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Netgear CEO dumps on Jobs, Apple and Microsoft

updated 05:40 am EST, Mon January 31, 2011

Sees Android as the default OS platform globally

NETGEAR global chairman CEO Charles has launched an strongly worded assault on Steve Jobs and Apple's 'closed' business model, while simultaneously heaping praise on Google's Android mobile OS. Using a lunch in Sydney, Australia as his forum, Lo criticized Jobs stance on Flash on iOS and said the only reason it was absent from Apple's mobile devices was because of Jobs' "ego". "What's the reason for him to trash Flash? There's no reason other than ego," he argued.

He also called time on Apple's business model and Windows Phone 7, and said that Android was set to become the dominant OS, not only on mobile phones, but other devices including TVs. This, he said, can be attributed to Apple's "closed" business model and the fact that movie studios were "wary" of Jobs because he has forced them into a position where they pay a "ransom" to have their content distributed through iTunes. "Steve Jobs wants to suffocate the distribution so even though he doesn't own the content he could basically demand a ransom," he purported.

As for Microsoft and Windows Phone 7? "Microsoft is over - game over - from my point of view." From Lo's perspective, Microsoft has missed the boat and is so far behind that it will continue to languish in behind Apple and Android.

However, Lo was much kinder about Android and its "openness." It has already overtaken Apple in the US and is set to overtake Apple globally he claimed. Open-source platforms like Android will win because any manufacturer can use them for free.

"Ultimately a closed system just can't go far...If they continue to close it and let Android continue to creep up then its pretty difficult as I see it."

Lo compared the battle between iOS and Android as akin to the Betamax vs. VHS video format wars. Even though Apple's ecosystem offers consumers a seamless experience, this would not be enough to stop Android from becoming the default platform. [via Sydney Morning Herald]

by MacNN Staff



  1. chas_m



    Rather than a knee-jerk reaction ...

    ... I'll simply state that I think he's at least partially wrong and that time will of course tell.

    I would also add that his definition of "closed" and "open" may not necessarily jibe with the real world's idea of "closed" and "open." Or "free" for that matter.

    Will Android become the world's dominant mobile OS? Yes, very likely -- it runs on a huge variety of devices from different manufacturers, and gives them everything they want while data-mining their customers. Of course hardware manufacturers love it -- this is basically Microsoft's old business model taken to the extreme.

    Can there be room for more than one significant mobile OS? Looks like it. I personally think it's kind of nice to have one that's more consumer-focused and doesn't treat the hardware manufacturers like lords to be served, but of course I'm a consumer so naturally I think that way -- just as Mr. Lo is a hardware provider so naturally he thinks his way.

  1. eldarkus

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Open Standards

    First, i'll leave it for someone else to list all of the flaws with Flash. I'm sure there will be plenty.

    Comparing a standard like VHS/Betamax to phone OS's is just ignorant, as there have always been multiple OS's for phones. This is no where near a consumer standard like Blu-Ray or HD-DVD.

    But hey, maybe he's right. Maybe all products should just have one maker. No generic brands. Sony should get out of the TV business and let Samsung make all TV's. Verizon should back out of the internet and let Comcast take it all. s**** competition.. it sucks for the consumer!!! Me thinks Lo has been watching Highlander too many times. Guess what, Lo? There can be more than one :)

  1. macnnoel

    Joined: Dec 1969


    What does Netgear make again?

    Oh right...

  1. Salty

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Netgear you mean...

    Netgear you mean that brand I shall now avoid like the plague? I'm sorry but dude, when you're making 30 dollar routers that people only buy cause it's the cheapest one on the shelf, I would not recommend bashing one of the most successful CEOs on the planet when you're the CEO of freaking Netgear. I'm sure they like Android because they've got a chance of licensing it for products where as they can't do that with iOS.
    At the same time I partly buy iOS products because it's not on cheap a** products that Netgear makes. Android has it's upsides (I'd consider a Samsung Android phone for example if I didn't have issues with Android's usability and their update policies) but it also isn't as slick of consumer friendly as iOS. So while yes it's friendlier to developers, iOS requires less stress on my part.

  1. Stuke

    Joined: Dec 1969



    how no-name CEO's need to talk trash about a CEO that literally revolutionized the computer and mobility market places...with the end-user/consumer in mind! I agree with 'macnnoel' and 'Salty'...Netwho?

  1. jarod

    Joined: Dec 1969



    What do people pay attention to clowns like this? He's obviously pissed that he can't get on the 'Apple boat'. If Android is to become the default platform, so be it. Windows was also the default platform and it's still worse than s***; hence what's his point? Apple was never about market share; it's always been about quality and a seamless experience, and that it giving it market share. Speaking of which, how much is Netgear's market value? Right....

  1. reader

    Joined: Dec 1969


    How's that again?

    “What’s the reason for him to trash Flash? There’s no reason other than ego,” he argued.

    Has CEO Charles ever used Flash? Seen it (not) work on a mobile device? There's lots of reason to trash flash, and ego doesn't have to enter into it.

  1. rbodgers

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Windows Only

    This, coming from the guy who's Layer 2 managed switched can only be managed from Windows. It's 2011, not 1995.

  1. coffeetime

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Retire needed

    This guy needs to retire. He's an old school dude plus he makes only routers. He knows nothing about computers just from hearing him. Very surprise on how he bashes successful computer makers from someone who makes only can-opener.

  1. kerryb

    Joined: Dec 1969


    open, monopoly, dominant and choice

    These words are thrown around by tech CEO's the way politicians use meaningless political catch phrases to win votes.

    Open = license free for manufacturers like Netgear.
    Closed = anything they have to pay for, this applies to the Linux crowd too.

    Jobs gave content sellers like the music and movie industry a platform to distribute their products. This was no different from a brick and mortar store adding it's markup to a music cd or movie dvd. Those industries were just surprised how long it took for other tech companies to "open" their on stores to distribute content, ie Amazon, Netflix...

    Netgear makes products for the low end consumer so it is no surprise that this CEO can't imagine someone is willing to pay more for a better built product and a much better user experience like iOS devices.

    Flash... Apparently CEO Charles did not read anything about Flash's poor performance on mobile devices and it sub-standard version for the Mac. I think the readers of are better informed than this man.

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