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Steve Wozniak may have helped Steve Jobs build one of the greatest consumer electronics empires in the world, but this Apple co-founder admits that he loves his Android handset. During an interview with the Daily Beast, the Woz blasts the iPhone for its limitations and highlights a number of perks that Android brings, including voice commands that are better than Siri and navigation. “My primary phone is the iPhone, I love the beauty of it,” Wozniak says. “But I wish it did all the things my Android does, I really do.”
The statement was heard around the world, as Wozniak adds fuel to the bitter battle between Apple and Android. It’s a rivalry that harkens back to the days of Apple versus Microsoft back in the 1990s, where Apple lost out to volume, pricing and accessibility. Wozniak thinks Apple’s mobile strategy may not be differentiated enough, however, saying “there’s not as big a difference [between iOS and Android] as there was between Mac and Windows.”
Android losing control of its market?
Wozniak goes on to note Apple’s strict app approval process as a sticking point that ultimately gives Android the lead, and this has been a point of contention from day one. Apple’s been slow to give up control over its ecosystem, while Android may have given up too much control with its open app store. Some argue that Android’s openness is contributing to its detriment around fragmentation, some even saying that Google has no chance of regaining control. But it may not be total control Google’s after when it comes to Android. Its open source platform acts as a partner for manufacturers like Samsung and HTC, emboldening the Android ecosystem for rapid expansion and broad consumer appeal. It’s worked out quite well for handset makers, even enabling Samsung to compete on a more direct level with the Apple iPhone.
The dangers of Android patent infringement
But making Android phones does have its downside. Microsoft, the company that first beat out the Macintosh PC some decades ago, is looking to dominate the mobile scene any way it can. This strategy revolves around targeting Android manufacturers for licensing agreements, and Pantech could be next. South Korea’s third largest handset maker is reportedly in talks with Microsoft regarding the patent usage in its Android smartphones, and could end up paying around $5 per Android device sold. HTC and Samsung already have deals with Microsoft, which now collects fees from nearly 70 percent of Android device makers. South Korea’s second-largest handset maker, LG, just signed a deal last week.