is to create great digital lifestyle experiences. It's a goal that will keep them going for decades.

  1. chas_m



    Sorry Woz ...

    I love the guy (truly -- I admire him tremendously as an inventor), but it's clear that Woz has NO head for business. Good job the "other" Steve is running that part of the show.

    piecewise truly hit the nail on the head, and in particular that last paragraph should be WIDELY quoted. I'm dumbfounded that 30 years on, Woz is still looking at Apple only from the hardware point of view.

  1. mathew_m

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Woz Royalty

    Woz is literally treated like a wizard in the Mac community but after listening to him on TwiT I agree that he has no head for business. However get him talking about laser pointers...

  1. hayesk

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: he's wrong

    While I won't deny that the iPod has done great things for Apple, to say that:

    "If Apple were still just a computer company, they WOULD be out of business"

    is a bit overstated. Apple was profiting before the iPod, and they would have continued, perhaps not at a rapid pace as they are now, but certainly would have done ok.

  1. Ilgaz

    Joined: Dec 1969


    IMHO Pull the story

    I can't stand Apple fanboys even use Woz name to defend their cult leaders INTEL decision.

  1. ecrichlow

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Finally. Thank you.

    I am SO happy to see someone (who has the public's ear) say this.

    I bought my first Mac in '97 for 3 reasons:

    1) I dislike Microsoft

    2) I was always a fan of Motorola processors

    3) I dislike intel processors

    ... in that order of importance.

    The switch to intel removes 2/3 of my reasons for supporting the Mac in one fell swoop.

    Any loyalty I had to the platform is now mostly gone.


  1. Saint_Stryfe

    Joined: Dec 1969


    IF you only..

    like Moto processors, then why weren't you angry when we moved to IBM processors several years ago? And what has intel done that makes them bad? THEy're only limited because the market limits them -they could dump thousands into new RnD designs but no one would use them! They're controlled by the market. Now, even though it's similar, they have a premier vender who will gladly use other processors if they are better, and will play games on developing increidible boxes to showcase their chips.

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