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Wozniak To Apple: Consider Building an Android Phone 249

Posted by samzenpus
from the building-with-the-enemy dept.
snydeq writes "Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak has some advice for Apple CEO Tim Cook: consider offering a phone based on the rival Google Android platform. Speaking at the Apps World conference in San Francisco, Wozniak made the suggestion of an Apple Android device when responding to a question about the fate of the faltering BlackBerry platform, saying that BlackBerry should have built an Android phone, and that Apple could do so, too. 'BlackBerry's very sad for me,' Wozniak lamented. 'I think it's probably too late now' for an Android-based BlackBerry phone. Apple, Woz said, has had some lucky victories in the marketplace in the past decade, and BlackBerry's demise may provide a cautionary tale: 'There's nothing to keep Apple out of the Android market as a secondary phone market.'"
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Wozniak To Apple: Consider Building an Android Phone

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  • Consider scrapping beta.

    • ... didn't you just begin a sentence on the subject line and finish it in the body?
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by globaljustin (574257)

      Consider scrapping beta.

      agree...i hate that we have to hijack threads to say this but they need to stop

      plz Dice...stop...just stop

      slashdot's 'look and feel' is fine how it is...ok, some could say its dated...but the is **not** to hack the content down to a big 'feed' that buries content under graphics

      leave the main layout the same! tinker with logos/colors/menu types etc. but **don't remove whole sidebars** and put giant squares of color where informative text used to be

      this is the worst trend in "U/X" righ

      • by Velex (120469)

        Exactly.

        I would be happy with [FUCK] BETA if it weren't for the superfluous sidebar that continues down the page to infinity and beyond, limiting space for comments and the various other layout issues. The font size is too big for another thing. Now I know I can hit ctrl+- a few times, but I mean, come on! I want comments to be the full width of my window, and I want to choose whether I want to see all comments when I'm moderating and whether I just want to browse at +1 or +2 depending on my attention sp

        • FUCK BETA is like everything I hate about the mobile site brought to a desktop site.

          You think the current mobile site is bad? Try the beta on your phone. Sweet raptor jesus, after the third nesting level or so the text is squeezed in a narrow little space and ends up being one or two words per line.

          And there's no way to get it to show the "normal" layout on a mobile device, it seems to be based on window width somehow. For instance, if you take the beta site and shrink the window you can see it changing the layout to "suit" the smaller space, eventually ending up with this weird single

  • by tepples (727027) <tepples@[ ]il.com ['gma' in gap]> on Thursday February 06, 2014 @06:13PM (#46179623) Homepage Journal

    There's nothing to keep Apple out of the Android market as a secondary phone market.

    Of course there is. Apple isn't allowed to distribute copies of Android to the public except under license from Linus Torvalds, Google, and other contributors to Android. If Apple accepts the license of Android (mostly Apache v2 and GPLv2), it has to give the public an implicit or explicit license to patents that Apple holds that Android allegedly infringes. So unless Apple wants to end up dropping lawsuits against Samsung, it has to refrain from making an iDroid.

    • by TWX (665546)
      You'd need to read up on SCO vs Novell et al, I don't think that the argument by Novell and company that SCO had implicitly granted permissions for the code that they were suing about by continuing to distribute the successor to Caldera OpenLinux, which contained a GPL license with the theoretically offending code, was recognized. If it had been then the suit would not have lasted for as long as it did.
      • by tepples (727027)
        I base this on section "3. Grant of Patent License" in the license of Android [apache.org].
        • I base this on section "3. Grant of Patent License" in the license of Android [apache.org].

          So what you're saying is that if Nokia release their Normandy Android phone next month, it'll indemnify Android from both Nokia and Microsoft's patent extortion?

          Does that include the FAT patents that they've been getting so much cash from?

          If so, you've uncovered a far bigger story than Woz's opinion piece...

          • by tepples (727027)
            Not if Nokisoft strips out FAT support from the version of Android on the phone. Besides, FAT is part of Linux, which is licensed separately (GPLv2) from the userland of Android (Apache v2).
            • by Vintermann (400722) on Friday February 07, 2014 @03:36AM (#46183817) Homepage

              There's a reason why you can't just strip out FAT support, a reason those patents are so obscene. It's a de-facto standard, and you need it for compatibility with lots and lots of stuff.

