Apple Co-Founder Predicts Death for iPod, Unenthusiastic About iPhone

Steve Wozniak Unimpressed with iPhone, Expects iPod to Disappear

by Anton Shilov
10/07/2008 | 11:19 PM

Steve Wozniak, a co-founder of Apple Computer, said in an interview that Apple iPod portable digital media player would eventually share the destiny with Sony Walkman. In addition, Mr. Wozniak said that he was unimpressed with Apple iPhone, a product that Apple hopes to become really popular.


“The iPod has sort of lived a long life at number one. Things like, that if you look back to transistor radios and Walkmans, they kind of die out after a while. It’s kind of like everyone has got one or two or three. You get to a point when they are on display everywhere, they get real cheap and they are not selling as much,” Mr. Wozniak said in an interview with the Telegraph news-paper.

The concept of portable music players have been evolving for tens of years. Products like Apple iPod Touch hardly resemble the first Sony Walkman TPS-L2, but one thing they have in common is that they can playback music. Therefore, death predictions for the iPod may be somewhat exaggerated: the current-generation devices may evolve into something completely different which will still be able to store and playback music.

The co-founder of Apple also dislikes Apple iPhone, which can be considered as an evolution of the iPod.

“Consumers aren’t getting all they want when companies are very proprietary and lock their products down,” Mr. Wozniak said when comparing the iPhone’s closed operating system to the new Google phone’s open source system which allows anyone to modify and adapt the way the phone works. “I would like to write some more powerful apps than what you're allowed,” he claimed.

Obviously, the vast majority of consumers will never write their own applications for their cellphones or customize existing ones too heavily. Apple iPhone devices are only available for purchase via select network operators and only with contracts, which is a strong drawback for many. In addition, the iPhones come with too lot of proprietary software that cannot be substituted with other programs.

But what’s the next big thing for Apple, many wonder. Mr. Wozniak tells that even Steve Jobs, chief exec of Apple, does not know.

“Nobody, not even Steve Jobs knows what’s next. I think he would be sitting there [unaware] right up until the day it is introduced,” Mr. Wozniak said adding that Apple’s future could lie in an “iWatch”.