Apple co-founder and burly all-around cuddle bear Steve Wozniak was in India last week to talk to up-and-coming entrepreneurs a thing or two about becoming a technology legend, and while he was there, he gave a great interview in which he said that competing smartphones were “failures,” just like the Apple III and the Lisa.
Speaking on an Indian television program called Sunday MIDDAY, Woz said:
The Apple III was a failure, the LISA was a failure, and the Macintosh was a failure. It was only by modifying the Macintosh hugely and over time that we made it a good computer.
If the guys at Apple had built the machine that they would love, it would have been successful. It came instead from formulas from Apple executives.
Marketing people were in charge and some very bad decisions got made, in my opinion. There were hardware failures. You put out a product that has failures right away, and even if you fix it a year later, it just doesn’t sell. It’s the same thing with any smartphone today. It comes out and it has something horribly wrong about it. You can fix everything wrong about it, and it still won’t sell. It has missed its window of opportunity.
I think that smartphone comparison is actually pretty astute. Most Android phones seem born out of the necessity of suits to have a flavor of phone for every possible member of any possible demographic. Apple’s best products, on the other hand, have tried to be the best possible experience for everyone.