Sunday, September 16, 2012

'I hate it': Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak on the patent wars

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak has gone his own way since leaving the company, and even uses Android phones - and Windows phones - alongside his iPhones.

In other words, he doesn't agree with Steve Jobs that Android is a stolen product and that Apple should "go thermonuclear on it." In fact, he feels there are advantages to each of the three smartphone platforms, and he elaborated on that on Thursday, the day after the iPhone 5 was announced.

For example, in an interview with Bloomberg, Wozniak said he hoped that the iPhone 5's camera was improved because some Android phones produce superior photos. He said:

“I am always excited about every iPhone product because there are always good advances. A better quality on the pictures will mean a lot, because when I show people pictures on my iPhone 4 and my Galaxy S III, they always say the Galaxy S III, or even the Motorola RAZR, pictures look better.”

He's also said before that he feels that Android has advanced ahead of the iPhone, and that aside from Mac users (for compatibility reasons), he only recommends the iPhone to "people who are just scared of computers altogether and don’t want to use them."

Power users, he said, would find Android to be a better choice.

What then, does Woz think of the Android - iOS patent battle, which include not just the Samsung - Apple global war, but others as well?

He hates it.

“I don’t think the decision of California will hold. And I don’t agree with it -- very small things I don’t really call that innovative. I wish everybody would just agree to exchange all the patents and everybody can build the best forms they want to use everybody’s technologies.”

That's the way we look at it. Instead of trying to use patents and a patent system that many feel is broken to stem the tide of your opponent, let the consumer decide by cross-licensing and letting ideas flow.

On the other hand, both Samsung and HTC have threatened to sue Apple over LTE patents if the company released an LTE-compatible iPhone 5 - which it did on Wednesday. The shoe has not yet dropped on any lawsuits.

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