              The actual technical worth of the FAT filesystems is zero. They are dumb, slow, they fragment, and lacks essential features. You can have strictly superior systems for free. But due to network effects, it's very hard to get rid of as the lowest-common-denominator filesystem, that can be read on every Windows and OSX and dumb little flashcard-reading gadget.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 06, 2014 @06:35PM (#46179901)

      This is funny, of course they'll use Android. They don't make anything themselves. Haven't you noticed how Mac OSX is a blatant rip off of Red Star OS? Glorious Leader spent several hours creating an operating system from scratch only to have it stolen by these capitalist lapdogs.

       

    • by Dcnjoe60 (682885)

      There's nothing to keep Apple out of the Android market as a secondary phone market.

      Of course there is. Apple isn't allowed to distribute copies of Android to the public except under license from Linus Torvalds, Google, and other contributors to Android. If Apple accepts the license of Android (mostly Apache v2 and GPLv2), it has to give the public an implicit or explicit license to patents that Apple holds that Android allegedly infringes. So unless Apple wants to end up dropping lawsuits against Samsung, it has to refrain from making an iDroid.

      That would only be true if Apple incorporate those patents into their version of Android. If Apple left Apple stuff out of the Android operating system, they wouldn't have to give up anything.

      • If Apple left Apple stuff out of the iDroid, then it more than likely wouldn't pass the Android compatibility tests. This would block applications that rely on things in the CDD over which Apple claims a patent. It would also block a lot of applications that rely on Google Play Services, which are available only on devices whose manufacturer demonstrates conformance to the CDD.
        • by Dcnjoe60 (682885)

          If Apple left Apple stuff out of the iDroid, then it more than likely wouldn't pass the Android compatibility tests. This would block applications that rely on things in the CDD over which Apple claims a patent. It would also block a lot of applications that rely on Google Play Services, which are available only on devices whose manufacturer demonstrates conformance to the CDD.

          What are you talking about. There is nothing stopping Apple creating an Android phone. It could be 100% pure android, just like HTC, Samsung, Motorola and others. Are you thinking that an Apple Android phone would need to be able to run iOS apps? That would be sweet, but that's not a requirement for Apple to sell an Android phone.

          Look at it this way, say Apple licenses the Samsung Galaxy 4 to use as it's phone and they slap an Apple logo on it. There is now an Apple Android phone and it hasn't cost Apple o

          • by tepples (727027)
            Apple holds patents that it claims cover specific features of Android (the "claimed features"). If Apple were to make and sell an Android device, it could either include the claimed features or remove the claimed features. Were you suggesting that Apple keep or remove the claimed features in its hypothetical Android device?

            It could be 100% pure android, just like HTC, Samsung, Motorola and others. Are you thinking that an Apple Android phone would need to be able to run iOS apps?

            No. But Android without the claimed features probably wouldn't be able to run Android apps either. A device must pass the Compatibility Test Suite, which tests conformance to the Android

    • by ChaseTec (447725)

      I don't even think licensing is the main issue. Content (and making money off of it) is the big issue. iTunes could probably be modified to support additional phone types so music and movies aren't that big an issue but the real issue is the app store. Apple makes money on all apps sold (and in-app purchases) and none of those apps would work on an android device (without a WINE type API compatibility) so your talking about Apple creating a second Apple app store with zero existing apps. They'd have to enco

    • I'm having trouble parsing your comment. Could you please rephrase why it is that you dislike the beta so that we can understand you better?

    • Of course there is. Apple isn't allowed to distribute copies of Android to the public except under license from Linus Torvalds, Google, and other contributors to Android. If Apple accepts the license of Android (mostly Apache v2 and GPLv2), it has to give the public an implicit or explicit license to patents that Apple holds that Android allegedly infringes. So unless Apple wants to end up dropping lawsuits against Samsung, it has to refrain from making an iDroid.

      Is what you said true, though? Does the APL and GPL require granting the public a license to all of Apple's patents, or does it only require granting a license to users of the software when they use the software (i.e. you can't distribute some GPL software and then sue the people that got it from you)?

      I haven't read the licenses lately, and I don't care enough to go read them right now, so that is a genuine question.

