If you're a fan of either Android or iOS and make it your mission to insult the other band whenever you get the chance, Steve Wozniak is now on your case. It's no secret that this co-founder of Apple owns his fair share of devices from all corners of the mobile universe, but loves iOS and Android the most - have a peek at his backpack to see what he carries. This week in an impromptu conversation with the internet via SlashDot, Woz spoke up on a subject that's near and dear to a lot of nerd hearts: which is better, Android or iOS?
The actual question being asked of Woz included Windows Phone and asked what his "gut" told him about the mobile landscape as it's evolving each day - specifically in the software realm. Woz made it clear that the first thing he considers when he thinks about the competition between the iPhone and the rest of the mobile universe is not the software, but the size of the screen, and that Apple has left an advantage to the competition for several years.
NOTE: Image above comes from Building 44 at Google when the Galaxy Nexus was revealed and Woz collected his direct from the source.
"It's wrong to look back. It's not scientific and testable. But I saw for the last few years one small screen in the midst of a lot of large screen and felt myself, as countless others must have, that the larger screens had more value. Blame me for taking the leeway to suggest that this was the one door Apple left wide open." - Woz
He went on to note the state of the software, and had no hesitation in saying that Windows Phone is not up in the same environment of usability, as far as he was concerned, as Android and iOS. He noted again that the screen size may very well be one of the main reasons why Apple isn't simply omnipotent in the market instead of just doing very, very well.
"iPhones are not inferior to other smartphones, and the cost is similar. iOS 6 is not inferior to Android. We could all get by with either of them. I never said this sort of thing about Windows. So there has to be some reason that Apple lost so many sales to other products. It may not be screen size as much as the number of players and products in the market. But are we saying the rest of the world has better marketing than Apple?"
Of course there's always a bit to be learned about the way Apple works as far as profit goes - it's important to note that it's not as simple as the news reports make it - it's not just about how many phones are sold.
"As an Apple shareholder, what matters is not sales or market share. It's profitability. Apple seems to stand alone in profit market-share. So the course they are taking is a good one. It's hard to guess whether profits would be greater or lesser under hypothetical scenarios."
And it's not just about which device has the most apps anymore - there are so many apps out there that your eyeballs will spin if you even begin to consider it, and what do you know - Woz lets the reader know that it's not about the quality anymore, either.
"The app store has changed our lives. We depend on Apple leadership. Most of the software I feel is in apps. You speak of iOS becoming less relevant as though other platforms are as good but I think of it more in terms of the fact that for all major platforms, there are more than enough apps and they are generally the same quality on each platform."
Then there's the closing statement - of course this isn't the entirety of the conversation Woz had with the public this week, but in this one sentence is just about as simple a way to put the war to rest. But we all know the war will rage on, anyway.
"It's better to think constructively about what can be done with our mobile platforms to improve our lives more, rather than trying to throw darts and insults."