Apple fires engineer who let Woz play around with 3G iPad

Wed, Apr 28, 2010


Remember this Santa Clausian photo of Steve Wozniak holding an iPad 3G a few weeks back? Well it turns out that Apple recently fired the engineer who let Woz play around with the iPad for a few minutes, presumably because he wasn’t allowed to show the device to anyone.

Woz recently spoke about what transpired:

But I can tell you that the test engineer who showed me an iPad after midnight, for 2 minutes, during the iPad launch was indeed fired. I opted to spend 2 minutes with Numbers on this iPad, trying some stunts I’d seen on Apple’s website demo video. I was not told that it was a 3G model and I had no way to know that. I was told that this engineer had to wait until midnight to show it outside of Apple’s secure area. And I’m an Apple employee who he was showing it to. My guess is that he was allowed to take the iPad outside of the secure area but still not supposed to show it.

We should point out that the photo was taken after the wi-fi equipped iPad had already gone on sale, but you know Apple and how they feel about rules.

More info from Woz over here at Gizmodo.



1 Comments For This Post

  1. wozisnowwas Says:

    Is anyone else getting tired of Woz (>let’s now use ‘Was’) beating on Apple and Jobs because he wasn’t invited to the party?

    It’s clear that Jobs can’t trust the guy to not open his mouth about new products or just say something positive if he’s going to blab to the media.

    Was got an engineer fired for breaking his employee’s rules and now he wants to blame Jobs.

    If he had asked the employee to check with a superior that it was ok to show Was, then this wouldn’t have happened.

    But Was put his childish need to get ‘a first’ look in ahead of the employee’s job.

    Now he ‘fesses up’ as if Jobs and Apple are evil… and only because he knows the media will lazily try to connect it to Apple’s rightful response to the Gizmodo iPhone leak.

    Was hasn’t done anything for Apple in decades, and now he just beats it up in the media to get his diminishing 15 minutes/lines of fame.

    Sure he co-founded Apple, but he left it early on, and since then – Steve has done the hard work, dedicated most of his life to Apple (NeXT, etc), and brought out 99%++ of products without Was.

    Jobs = jobs for America (and internationally through their retail outlets etc).

    Was = a kid who likes jokes not growing up enough to realize when the joke is finally on him.

    Causing trouble for Jobs and Apple in the media will never get Was back on side with them, and it won’t stop Apple from rightly being secretive and expecting its employees to respect their contracts.

    The best Was can do is use his talents to not get engineers fired, or blame Jobs, but actually make some new products himself – or bring new invention to Apple.

    He aint no saint (as some try to pitch him against Jobs), and he’s looking less like an inventor in every article we see him ‘unwittingly’/’innocently’ jabbing at Jobs and Apple.

    Perhaps he should start his old joke line business up again?

    It may earn him a better buck than what some may consider look like attempts to squeeze a pay rise out of Apple to keep him silent from spilling his ‘thoughts on Apple’ to the media every time he misses out on getting a first edition new device from Jobs (or gets an engineer fired trying to sneak a peak against Apple’s NDA).

    Or he could do the honorable thing and sell out of Apple.

    Considering his historical contribution, and the much much bigger contribution in terms of tech, design, marketing, and management/business genius that Jobs has put in since Was left (not to forget the 10s of thousands of hours/stress, business battles, health scares, etc)… Apple can afford to buy out Was.

    Then people wouldn’t mistake him as actually knowing (or understanding) how Apple and Jobs work – as he hasn’t been in the company for decades now or known what is being worked on.

    He has to risk (and did) getting an engineer to break his NDA (and get fired) to get a peak at an iPad. That’s quite sad. But it’s not Jobs fault.

    Was made a great contribution in the past, and has done some good work for charity ie education, but he’s not making a positive contribution to anything Apple – or much in consumer (or research) electronics – related now and hasn’t done so in years.

    If Jobs has become the king of Apple, then Was has become the Fool who couldn’t take the heat in the courtyard, and so leaks the little he knows (mostly from trouble he has caused) to those he mingles with outside Apple who want a bit of gossip.

    It’s a pity to see a great inventor fall so far from his early greatness.

    I hope he proves us all wrong and actually makes a positive contribution to Apple again some day.

    Then Jobs and co may actually trust him enough to involve him in prototypes without him blabbing to the media when he can’t or sneaking a look at them while getting engineers to break their NDAs and get fired.

    But perhaps Was is so far behind the tech curve, and out of Apple’s ‘infinite’ loop that he couldn’t contribute much to what Jobs and co are making these days? It’s very likely.

    We’ll only know if Was can convince us that he isn’t a ‘Was’ but truly a Woz again when he actually produces new tech again or a product that uses it ingeniously like Jobs products do.

    That would be real magic – to see Woz spark Jobs mind with a new technology again, and that team have another go at it!

    But Was seems too distracted riding his segway on tv and dissing Apple for rightly keeping him out of the loop, to care to focus on giving this possibility a chance.

    Jobs has evolved and evolved over the years… starting as the slacker/hippy with an electronics job… becoming the sharp suited businessman when Apple publicly traded … and now looks more like the geek in his black top, jeans, and sneakers.

    And in fact, Jobs is the Renaissance guy now, being geek and business man. He keeps learning, but in a refined way, and it shows in every new design, function, and product/service that Apple launch.

    But Was hasn’t been able to pull the different aspects that make a great tech leader – inventor and entrepreneur – together as Jobs has done.

    Instead, he’s become less of the geek and more a bad businessman.

    Jobs isn’t evil – he’s just become a good businessman (and very large charity giver – anonymous unlike Gates). But he’s also become somewhat of much better geek than Was – as he’s managed to fuse it with a hard earned business knowledge and innate sense of design, while still keeping his love of fun, simple, but powerfully creative things – the same talent Was had/has.

    But Jobs has combined his skills and evolved, whereas Was has decompiled his talents, and more lately, in public with childish cries for attention when he hasn’t got his way.

    Was needs to learn the business skills to ‘geek-up’ and ship products, or quit ragging on Jobs for having used his business skills and shown the vision, patience, and persistence to become one of the most powerful (and coolest) geeks around.

    Or he show us he’s the super geek, as noted earlier, and pull out some new tech to wear the geek crown again.

    But it’s hard to do that in a garage these days, and there are many companies and engineers who have more resources and knowledge – and skills than him.

    Sadly, the best thing Was can do, is hope to find another team mate like Jobs to build a new company that puts out something new-ish, or learn the big kids business rules and show he’s trustworthy enough to work somewhere inside Apple again.

    There may be an area in the solid state drive or future memristor space that he could make a contribution, or even in the microprocessor space again. But there are many engineers and inventors who have a great lead there. If he applies himself, he could do it.

    It would be better to see him rise as a new hybrid geek/businessman than watching him segway himself through tv interviews and commercials.

    A lot of people want to see the old Was become the new Woz again.

    But he won’t do it by knocking down Jobs – but possibly only by working with him again – not against as his intermittent media outbursts are.

    Was should ‘put up or shut up’, or as his old mate Jobs once told his early employees, ‘Real artists ship!’

    They don’t write cries to blogs for attention.

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