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Wozniak criticizes iPhone at Sydney event

updated 11:20 am EST, Mon March 3, 2008

Wozniak criticizes iPhone

The iPhone is still a flawed device in spite of achievements, according to Steve Wozniak. The Apple co-founder made his comments at the Broadband and Beyond conference in Sydney, Australia, where he specifically took his former company to task for not incorporating 3G broadband into the iPhone at launch. The device instead uses EDGE technology, often described as "2.5G" or "2.75G," and even by Apple CEO Steve Jobs as too slow.

"To tell you the truth, I was disappointed," says Wozniak, noting that "half the phones in the AT&T store were 3G already." He further argued at the conference that without access to AT&T's HSDPA network, using data functions on the iPhone can be irritating. "I sufficed with it [the iPhone] in a lot of cases...but when things are going too slowly, I'll get frustrated and I'll do it on my laptop later."

Jobs has blamed the lack of 3G on a need for better battery life, but Wozniak remains skeptical, citing personal evidence. "I get as much life on my 3G phones as I get on my non-3G phones. I don't think it's just a battery issue," he said in Sydney.

Wozniak added though that the iPhone's interface is vastly superior to that of other smartphones, particularly in terms of web browsing. "Not one of them made me feel good about accessing the Internet, browser-style until the iPhone," said Wozniak. Regarding other phones he commented, "I'm learning to use their menus, it's awkward. I feel like a slave and less important than the technology."

Wozniak is particularly enthusiastic about the iPhone SDK, but claims that the iPhone is ironically not best at what it should be, which is calling. "For voice, I still want another phone," he says.




by MacNN Staff

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Comments

  1. bhuot

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    3g not available

    The 3g isn't available nation wide in the US with At&t.

  1. eldarkus

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    battery

    And so all of your other phones use a touch screen and have all of the stuff the Iphone does? Yea.. I dont think so. That is a rather pathetic statement from Woz...

    Now Jobs wrong that it's not a battery issue or go back to playing Segway Polo and shut up!

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    but...

    he also states its not a very good phone. Maybe in 10 years, when technology advances to the point that they can include voice dialing or, at least, a searchable address book. Does it even have 'speed dialing'?

  1. ajhoughton

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    @testudo

    It doesn't need a searchable address book, because of the way the address book is implemented (you can rapidly locate the entry you're looking for, even with a large number of entries in the list). Search on other phones only really exists because the UI for the address book is so slow and hard to use.

    As for "speed dialing", it doesn't have the kind of numeric shortcuts that other phones have, no. But then it doesn't have a fixed keypad, so it wouldn't make sense to do that. What it does have is the "Favourites" list, which fills the same purpose but in a nicer and more logical way.

    And voice dialing? Yeah, sure, that might be a useful feature (especially for using the phone with a car, where it lets you go totally hands-free). Apple already has the necessary technology in Mac OS X, so it's something they could add in future I suppose.

    As far as 3G goes, there was a study recently that showed that 3G phones' battery life was appalling if users tried to use the Internet to any signficant degree. I don't have the URL handy, otherwise I'd post it (anyone?). The only reason they last as long as an iPhone in practice is that using the Internet from other phones is, generally speaking, *horrible*. So I think Apple was right to stick with EDGE initially, even though 3G coverage where I live is *much* better than EDGE currently.

  1. robttwo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    employment

    I dont necessarily disagree with Woz's comments, but...

    So what? Why does anyone pay attention to this guy? He hasn't actually done anything in 25 years, except go around and cash in on the fact that he WAS around 25 years ago. He always has some criticism, but where is the great "WOZ Technology Company" based on all of this man's brilliance? I hope he gets on his knees every morning and thanks the Lord he was Steve's friend in high school.

    Doofuses.

  1. manleycreative

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    No duh

    Between Woz and Japanese designers slamming Apple you'd think these guys would learn to shut up and put up. Stop bi*chin' if you ain't got nuthin' to show! All these bozos should be working for Microsoft where they can have the hindsight of Apple innovation, try to one up them and still end up putting out an inferior product.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Re @testudo

    It doesn't need a searchable address book, because of the way the address book is implemented (you can rapidly locate the entry you're looking for, even with a large number of entries in the list). Search on other phones only really exists because the UI for the address book is so slow and hard to use.

    Yet it is one of the most requested features. I know, it's probably a bunch of illiterates who don't understand how much easier this is. (Although the ones complaining also mention having a pretty hefty address book).

    As for "speed dialing", it doesn't have the kind of numeric shortcuts that other phones have, no. But then it doesn't have a fixed keypad, so it wouldn't make sense to do that. What it does have is the "Favourites" list, which fills the same purpose but in a nicer and more logical way.

    More 'logical'? How so? Or is it just because the iPhone has it, it must be more logical? All I know with my cell phone, I can call people within seconds by pressing one or two buttons, most of the time without having to even look at it.

    And voice dialing? Yeah, sure, that might be a useful feature (especially for using the phone with a car, where it lets you go totally hands-free). Apple already has the necessary technology in Mac OS X, so it's something they could add in future I suppose.

    Gee, thanks for giving that such an enthusiastic concession of a possible feature (although copy/paste would be nice, too, and OS X has that as well, so I guess it is something that they could add in the future, I suppose, as well).

  1. russellb

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Woz

    His comments get stupider and stupider ... he's just trawling for attention.

    Woz is a flawed device if you ask me

    3G ... show me all your other 3G phones that do what the Iphone does .. idiot cant even compare apples to apples (no pun intended)

    The Iphone is the best "phone" I have ever owned and functions as a phone very very well.

    I find at home and work I have it on wireless and for the odd web stuff I need to do out in the wild that EDGE is just fine thank you.

    3G will be great when it comes out but after owning the phone since it first came out I really dont find I miss 3G that much.

  1. pt123

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Woz is right

    Woz got it right. I go into the Apple store to play with the iPhone and it is slow and painful. I definitely walk away disappointed.

  1. ShadowKatana

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    respect

    In spite of Woz's flawed comments, the person deserves the respect due his station. He is not a celebrity and rarely desires attention. People hold him with such high regard and deservedly so and so latch onto his views every chance they get. Some people close to him have said that following his airplane accident he really hasn't be the same.

    So I take issue with people saying "shut up" to a person who helped shape the industry we "live" in.

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