      • by tepples (727027)

        Does the APL and GPL require granting the public a license to all of Apple's patents, or does it only require granting a license to users of the software when they use the software

        The Apache license (read it now [apache.org]) requires each "Contributor" to a covered program (those who modify it, as Apple would when porting Android to its device) to grant a license to its "patent claims licensable by such Contributor that are necessarily infringed" by the program.

        • by Dragonslicer (991472) on Thursday February 06, 2014 @09:40PM (#46182009)
          It looks like the patent license only applies to their contrbutions, though ("where such license applies only to those patent claims licensable by such Contributor that are necessarily infringed by their Contribution(s) alone or by combination of their Contribution(s) with the Work"). So if they don't submit any changes, maybe other than device drivers, they could still use their patents against other Android manufacturers.
    • by AJH16 (940784)

      If this were true, then the source for TouchWiz would also have to be released. You are allowed to make proprietary hardware and software without making it part of Android. If they don't alter the OS to include their patents, then it wouldn't release their patents. The point and definition of that clause is so that you can't patent encumber an open source project by contributing code that uses something you have a patent to without promising you won't go after anyone for using your contribution.

  • by sfm (195458)

    Check out some of the predictions that came out when /. went to Dice. It is amazing how well some people can predict the future.

    http://news.slashdot.org/story... [slashdot.org]

  • I wonder what caused him to start smoking crack?
  • Beta Sucks (Score:2, Informative)

    by tekpagan (113878)

    Beta Sucks
    Join the boycott Feb 10-17.
    If Beta is still here on the 18th I will not return.
    Do not fix what is not broken.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Princeofcups (150855)

      Beta Sucks
      Join the boycott Feb 10-17.
      If Beta is still here on the 18th I will not return.
      Do not fix what is not broken.

      Please stop with this boycott nonsense. It accomplishes nothing except letting you "think" that you are doing something when you are powerless to do anything.

      • by pitchpipe (708843)

        Please stop with this boycott nonsense. It accomplishes nothing except letting you "think" that you are doing something when you are powerless to do anything.

        Actually, it will just be a test to myself more likely. I won't go on Slashdot for a week in boycott. At the end of the week I'll come back to see if beta is 'live'. If it is the boycott will still end, and Slashdot will be a website that I used to go to.

        Side note to all you longtime users/posters: I just want to thank you for all of the great commentary over the years, some comments have changed me and some had tears streaming down my cheeks with laughter.

        The nerds are dead. Long live the nerds!

      • It accomplishes nothing except letting you "think" that you are doing something when you are powerless to do anything.

        That bit of reality really made my day... Sigh...

      • Strange. I'd say you're trolling, but you have a low count six-digit user ID. I'll choose to treat you as misinformed.

        You say that we are powerless. I disagree. I intend to boycott. Should that fail, I'll leave for another site... which is already in the making. (I might frequent both if both can survive. There are other IT sites after all.) That is the power of my choice.

        As for power the of Slashdot, it comes from the community -- people like you and me. If enough people boycott, the quality of Sl

    • Any chance you could start that boycott a little earlier? KTHXBYE.

  • It's that time of year again! Wozniak needs to remain visible and he delivers his usual controversial quotes to internet to feed the link baits.

    Beta sucks btw.

    • Wozniak needs to remain visible and he delivers his usual controversial quotes

      maybe Woz does this...idk...but on the merits this is an awesome idea. this is what actual "innovation" in business looks like

      the iphone running Android would make Google into Apple's bitch...

      strategically, you get them on your hardware with the option of using Android software...fine...if Google gets testy, **users can switch to iOS easily**

      Android users on iPhone would always be *one click* away from iOS...that would let Apple d

      • maybe Woz does this...idk...but on the merits this is an awesome idea. this is what actual "innovation" in business looks like the iphone running Android would make Google into Apple's bitch...

        strategically, you get them on your hardware with the option of using Android software...fine...if Google gets testy, **users can switch to iOS easily**
        Android users on iPhone would always be *one click* away from iOS...that would let Apple dictate development terms to Android

        fanboi disclaimer: I use devices with both Android and iOS so im not pimping one over the other..

