Monday, April 30, 2012

Woz: iPhone still his favorite, but recommending WP over Android

Although he uses an iPhone as his primary smartphone (really, two of them for battery reasons), Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak also uses - and loves - Android. Now he has yet another smartphone platform he carries: Windows Phone.

In an interview with Dan Patterson and the co-author of his autobiography, Gina Smith, Steve Wozniak lauded praise on Windows Phone, saying that using Microsoft's smartphone platform is like being "with a friend, not a tool."

The interview is embedded below.

While the iPhone is still his favorite phone, Wozniak loved the Windows Phone user interface, saying that "Compared to Android, there's no contest." In that, he didn't mean Android was superior, but WP. That was clarified in a post-interview comment.

Wozniak added, "Just for looks and beauty I definitely favor the Windows Phone over Android. I'm just shocked, I haven't seen anything yet that isn't more beautiful than the other platforms."

The interviewers did have the misconception that the Nokia Lumia that Steve Wozniak was carrying, and thus Windows Phone, was his favorite of the three (really, four if you include the second iPhone) he was carrying (he also had a Motorola Droid RAZR and an iPhone 4S). A comment left Wozniak corrected that error:

"Wrong. iPhone is my favorite phone. I did give my opinion that the Windows 7P phone had superior visual appearance and operation cues that were also more attractive. In my opinion, it sets the mark for user interface. I would recommend it over my Android phones given that it doesn’t yet have the breadth of apps. I surmise that Microsoft hired someone from Apple and put money into having a role in the UI and appearance of some key apps. I also surmised that Steve Jobs might have been reincarnated at MS due to a lot of what I see and feel with this phone making me think of a lot of great Apple things."

The statement that his friend and Apple co-founder Steve Jobs may have been reincarnated and helped in the making of Windows Phone is high praise for Microsoft.

Indeed, the iPhone's closed garden is both a boon and a bane. The fact that the device comes from only one vendor means there's no "fragmentation." Android is definitely not that way.

One might assume that fragmentation will exist - if not now, eventually - with Windows Phone, too, with multiple vendors. Nokia is known to have made its own tweaks to the platform, different from other OEMs. In addition, Windows Phone 8 is "advertised" to allow more customization by OEMs, as well.

How this all shakes out remains to be seen. As we've speculated before, however, it would seem to be common sense that for every app downloaded the likelihood that a user would switch to a different platform is less likely. Initial reports that a high number of AT&T WP users switched from Android AND iPhone after the launch of the LTE-supporting Lumia 900 and the HTC Titan II seem to belie that assumption.

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