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Heresy? Woz says Apple should release an Android phone

In an interview, the Apple co-founder says that by releasing an Android phone as a secondary phone, it could take advantage of the Android market.

An Apple Android phone? Why not? TedxTalks/YouTube Screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

Tim Cook is standing onstage at the Yerba Buena Center in San Francisco.

He turns to leave, having finished his speech.

Then he seems to have an afterthought. He turns back to the audience and says the magical words: "One more thing."

The crowd shimmers with anticipation.

Then Cook says: "The iPhone 5A. The 'A' is for 'Android.'"

Suddenly MacBooks fly through the air in his direction. An iPad Air whistles past his ear. A gold iPhone 5S flies straight at his head. Security rushes on to usher him away.

This might surely be the scene if Steve Wozniak's latest suggestion comes to pass.

In an interview with Wired, the Apple co-founder offered that Apple should release an Android phone.

To many Apple faithful, this would surely be akin to the company buying the Zune brand and resurrecting it.

Yet Woz told Wired: "There's nothing that would keep Apple out of the Android market as a secondary phone market. We could compete very well. People like the precious looks of stylings and manufacturing that we do in our product compared to the other Android offerings. We could play in two arenas at the same time."

You can see the logic, if not the reality.

Apple's phones are more thoughtfully-designed and attractive. If Cupertino released an Android phone, some might have their eyes taken by its refreshing looks.

Others, though, would be taking their own eyes out for fear the world was about to end.

It's not that Woz believes that Apple should be reaching for desperate measures. To him, it would seem a logical competitive extension of the brand.

It might, though, interfere just slightly with Apple's famed and closed ecosystem, the one that whispers: "You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave."

Still, Woz believes that Apple gets so much right by not overly complicating its phone with silly features.

On the other hand, if it suddenly released an Android device, wouldn't that seem like a unnecessary complication?

And how long would people wait to have their OS updates? If John McCain bought one, his frustrations might boil over. He already had enough problems in the past with updating the apps on his iPhone.

On balance, I fancy Apple will release an Android phone shortly after alien beings have landed in Missouri.

Sometimes, though, heretical thought enlivens the public debate. Moreover, it's heartening that Woz believes humans still have some time before they are forced to become artificially intelligent robots.

He told Wired that computers still can't work out some of the simplest of problems without human assistance and the pace of computer development is slowing.

He said: "I think Moore's Law is at the end, right now. We're storing ones and zeros with 8 electrons, and you just can't get much smaller than that."

Yes, the slightly loopy who dream of these things may not turn us into Androids just yet.