The Future of Mobile

Wozniak: Apple Could 'Compete' by Launching an Android Phone

Alex Spencer

Steve Wozniak has claimed that Apple, the company he co-founded, could benefit from launching an Android phone.

"There's nothing that would keep Apple out of the Android market as a secondary phone market," said Wozniak in an interview with Wired. "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."

Of course, while Wozniak is a shareholder in Apple, he left the company in 1987 and his opinion on this matter is unlikely to influence Apple's future direction - especially given its famously protective approach to its hardware and software.

However, Wired points out that due to Android's open-source nature, Apple could always pull an Amazon and fork the OS - creating their own customised version which would more closely match the iOS aesthetic - for its own devices.

The innovation question
When asked about Apple's decision not to move into any new product categories since it launched the iPad in 2010, Wozniak said:

"The great products really come from secret development," said Wozniak. "You put small teams of great people on them and they aren't bothered by other people commenting on what they're doing while they're doing it. A whole new category of products doesn't happen very often. It might happen once a decade. Sometimes you have to wait for one of those to come about."

This is particularly interesting in light of Apple CEO Tim Cook's recent comments in this area. When asked, on the company's recent earnings call, to confirm that Apple would launch a new product by the end of 2014, Cook said "Yes, absolutely."

He then told The Wall Street Journal: "There will be new categories. We're not ready to talk about it, but we're working on some really great stuff" - but declined to specify whether this meant improving on its existing offering or the launch of an entirely new service or product.