Dezeen Magazine

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak criticises Apple Watch

Apple co-founder Steven Wozniak has criticised the company for its smart watch, which he says has taken Apple "into the jewellery market".

In a Reddit interview, Wozniak said the Apple Watch was more of a status symbol than a technological breakthrough, and questioned how it fit with the company's mission.

"I love my Apple Watch, but it's taken us into a jewellery market where you're going to buy a watch between $500 (approximately £345) or $1,100 (approximately £760) based on how important you think you are as a person," he wrote.

"This isn't the company that Apple was originally, or the company that really changed the world a lot," Wozniak added.

Wozniak, who started Apple with Steve Jobs in 1976 after creating the company's first working prototype computer 1975, made the comments during an Ask Me Anything session on Reddit.

These popular events are a type of open interview where any user of the social platform can ask a question, and have previously attracted high profile figures including US president Barack Obama, Microsoft founder Bill Gates, and actor Patrick Stewart.

Wozniak, who left Apple in 1981 after surviving a plane crash but remains a consultant and cult mascot for the company, was asked what he thought the company's current CEO Tim Cook – who took over after the death of Steve Jobs in 2011 – was doing right or wrong.

Despite being "worried" about the Apple Watch, Wozniak praised Cook's leadership overall.

"He is continuing a strong tradition that Steve Jobs was known for of making good products that help people do things they want to do in their life," he said.

Wozniak also revealed that he has begun to see the value of smart or driverless cars, following a recent accident in which his wife's vehicle was completely wrecked in a rear-end collision.

"If she'd been driving some kind of self-aware car, it would have stopped because of the red light," he said. "So I think that we're really going to improve life a lot with some of those things, and that's where Apple likes to be. Basically making products that make a better world for the users."

His comments referenced rumours that Apple is currently developing an electric car to rival Google, Tesla and others.

"The car market makes total sense to me for Apple, but the important thing is that I hope if they get off on a product, something that they could sell and make a lot of money for but is not 'insanely great,' as Steve jobs would say, Apple should drop it and start over," he said.

Other commenters have expressed their own doubts about the Apple Watch. Tesla founder Elon Musk has previously criticised both the Apple Watch and the company's foray into car development, calling Apple a "Tesla graveyard."

A number of designers also told Dezeen that they had found the watch "underwhelming".

Apple has not revealed current sales figures for the watch, which was unveiled at Apple's annual product presentation in September 2014, and went on sale last year.

Image courtesy of shutterstock.