These days, it seems like everyone on the Internet likes to filter others (especially TechCrunch writers) into one of two categories: Apple fanboys, or Apple haters. One man, however, stands without label, impossible to categorize: Steve Wozniak. He did, after all, help start the company. The dude may not be too involved with operations these days, but he still knows more about these things than any of us silly Internet types might — so when he says something, we tend to pay attention.
The latest thing he’s saying might not go over too well with the folks in Cupertino, though. That iPhone 4 he waited in line for? He recommends carrying a Verizon phone as a backup.
The word comes from Henk Van Ess, who had the opportunity to chat with Woz after he had some issues ordering a European MiFi unit through Henk’s site. Woz tells the tale of his first tests of the antenna issue:
The first time I tried I was able to duplicate the problem. My wife was driving me to the airport and as soon as I got a short distance from my home, and no longer on wifi, I tried it by accessing a web page (using Safari on my iPhone 4) and observing the progress bar.
As the bar started to proceed I lightly (‘lightly’) touched a couple of fingers to the trouble area and the progress bar froze. When I lifted my fingers the progress bar continued it’s rapid progress. Putting my finger[s] back down halted the progress bar again. Lifting my fingers another time allowed the web page to finish loading.
So, what would Woz do? Woz has joked before that his workaround for the iPhone’s then lack of multitasking was to simply “have two iPhones” — but in this situation, he’s recommending a different phone as the backup:
If you can afford it, carry a second Verizon phone for backup. Another option is to carry a Verizon mifi and rely on Skype on your iPhone. I have used this mifi technique to rescue my own, and others’, iPhones on occasion. If you buy a Verizon Palm Pre, you get free mifi on it so that is possible the best ‘compromise’ solution, to carry a Verizon Palm Pre along with your AT&T iPhone 4.
So there you have it, folks: if your iPhone 4′s making you angry and you’ve got a wad of cash to throw around, buy a Verizon Pre. Woz said so.
Of course, Woz also says that the iPhone 4 “works well enough and its beauty is worth the care in holding it.”
The full interview appears to be down right now, but you’ll be able to find it here when it comes back.