Apple co-founder Wozniak skeptical on smartwatches, Google Glass

December 19, 2014
Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak speaks during an event in Medellin, Colombia, on August 2, 2014

Steve Wozniak says he is no fan of smartwatches and believes Google Glass will fail as he cautioned not to expect the company he co-founded, Apple, to always lead the way into new technologies.

The American, who quit Apple in 1987—12 years after creating the technology giant with the late Steve Jobs—made the comments as he took up Australian residency, with a view to living Down Under permanently.

In an interview with the Australian Financial Review on Friday, he also praised current Apple chief executive Tim Cook for breaking free from Jobs's "dogma" by allowing a big-screen iPhone to be made.

"I really admire Tim Cook and admire that they broke a dogma that had come from Steve Jobs, which was about only having small phones," he said.

"The iPhone originally made it because it looked like a big phone, and then, when rival phones looked bigger than Apple's they continued to say 'we are right'.

"That was getting in the way of expansion... I think that maybe came from Steve Jobs not wanting somebody to say something he didn't create was better."

Wozniak, who has a son living in Sydney and said he one day wants to be able to say "I lived and died an Australian", buys all the latest devices from a variety of tech companies to form his own views on what is working best.

Apple has entered the smartwatch market much later than players such as Sony, Samsung, and LG, and Wozniak cautioned industry watchers not to expect the company to always lead the way.

An attendee wears a Google Glass during the Google I/O Developers Conference in San Francisco, California, on June 25, 2014
"Everyone expects that Apple is going to have more of these huge new categories of products introduced all the time because that is what they did in the past, but those ideas do not come along very often," he said.

Wozniak, who remains on the Apple payroll, is not a big fan of smartwatches, saying no company has yet figured out a compelling reason for them to exist.

"I bought a few of the early smartwatches, including Samsung's, and they were so disappointing," he said.

"I took them off because they were so much worse than the phone that's right in my pocket already.

"Like Apple did with smartphones, one company may point the right way to a smart and useful watch, but it shouldn't be a replacement for what the phone does, and it should have an unbelievable and fun feeling when you use it."

An employee of Taiwan's ASUS TeK Computer shows its new smartwatch during a press conference in Tokyo, on October 28, 2014

Wozniak is also pessimistic about Google's smart glasses—technology which provides online access via a tiny screen attached to a spectacle frame.

"When I see people wearing it, I think they are cool because they are brave enough to play with the future with a device that makes no sense in terms of what it does for what it costs," he said.

"In my mind, it is a great product that will not succeed, just like many other great products that didn't succeed."

Google Glass became available in the United States in May to anyone with US$1500 to spare.

Explore further: Steve Jobs a product wizard: Wozniak

Related Stories

Steve Jobs a product wizard: Wozniak

August 26, 2011

Steve Wozniak on Thursday praised fellow Apple co-founder Steve Jobs as a technology genius who blessed the world with amazing gadgets.

Apple seeking 'next big direction': co-founder

July 5, 2013

Apple is in a waiting period with the US gadget giant seeking the "next big direction" almost two years after the death of its groundbreaking boss Steve Jobs, the company's co-founder Steve Wozniak said Thursday.

Apple sold by Jobs fetches $365,000 at auction

December 11, 2014

A 1976 Apple computer sold by Steve Jobs from his parents' garage fetched $365,000 at auction in New York on Thursday, falling short of its pre-sale estimate in a competitive computer relic market.

Recommended for you

Coffee-based colloids for direct solar absorption

March 22, 2019

Solar energy is one of the most promising resources to help reduce fossil fuel consumption and mitigate greenhouse gas emissions to power a sustainable future. Devices presently in use to convert solar energy into thermal ...

NASA instruments image fireball over Bering Sea

March 22, 2019

On Dec. 18, 2018, a large "fireball—the term used for exceptionally bright meteors that are visible over a wide area—exploded about 16 miles (26 kilometers) above the Bering Sea. The explosion unleashed an estimated 173 ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.