By Kim Da-ye
Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple, likes his three iPhones and iPad, but not so much the competitors' Android phones, he said Thursday in an exclusive interview with The Korea Times' sister publication, The Seoul Economic Daily.
"First, I liked a lot of things that were built into Android phones. Voice recognition and noise cancellation on my Nexus One phone were great. I still like to speak things. For instance, navigate to John's hardware store. It gets the wording right - no matter how you say, it works like Google search," said Wozniak who founded the darling of the technology industry with Steve Jobs, its current CEO, and Ronald Wayne.
But Wozniak soon found "more and more things" including applications and the operating system crashing.
"It's difficult to find where things are (on Android phones). More and more, I feel like it is more like (Microsoft's) Windows in which many different hardware vendors have installed different equipment on the same platform. The (Windows') platform has to be very neutral and cannot be special. That's the similar problem Android phones have," he said.
"When you write an app for Android phones, there are so many platforms to consider. That's the problem Microsoft was facing with its Windows years ago. People like Apple products because they are always predictable and work,"
Wozniak's messages to keep products simple and user-friendly continued with his advice to Korean firms targeting the global market.
"Don't judge the products by how much they do. If you look at an Apple product including design and functions, the message it gives your eyes as soon as you see the product is 'beautiful.' You pick up some products and there are buttons, buttons, buttons, words and words. It looks ugly, and it tells you it is not human," said Wozniak.
"Human should be more important and technology should modify its shape and fit into the human world, rather than vice versa. Make sure everyone who uses your device loves it actually. If you develop that love relationship, they will buy your products next time, no matter what."
Wozniak also emphasized creativity, an essential factor to make a global hit like Apple's iPhone. "First of all, don't try to look at an existing product and say how can we redo that product just better, although excellence is important," said Wozniak.
"For Korean companies, they should not hire people who have done the exact same thing as others have done. They should look for very, very bright people with absolutely different thinking. You need a lot of thinking outside the box."
Wozniak remains an employee of Apple as well as a shareholder.