aNewDomain — 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.
You see, I know Steve’s way of speaking. I spent nearly two years interviewing Wozniak three times a week for our book and Wozniak’s memoir, iWOZ: How I Invented the Personal Computer, Co-Founded Apple, and Had Fun Doing It.
So when I read that report this week, I just emailed him and asked 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 Wozniak told me in a series of emails today …
In the first response to my question, 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