Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak is still an evangelist for Apple products. But he thinks that Apple needs to keep its place on the cutting edge of tech in order to stay at the top of the food chain.
In recent interview with Bloomberg, Wozniak said that Apple is “kind of losing” that “cool” factor.
“We used to have these ads, I’m a Mac and I’m a PC, and the Mac was always the cool guy,” he said. “And ouch, it’s painful, because we kind of are losing that.”
He does think that Apple still has a devoted user base who will jump at the chance to snatch up a new product – and Apple is good at setting standards with new devices.
“[Other companies like Google and Amazon] have great ideas, but sometimes you need a critical mass of loyal users that will instantly buy and go this direction,” he told Bloomberg “Apple is really good at setting a standard with a new device. Apple still has its halo in that regard.”
One thing that could help would be an Apple smartwatch, or “iWatch.” Earlier this month, report emerged that Apple has a team of over 100 designers working on such a device. It would presumably work seamlessly with other Apple iDevices, and could possibly “fill a gaping hole in the Apple ecosystem,” according to one former Apple employee.
He also has a suggestion for Apple: Open up the ecosystem.
Apple should consider opening up its ecosystem, for instance by allowing buyers of mobile devices running Microsoft Corp. or Google Android to use the iTunes media-management software, Wozniak said. Without features to outclass competing devices, Cupertino, California-based Apple is having to rely more on its appeal as a premium brand, he said.
Do you think Apple is still cool? Would an standard-setting new product like an iWatch help?