Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple with Steve Jobs, said today that Apple’s share price, which hit a 16-month low two days ago, is “disappointing” but that he was confident the tech giant would come out with products which would “surprise and shock us all.”
In a wide-ranging speech at the Login technology conference in Vilnius, Lithuania, Woz – as he is known – said: “[Apple’s]stock price is a little low right now. Over time I’ve seen Apple go up or down 2x over a few months. It’s very disappointing because if you look at the amount of cash that Apples holds that cash translates to one to two hundred dollars per share of stock just in cash form. So the expectations are a little lower even than they expect.
“But where are the profits of the whole industry though? They are still with Apple and profits are all that really matter in the long run. Apple’s business model tends to be new products, even products that didn’t exist before and doing well out of them and not re-making the same thing, as eventually that just gets a little bit stale. So I would guess that Apple is very well prepared, and working on new things that are going to surprise and shock us all. And I honestly don’t know [what].”
In a wide-ranging speech to the conference, he envisioned a future where computers eventually become so powerful that they will deliver us “to a place of perfect happiness”. He said computers have already saved us from having to do a lot of manual work, but he also said it was a “good thing” that they would eventually take over a lot of our need to think. “Computers should save us from a lot of thinking, like calculating numbers. When electronic calculators came about they freed our minds to think of other things and enabled us to get to where we are today.”
He spoke about his hopes for voice recognition on smartphones becoming more powerful: “It’s almost there already. I use it all the time. I would expect voice [recognition interfaces] to become more common.”
He said the main obstacle faced by computing today was the sheer complexity of hardware devices due to miniaturization and in order to break out and create a new kind of computer “someone would have to start from the ground up.”
He also reminisced about his time with Steve Jobs and hacking together hardware projects for friends.
“The iPhone 5 is one of the hottest products today. Back then, the HP35 hand-held calculator was the iPhone 5 of its day.”
Woz is also hoping for a robot which could “clean my car at night in the garage” – although he didn’t imply Apple might be building such a thing.
“I gave up trying to guess [what Apple would do next] a long time ago. There can be rumors which are false, or something gets cancelled. I never ask key insiders at Apple what they are about to come out with.”