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Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak thinks Android OS will dominate

Steve Wozniak, never one to sing from the same hymnsheet as Steve Jobs, says Google's Android will dominate the smart phone market in the future.

Google's Android mobile OS will dominate smart phones like Windows dominated the PC world, leaving the iPhone for dust. A bold statement for anyone to make, but all the more surprising when you learn it came from Steve Wozniak, the co-founder of Apple.

Android is suffering the same problems Windows had in its early days, including consistency and user satisfaction, according to Woz, who was interviewed by Dutch paper De Telegraff (translation). But once it hurdles these problems, he expects Android to be just as good as iOS and become the dominant smart phone platform.

Don't misunderstand: Woz firmly believes the iPhone is the leading smart phone, the best quality device available and one with very few weaknesses. But he realises the iPhone isn't for everybody and Android offers more features, as well as the chance for a much wider range of people to own a smart phone.

We can see this already with the sheer number of Android devices available, from budget devices such as the Orange San Francisco and Huawei Ideos to premium phones such as the HTC Desire HD and Samsung Galaxy S. In many ways, Wozniak is stating the obvious, but it's still surprising to hear it from somebody still on the Apple payroll -- and a major shareholder to boot.

The big guy also had words for Nokia, which has fallen behind in recent times. Due to its lateness on touchscreens, Wozniak feels Nokia is a company still associated with physical keyboards and has an image problem, saying it bore "the mark of a previous generation".

Wozniak delivered a final gem. He said Apple developed a phone ahead of its time back in 2004 with a well-known Japanese firm, but didn't release the device, because it wasn't good enough. Instead, Apple waited until the time was right to bring out its own smart phone.

"Apple was satisfied with the quality but wanted something that could surprise the world," he said. "If Apple comes out with a new product it must be a real breakthrough."

His sage advice to others will ring true with anybody who's followed Apple in the last few years: "Companies need to wait until they have something extremely strong to capture a market."