Image via Bob Pearce/smh.com.au
Steve Wozniak thinks “It is time for the whole computer industry to maybe have a bit of a slowdown,” according to comments published in a wide-ranging interview with the Telegraph UK.
With shares of Apple, Inc. off 45% from August highs at $179, Wozniak thinks the spate of analyst downgrades for the near-term prospects of the company he founded are likely “correct.” He said, “For twenty years we have been in this replacement and upgrade market” that he finds unsustainable.
“Things like [the iPod], if you look back to transistor radios and Walkmans, they kind of die out after a while,” he predicted, referring to a major Apple profit center in recent years.
Wozniak also appeared critical of Apple’s latest groundbreaking product, the iPhone, and the direction development of third-party applications has taken. “Consumers aren’t getting all they want when companies are very proprietary and lock their products down,” he opined, saying, “I would like to write some more powerful apps than what you’re allowed.”
And while, as some analysts believe, Apple may be in a better position to withstand an industry slowdown than other technology companies, because of the near-religious devotion some consumers have toward Apple products, Woniak said neither he nor Steve Jobs was ever comfortable with such attitudes. We “don’t like the fact that it’s a bit of a religion,” he said of the company’s cult followers.
“I would like to have the users influence the next generation,” he said. “With a religion you’re not allowed to challenge anything. I want our customers to challenge us.”
One area of the Telegraph interview with a disturbingly false ring to it, however, concerned Wozniak’s description of Steve Job’s position in Apple’s stream of internal intelligence. He claimed that, when it comes to the introduction of new products, “nobody, not even Steve Jobs” knows what’s next.
“I think he would be sitting there [unaware] right up until the day it is introduced.” Ya think?