Steve Wozniak: Tablets are PCs for “normal people”

Wed, Apr 6, 2011


Earlier this week, Apple co-founder and all around gadget geek Steve Wozniak delivered a keynote speech at Storage Networking World in California. At one point, someone in the audience asked Woz, who is currently the Chief Scientist at Fusion-io, what his thoughts were on the iPad and how tablets were poised to affect the computer industry.

Woz responded that tablet devices like the iPad aren’t necessarily geared towards the type of geek who would attend a storage conference (nerd alert), but rather for “the normal people in the world.”

““I think Steve Jobs had that intention from the day we started Apple,” Woz continued, “but it was just hard to get there, because we had to go through a lot of steps where you connected to things, and (eventually) computers grew up to where they could do … normal consumer appliance things.”

Spot on.

Regarding the iPad/Android debate, Woz firmly believes, or at least hopes, that the iPad will maintain it’s already commanding lead over what will soon be a slew of Android tablets.

“On the subject of tablets, I read today that Android tablets are expected to surpass iPads, and I hope that never happens,” Wozniak said.

Lastly, Woz was asked why he left Apple and clarified that he and his fellow Apple co-founder Steve Jobs never had a falling out.

“We’ve never had an argument,” Woz explained. “We’re just in different places, and we’re different people.” Indeed, Woz was and remains focused on pure engineering while Jobs was always more business oriented and looked at the larger tech landscape and thought about ways in which innovative engineering could change the world. Yin and yang.

As for Woz’s point that tablets are more for normal people, this echoes a sentiment we shared in the weeks preceding the iPad launch wherein we explained why the iPad is a computer “for the rest of them.”

Now, out of nowhere, comes the iPad. It’s relatively cheap, easy to use, and offers a range of functionality that far exceeds any device at a comparable price. At its core, Apple’s iPad provides an intriguing alternative for a group of users who want as seamless an interaction with technology as possible.

Some have referred to the iPad as an appliance, and I think that it’s a fitting title. Consumers want their appliances to just work, and they couldn’t care less about the underlying technology that drives them. A toaster, an HDTV, a video camera – people use these items for specific tasks and simplicity is often what sells. And just to be clear, simplicity, as Apple’s products exemplify, does not necessarily imply less-capable…

The appeal of the iPad obviously extends beyond the technically uninterested crowd, and will undoubtedly be a rich gaming, video, and print media experience as well. But it’s appeal to the average consumer who could give a shit about multitasking and who has no idea what CES is might be the trick up the iPad’s sleeve, and is probably why Steve Jobs reportedly views the iPad launch as being on a similar plane as the Mac and the iPhone.

The Macintosh was advertised as the computer for the rest of us. The iPad may very well be the computer for the rest of them.

via Network World


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