A thunderous silence descended on Cupertino and all points north, east, and south, after Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak was said to have criticized Apple's latest gadgets.
Last week, he was quotedas having said apparently painful things such as: "When I finally took a look at the devices, the iPads didn't hit my needs."
Then there was this on the iPad Air: "Yes it's thinner. But I wanted storage. I don't have broadband at home, so I carry all my personal media in the iPad. So I was hoping Apple has a 256GB iPad."
Now Woz would like to make two things clear: He wasn't criticizing the new iPads, and he was misquoted.
In an e-mail to Gina Smith, the author of his memoir, Woz explained:
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.
That word "fine" can get you into trouble. I know many people who use it as a synonym for "I'm not happy, but I'm trying to be nice to you."
So even if the headlines had been "Woz says new iPads are 'fine,'" that still might have left a slightly delicate feeling in many minds.
Woz said he'd warned those dastardly UK reporters at Apps World that he'd had bad experiences with them before. Then he read headlines that suggested "at first glance" that he didn't like the new machines or didn't feel they were terribly good.
Still, his personal needs are very refined. So when he reportedly suggested that he would have loved a 256GB iPad, you can understand it, as he doesn't have broadband at home. (His local provider seems not to be all that.)
Woz added to Smith (his comments are published at aNewDomain): "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 128GB of SSD, I did upgrade...because that helped me."
He's a rationalist. If something works for him, he buys it. What's wrong with that? And storage to Woz is like alcohol to Charles Bukowski.
He told Smith: "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."
He concluded: "I don't want to be close to full on (storage, ever)."
To be clear, the new iPads are fine, just not fine enough for Steve Wozniak's particular needs.
Some people's needs are simply less technical than Woz's. They just want the new thing to replace the old thing. They'll keep doing the same things on it, of course.
Which is why the new iPads will enjoy, I suspect, rather fine sales.