'Apple CEO would want to drop lawsuit'
Wozniak calls for Korean companies to become more innovative
By Cho Mu-hyun, Kim Yoo-chul
Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak said that the ongoing patent battle between Apple and Samsung Electronics is doing no good to anyone, citing the dispute as a “pain in the ass.”
“I have no details and paid no attention about the talks between Apple CEO Tim Cook and Samsung CEOChoi Gee-sung. But Cook would want all the lawsuits to disappear with the dispute and move the company on a forward course,” Wozniak said in a special lecture at Seoul’s Hanyang University, Thursday.
During a brief meeting with reporters after the lecture, Wozniak commented on devices by Samsung Electronics. “I owned a lot of Android phones, however, I owned no handsets from Samsung Electronics, including the new Galaxy S3,” he said.
“I saw Samsung’s Galaxy Note when it first came out in a Verizon store in the United States. And I looked at it and wasn’t impressed by the overall cost and inner devices.”
Stronger sales of the Notes helped Samsung report record operating profit in the first quarter of this year. Over 2 million Notes have been sold here just five months after release.
Korea is home to roughly 49 million people. That means 4 percent of the country decided to spend their money on a 5.3-inch smartphone that uses a stylus.
In the lecture, Wozniak blasted Korean manufacturers, saying that Korean technology firms lag behind in recognizable innovation.
“One of the weaknesses is Korean companies don’t get recognition for being the first to really change technology drastically or dramatically,” he said. “I mean, maybe Samsung was the first to have a better TV with LED (light-emitting diode) technology and that was a good step.”
He said that though income is important, creativity should be the highest priority. “Isolated and protected (research group) secrecy is very important. Let them develop things without being questioned by others,” he told some 500 participants.
Wozniak lavishly praised his former company Apple, and believes that the firm is going in the right direction with the new CEO.
“(Apple’s) key factor is working so diligently, and (making) products so perfect in secrecy. When I grew up, Sony always looked a little better. They aren’t like that right now, but I think that is how Apple should be, and is now.”
He came to the defense of Cook concerning public opinion that the boss will have difficulty replacing Steve Jobs, saying Jobs’ death had little influence on the company and Cook has been in the job for only a year.
“Apple is a great company. Apple is in extremely good hands right now.”
One of the most important themes the legendary engineer pointed out doing his speech was creativity, and was not subtle about his distaste for mere copying.
“You have to burrow for ideas, but sometimes it’s not like, oh my gosh I can do that too, I can do it a little better or a little cheaper,” he said. “I can do it so different, a whole different approach, that is what we call out of the box. That is real creativity. By the way it is very hard to do it the first time, and very easy the second time. (The first time) was not easy at all.”
Apple is currently calling Samsung’s Galaxy line a “copycat” of its iPhone, while the Korean firm maintains the allegations are “preposterous.”