        .
        Today users can switch to an IOS device. Does that make Google Apple's bitch? No. Why would make you think that Apple using Android for their iDevices would take away any power from Google? It wouldn't.
        .
        Woz is being silly anyway. Apple isn't going to give up their walled garden app store, they make too much money off of it.

  • I logged in just to say that. I NEVER login.
  • The moral of BlackBerry's demise is, "Don't make be a show-moving turd and make crappy decisions when you're not the the world's most valuable and profitable company at the same time." I think Apple has a bit of a cushion before Mr. Cook is commiserating with Messrs. Lazaridis and Balsillie.

    Seeing as how Apple managed to survive without ever shipping a Mac running Windows, I doubt we'll ever see Apple-made hardware leaving the factory with Android installed. That said, it's a neat idea, but it's about as po

    • by larkost (79011)

      While your statement about Windows never shipping on a Mac is technically true, the "PC Compatibility Cards for Power Macintosh" cards came really close. They were basically most of a PC on a PCI card using a Pentium processor, so you could have a Windows machine running inside your PowerMac:

      http://www.mug.jhmi.edu/mirrors/infoalley/0496/25/pc.html

      They came with DOS installed, so you had to instal your own copy of Windows.

    • by slew (2918)

      Apple managed to survive without ever shipping a Mac running Windows...

      Yet they did switch to shipping Macs that could run Windows (boot camp, parallels).

      In fact it wasn't just that Macs could run windows, the Apple folks that speced the HW for the Macs were always interested in how well the windows benchmarks performed on all the Mac HW they shipped because inevitably someone would use this as a basis to compare the value proposition of the machines and they knew many folks bought Macs because they could still get PC compatibility if necessary for their job/work.

      Right now the

  • Always a heretic in the church of Apple. That's why we love him.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 06, 2014 @06:30PM (#46179851)

    Wozniak has ruffled feathers before, in fact many times. This post concerns merely one issue though.

    That is why, even as a longtime apple 2 -> Mac - OS X -> iOS pro developer I admire him for his candor when he slams Apple.

    Usually he is right, even if he attacks his own investments, both financial or intellectual.

    The best time he attacked apple was back around 1991 or 1992, when in a little publicized shaming of Apple, he complained about Apple's near retarded renaming of names and macros in the header files so that everything you compiled year to year would continually break. Including... THE ASSEMBLY LANGUAGE interface headers!

    I had 500 kilobytes of hand crafted assembler and I got so sick of apple ruining my life with capricious and continual spelling changes (they foolishly use way too many abbreviations, and then gradually add more letters over time, like microsoft)... that I made my own headers for assembly language based off frozen header forks.

    That way my stuff can always assemble and compile for many many years. This was for a variety of products with over 500,000 paid for licensed copies.

    When wozniak bitched about the header utter disrespect at apple, I was so happy to have him in my corner.

    Truthfully, Apple source code headers have always been 4 times more logical and better than microsofts, but in OS X they at least have various mechanisms to allow older code to compile with newer headers, with over 5 year overlap, if not 7. Also in OS X there are tools that can extract headers from apps or from the entombed headers in ".framework" files. So the header horror years are long over, except when bridging legacy mac, legacy windows, and Cocoa all into one huge namespace. ... i am digressing...

    Breaking it year to year was foolish and wozniak called apple on it, for apple hiring morons.

    Wozniak was always semi approachable, and I also like the fact that one of two of wozniaks non personal phone lines was always listed and publicly accessible in his den his whole career, for the polish joke on the tape he left. Many I know called it up in the late 70s early 80s. I was thrilled to see the thing in the recent movie "Jobs". Truthfully, Steve Jobs too, except in person on the sidewalk, was also very very openly approachable, primarily via beth or his other secretaries as intermediaries. And steve was far more humble than biographers give credit. In mid 2000s he drove his own kid to school every day on the way to work, not too many fathers did that.

    • by Xest (935314)

      "In mid 2000s he drove his own kid to school every day on the way to work, not too many fathers did that."

      They did if they've not long found out they possibly have terminal cancer and wanted to optimise the amount of time they spend with their kid as a result.

