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The Woz Thinks Apple Inc. Should Make an Android Phone


In an interview with Wired, the co-founder of Apple also explained why a smart watch and smart TV have not yet been introduced.

Steve Wozniak, the co-founder of Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), believes that the company he no longer works for should develop a phone that runs Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android operating system.

Yesterday, Wired Magazine interviewed "The Woz," as he's known, at the Apps World North America conference in San Francisco. In the candid discussion with Wired's Mat Honan, Wozniak weighed in on the state of innovation at Apple and surprised his interviewer by explaining why the company should develop an Android phone:

"There's nothing that would keep Apple out of the Android market as a secondary phone market. 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."

His statement was odd for two reasons.

First, The Woz spoke as if he still worked for Apple, though he has not been on staff there since 1987. Secondly, such a prospect is really unlikely to happen, though it is technically possible. Because Android is an open-source operating system, any handset maker can adopt and develop it for its own phones. However, there is no evidence that Apple is seriously considering a phone that runs Android.

Wozniak's somewhat far-fetched suggestion does not come from a place of concern for the Apple. On the contrary, he seemed quite satisfied with how the company is being run these days. Honan ask Wozniak how he felt about Apple's failure to introduce a new product category such as a smart watch or a smart TV in 2013, to which The Woz replied:

"The great products really come from secret development. 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."

Regarding the current generation of iPhones, Wozniak expressed full support of Apple's decision to not pump them full of new features. Drawing attention to the difference between features and innovation, he asked, "You pick up a Samsung (OTCMKTS:SSNLF) phone and say 'smile' and it takes a picture, but how much innovation is that?" He added, "People don't really choose their smartphones based on features. I think Apple is superior at being able to say no."

Maybe so, but considering that Apple has never released hardware that didn't run its own software, the company will also likely say no to The Woz's Android idea, too.

Follow me on Twitter: @JoshWolonick and @Minyanville
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