Woz: I Only Said Apple Should Make An Android iPhone As A Joke

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The other day, our Google-loving friends over at Cult of Android breathlessly hopped on a story suggesting that Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak wanted Apple to make an Android smartphone.

It was always a bizarre story — what could Apple possibly have to gain from that, when it is already has the best-selling smartphone in the world — but it certainly made for a good headline. The only problem? Woz says he never meant it.

According to the co-writer of Wozniak’s biography, Gina Smith, Steve says that Wired got the story wrong.

“They got it quite wrong for their own reasons … I’m used to things like this, (where the media turns) ‘could’ into ‘should.’ But the idea caught a lot of attention. It was just (my) independent idea … I’m sure others have said it before but I get more attention …”

“I was asked some general question as to Blackberry,” Steve said, adding, “I said, as I have before, that I felt Blackberry’s best (plan) two years ago would have been to make an Android phone.”

“I went into how the world seems to be Apple lovers and Apple non-lovers,” Steve said in the email to me, explaining that “I did say Apple ‘could’ make an Android phone. But I (said) total business decisions would be in the hands of knowledgeable Apple execs — not me.”

In addition, says Steve, “I questioned how much this would compete with the iPhone business.”

“My answer was brief and more thrown out like art, to mention a rare and dramatic idea to get people to (start thinking).” His comment, according to Steve, was more intended as “a form of comedy. I felt it was an interesting thing to say.”

In other words, it sounds like Woz made a joke, and the joke then became the story, instead of what he actually though. Seems like Woz was right about one thing, though: saying Apple should make an Android phone did turn out to be an “interesting thing to say,” at the very least.

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  • Ianthetechman

    If it was anything other than a joke i would of lost a awful lot of respect for the great man.

  • SFMaac

    This to me sounds more like a corporate slap-down. I was at the event, AppsWorld, and I was 5 rows from Steve as he spoke. I can tell you with all honesty, he was so not joking. I can tell when someone is joking, or someone is saying something sarcastically, and this was neither of those.
    Someone in the audience during the Q&A sessions even asked him about it and he explained it again. I’m not sure of his situation with Apple, shareholder, etc. But even though I don’t think he is an employee people still view him as an Apple guy, unofficially. To be honest, that’s the only reason I went, to see him speak. I think Apple give him a speech to reverse what he said.
    Definitely no joke, that I can assure you.

  • MrsCleaver

    Smart guy, with a stupid idea, pictured in an even stupider photo.

  • Steffen Jobbs

    Worst, sick joke ever. It’s a horrible way to fill up an iPhone with Android dung. Certainly, Apple would never consider using an OS they’ve been trying to destroy for years. Wozniak has completely gone over to the Dark Side and he needn’t ever return.

About the author

John BrownleeJohn Brownlee is a Contributing Editor. He has also written for Wired, Playboy, Boing Boing, Popular Mechanics, VentureBeat, and Gizmodo. He lives in Boston with his wife and two parakeets. You can follow him here on Twitter.

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