In an interview with the German Publication "Wirtschafts Woche," Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) Co-Founder Steve Wozniak (Woz) briefly reminisced about his time starting the computer business which emerged to become the world's largest company. After answering nostalgic questions from Matthias Hohensee, Woz described how he spends his time now, including his role at Fusion-io (NYSE:FIO). Eventually, the Q&A lead to the competitiveness of AAPL. Here is what transpired:
Hohensee-"Apple has in the past decade, risen with its iPod, iPhone, and iPad as one of the most successful companies in history. Recently, there are increasing doubts about how long the winning streak is still continuing."
Woz-"Currently, in my opinion, we are in the smartphone business with features, somewhat behind. Others have caught up. Samsung is a great competitor. But precisely because they are currently making great products."
Although the interview was published in German, you may find the rest here, easily translated with Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) software, especially if using Chrome. www.wiwo.de/unternehmen/it/apple-gruender-steve-wozniak-wir-wollten-die-angst-vor-computern-nehmen-seite-all/7740680-all.html
We all know about the great divide between Android and Apple products and we constantly hear disputes between Apple and Android lovers regarding which is the better product. Now Droid users and fans, and Samsung fans in particular have something new to rest their hats on. As Samsung and Apple battle in the courtrooms and in the mall for sales, Woz has shed some light through his eyes.
Will Steve Wozniak's, comments about Samsung's better products move AAPL stock price tomorrow? Probably not, but if he feels Apple is failing to innovate as fast as Samsung and other competitors, this could be a sign of longer term struggles for the company who rose to success, based on innovative products.
A Bloomberg Businessweek article from January 31, 2013, found here,www.businessweek.com/news/2013-01-31/samsung-gains-in-fourth-quarter-tablet-market-apple-keeps-lead , describes how Samsung has increased total tablet shipment by 75% and has subsequently doubled its market share. Although still trailing Apple's iPad sales, they were able to bring down the leaders share from 52 to 44%. The article also describes how other companies including Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) are continuing to crack Apple's armor as well.
Again, Woz's remarks surely wont move the needle on the $440Billion Market Cap. Apple, but if he, one of Apple's biggest fans is questioning the competitiveness of the firm, how long until other fans start to lose their loyalty. For Apple, who is able to generate significant profit margins based off of high prices driven by demand from loyal customers may begin to lose that edge over time, along with their deteriorating competitive advantage in product features.
Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.