  • by excelsior_gr (969383) on Thursday February 06, 2014 @06:35PM (#46179905)

    I was very interesting in reading what the slashdot crowd would have to say on this topic and on the opinion of Woz. However:
    1. The slashdot crowd is too pissed of with Beta, so all they do is keep complaining about it, and,
    2. If they didn't complain and Beta was rolled out in silence then I would still not be able to read what the slashdot crowd had to say on the comment of Woz, because the discussion section of Beta sucks.

    So, pretty please, with sugar on top, take back the fucking Beta.

    • by coolmadsi (823103)

      Normally a topic on Apple and Android would be filled with snide remarks and anti-Apple/Android comments, but most people are complaining about the slashdot beta instead, which kinda shows how much people hate it.

  • This is absolutely astounding. This is one of the most absurd articles I have seen posted to /. in years...the amount of fanboy rage, absurd theories, wild conjecture, fallible prophesying....so much. This is such a juicy article. We have practically been waiting for this since the beginning of the iOS vs Android wars...

    ...and instead we have focused our efforts on drawing attention to the horrid design that is threatening our digital homestead.

    If that doesn't drive home the point that beta = bad, well
  • by Bing Tsher E (943915) on Thursday February 06, 2014 @07:19PM (#46180597) Journal

    They don't need to port Android to the iPhone. They simply need to unlock the iPhone. It has essentially the same hardware as an Android phone, and I bet cynaogenmod would be running on the iPhone in short order if Apple simply unlocked the bootloader.

    One can currently buy a Mac laptop and entirely wipe the MacOS on it and install Windows. This would be the same thing for the iPhone. Let people decide what OS they want to run on their iDevices.

  • I like open source and Linux and all that but Google can't design a worthwhile UI to save their life. I started out with an Android phone and was totally disgusted with it. Switched to an iOS phone and you couldn't pay me enough to go back to Android. I'm normally not an Apple fanboi but for a mobile UI, Android is simply the worst.
  • mystifying... why? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by jinchoung (629691) on Thursday February 06, 2014 @08:16PM (#46181263)

    android provides two things:

    - free, ready to go OS
    - app ecosystem

    apple already has both. using their existing OS incurs no additional cost. and it is a framework that they already know how to work around.

    even if they wanted to make a dirt cheap phone based off of an iphone 3gs, it would be a matter of making hardware that would fit the bill as secondary market product. they ALREADY HAVE the os and ecosystem.

    so WHY... in the WORLD... would apple do that? why in the world would woz say that?

    and i come at this as a pc user with an android phone... this is truly mystifying.

  • by drolli (522659) on Friday February 07, 2014 @02:08AM (#46183523) Journal

    License iOS to the competitors, and let them do their own app markets. Other hardware and iOS with a less-cencored market than the app store could brinf mroe money to apple (with less risk and investment) than trying to compete in the Hardware business.

  • The margins on Android phones are razor thin. Apple has complete control over the iPhone, giving them a plausible rationale for marketing a premium phone. If they release an Android phone, that rationale evaporates.

    How well has Nokia made out since dumping Symbion and MeeGo for someone else's OS? Yeah, that bad.

  • by Qbertino (265505) on Friday February 07, 2014 @05:15AM (#46184223)

    That's why it's good (for Apple) that Woz isn't and never was CEO of Apple. He obviously has absolutely not the faintest idea what he is talking about marketing and business-wise. I use Android for my phone and tablet, just recently backed off of buying an iPad Mini for development because it was to expensive ... and even *I* get the value-add that the sophisticated iOS devices bring along.

    Apple should stick right where they are, perhaps move in closer with the opinion leaders a little again. Like XCode for free and without registration, direct access to iOS devices and filesystem, direct deployment of apps to iOS devices and some other stuff that's pissing of the top 0.2 % expertlayer of computer users, i.e. us, with Apple. That would be about all the changes I would make if I were in charge.

    The rest is going absolutely perfect for Apple, a fashion mindshare Google, Samsung, MS and others would kill for and bizar gros margins of 30%+ on post-PC devices included. Thinking of bringing Android into that picture makes me cringe - and I'm not even an Apple Fanboy.

    My 2 cents.

  • Superior Software combined with superior hardware.

  • by acoustix (123925)

    And BB 10 > iOS.

    Seriously. Give BB 10 a try. It's clean, responsive and secure. Plus with the latest 10.2.1 OS you can load Android APK files directly on the device. It really is a solid platform.

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