Steve Wozniak: I Never Criticized New iPad, Reporters Got It Wrong (exclusive)



aNewDomain.net —  In an email interview today with aNewDomain edit director Gina Smith, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak debunked widespread reports in the UK and U.S. media this week that quoted Wozniak as disappointed in the new Apple iPad and its storage and connectivity capabilities. On the contrary, Wozniak told Gina he “never criticized the new iPads” and that he was terribly misquoted. Read Wozniak’s comments on the new Apple iPad, as told to Gina Smith, in full — below.

When my colleague David Street shared a now-viral UK media story reporting Steve Wozniak’s disappointment in the new Apple iPad yesterday — the report included a variety of direct Wozniak quotes deriding the latest iPad — I did a double take. The actual words in the quotes just didn’t sound like the Steve Wozniak I know. It’s true Wozniak isn’t always an Apple loyalist — he told aNewDomain’s Todd Moore, Dan Patterson and I awhile back  that he was thrilled with the Nokia Lumia’s Windows Phone user interface. But the British story sounded all wrong — not just the words but also the general attitude and sentiment.

You see, I know Steve’s way of speaking. I spent nearly two years interviewing Steve Wozniak for our book, the memoir iWOZ: How I Invented the Personal Computer, Co-Founded Apple, and Had Fun Doing It. So I emailed Steve and asked him if he actually said what UK and U.S. news stories claim. And if he didn’t, what did he actually think about the Apple iPad? And if the reports were wrong, how did that happen? Here’s what Steve Wozniak told me in a series of emails today … In the first email Wozniak sent me, he wrote:

 I never criticized the new iPads. I think they are fine. I don’t think you have a choice between iPad models so that’s just saying that the iPad is good … that’s a very different statement (and contrary to the implication) that, if I chose not to upgrade now, less than a year after my last upgrade, then I, Woz, am saying that the new Apple iPad is bad.”

Reporters were to blame, he told me. In Wozniak’s experience, the UK press has shown itself to be “the worst in the world for mischaracterizing what I say.” Wozniak also wrote via email today:

 I’m sure I even started this interview, before a single question, (by) telling them that this was my feeling and experience with (UK)  press but … I’d answer questions and be honest (in the interview) anyway. Some of the headlines (I saw as a result of that first interview) were very wrong — saying that I did not like the new iPad or (that I) didn’t think highly of it … though the headlines on the (UK and other) articles … make such a determination sound correct at first glance.”

But it isn’t correct. Here’s what Wozniak told me he actually meant when he told reporters he wasn’t planning to run out and buy the latest Apple iPad. He wrote:

I don’t buy every Apple upgrade. I love my iPad and I use it a lot … but the new one wasn’t enough of a critical change to get my money. I did not upgrade to the retina iPad back when. But when the retina iPad went to 128 GB of SSD, I did upgrade … because that helped me. By the way, I did upgrade to the new MacBook Pro. I ordered mine online. It’s a tiny thing but the upgrade from three quarters of a TB to 1TB of SSD made the difference for me. Once, I had a MacBook Pro with many tens of gigabytes available get bricked by some upgrade … (all) because it didn’t have enough spare storage room. So I don’t want to be close to full on (storage, ever).” 

And there you have it. That’s Steve Wozniak’s story on the new Apple iPad — and the Macbook Pro — and we’re both sticking to it. For aNewDomain.net, I’m Gina Smith.

Gina Smith is the New York Times best-selling author of Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak’s memoir, ” iWOZ: How I Invented the Personal Computer and Had Fun Doing It”. (W.W. Norton, 2005/2007/2012). With John C. Dvorak and Jerry Pournelle, she is editorial director at aNewDomain.net. Email her at gina@aNewDomain.net, check out her Google + stream here or follow her @ginasmith888.

Disclosure: Gina Smith derives direct profit from sales of iWoz but holds no financial interest in Apple or any other tech company, as per aNewDomain’s ethical guidelines.

Cover image: Provided by Gina Smith. Photo credit: Carter Dow

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  • Gina

    Thanks for getting back to me so quickly, Steve. It’s great I was able to help you set the record straight. I KNEW that sounded nothing like you. Sorry you were so horribly misquoted … let me know if you want to add more to this story!

    • William Stuart

      Can you please give us the full conversation, I really don’t like you putting in little quotes like “the worst in the world for mischaracterizing what I say.” are really frustrating when you don’t give any background to them.

      • William Stuart

        It really doesn’t seen like him to target a specific country like that and criticise it in that way.

        • http://www.tnypxl.com/ Arik Jones

          I guess you could always call Woz up and ask over some coffee. You two seem close. ;)

    • woz

      Don’t forget to put Amazon links into the body copy.

      We’ve got to sell a few more books before I can afford a new iPad.

  • Hendog

    Awesome — amazing you guys were able to get Woz on this exclusively!

  • Eric F

    Straight from Steve Wozniak’s mouth! via +Eric Finkenbiner on Google +

  • Lisa Hogan Autry

    I don’t understand the idea behind this. Gossip is just that and should be ignored. Writing about it seems like some sort of irony. And yes, its ironic that I am writing about it as well.

    • Mel Gross

      These things matter because they affect people’s perception of the subject/device being discussed. That in turn can affect sales, etc.

      Soy g’s, what he says does matter, and getting it incorrect is a disservice to him, and to the company.

      • Gina

        Bingo, Mel.

  • Camfella

    Why no links or quotes from the original articles that you and him are disputing? That’s so lame and unprofessional, it makes me think he did say those things and this is just an attempt at damage control.

    • Ian

      Why give clicks (and ad bucks) to a bad article? We mustn’t feed the trolls.

      • Camfella

        If you don’t expose the bad guys, how will we know who they are?

        • Gina

          Journalists covering journalists — boring stuff. I chose not to point to the UK articles that were going viral. Not in keeping with ethical guidelines. Everyone saw Steve’s comments, as picked up by US media, against the iPad. The point was to let Steve tell his side of the story. Not to slam our fellow journalists.

          I agree with Ian. Why feed the trolls — or sloppy journalism.

          As for Owen, the reason I put parens in is because that is what is necessary to provide a clean direct quote.

          As for William Stuart, I suggest … Google. Too busy over here to deal with stuff you could easily look up. Ask something difficult.

    • William Stuart

      Yeah, the article feels really amateurish when reading it, I asked the author to try and send a link to the original article but she’s ignored me so far… Seems quite weird.

      • hendog

        William — aka Camfella — amateurish or amateur.

        Precision is the essence of good writing, my man : )
        Take a deep breath and move on …

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  • Owen

    “I’m sure I even started this interview, before a single question, (by) telling them that this was my feeling and experience with (UK) press but … I’d answer questions and be honest (in the interview) anyway. Some of the headlines (I saw as a result of that first interview) were very wrong — saying that I did not like the new iPad or (that I) didn’t think highly of it … though the headlines on the (UK and other) articles … make such a determination sound correct at first glance.”

    Can you not just quote him without adding your own bits? They didn’t add anything especially considering the topic of the article…

  • Dr Albert

    If Woz had any common sense, or even any sense of common decency, he would not be sounding off on every little thing Apple does. We know the reporters are to blame for asking an irrelevant person dumb questions just to get hits on the headline, and we know it is difficult to refuse a request made by a pretty face, but Woz should know that if someone says he thinks a certain upgrade is not worth buying, it would not be misrepresentation to characterize that as a criticism, particularly if that person is assumed (incorrectly in this case) to have some inside knowledge.

    Come on Woz, GROW UP.

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  • hendog

    And that is why they call you I Don’t Know.

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