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Netgear CEO rails on Apple's Steve Jobs, praises Android

post #1 of 226
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Netgear chairman and CEO Patrick Lo went on a rant Monday against Apple and its CEO Steve Jobs, criticizing Jobs' "ego" and Apple's "closed" business model.

During a lunch in Sydney, Australia, Lo called out Apple as destined to fail because of its closed platform, The Sydney Morning Herald reports.

"Ultimately a closed system just can't go that far," Lo said. "If they continue to close it and let Android continue to creep up then it's pretty difficult as I see it."

Citing several examples, such as the Betamax vs. VHS video format war and Mac vs. Windows, Lo argued that open platforms have repeatedly won out over closed ecosystems.

"Eventually they've got to find a way to open up iTunes without giving too much away on their revenue generation model," said the CEO.

According to Lo, the iTunes distribution model amounts to Jobs effectively extorting content providers such as the movie studios by charging a "ransom" for content. "Steve Jobs wants to suffocate the distribution so even though he doesn't own the content he could basically demand a ransom," he said.

Lo also blamed last year's heated war of words between Adobe and Apple on Steve Jobs' ego. "What's the reason for him to trash Flash? There's no reason other than ego," Lo remarked.

When asked if he had communicated his concerns to Jobs, Lo replied: "Steve Jobs doesn't give me a minute!"

Not all of Lo's criticisms were directed at Apple, though. When asked how Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 will fare against Android and the iPhone, he said, "Microsoft is over - game over - from my point of view."

Lo's comments about Jobs could provoke a controversy, as they may be perceived as a 'low blow,' given that Jobs is currently on medical leave for unspecified medical issues. Apple announced earlier in January that Jobs will take a second leave of absence, with Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook again standing in for him.

For instance, it is unclear what Lo means when he says that Jobs will "go away" in the not too distant future. "Once Steve Jobs goes away, which is probably not far away, then Apple will have to make a strategic decision on whether to open up the platform," Lo said on Monday.

Lo's comments could also be seen as non sequitur because his company, which sells mostly networking equipment, does not directly compete with Apple.
post #2 of 226
Sounds like someone I wouldn't hire. His sense of reason is stuck in a non sequitur.
post #3 of 226
I had a Netgear router once. It looked like a children's bath toy and never worked properly with my Macs.

Everyone knows Jobs has an ego the size of a planet. Given the success of Apple in the last 10 years, as either an Apple consumer or shareholder, you'd have to be pleased. This is needless bleating by someone no one even knows.

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post #4 of 226
Another attempt by a desperate CEO to grab some headlines for his company. It is usually the bitter and jealous ones that scream the loudest.

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post #5 of 226
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

"Steve Jobs doesn't give me a minute!"

I think that says it all right there: both Lo's motivation, and what Lo's opinion on this stuff is worth.
post #6 of 226
Apple makes many billions of dollars every quarter on their "closed" Mac.

I absolutely love my vertically integrated MacBook Pro and I'm pretty sure it wouldn't be the same machine if it were made by Michael Dell and HIS ego.

So... Apple makes a ton of profit on a product people absolutely love.


What's the problem here again Netgear? Got some Cisco envy?
post #7 of 226
Argh, the iTunes comment makes me want to puke

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post #8 of 226
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoolook View Post

I had a Netgear router once. It looked like a children's bath toy and never worked properly with my Macs.

Everyone knows Jobs has an ego the size of a planet. Given the success of Apple in the last 10 years, as either an Apple consumer or shareholder, you'd have to be pleased. This is needless bleating by someone no one even knows.

Funny you mention that, since like apple netgear is proud to let you know on the bottom of their products that they were "Designed in California - Made in China"

Closed doesn't matter to those 25+ million people this past quarter either. But allowing people to finally change the background didn't hurt
post #9 of 226
Can someone who works in tech journalism please take the time to point out to these bozos that vertically integrated does not mean closed and that that "openness" (Especially openness for openness's sake) is, at best, a nebulous concept which has no demonstrable real-world advantages? I'm particularly keen for Google to get called out for this crap, but apparently NetGear need a talking to as well.

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post #10 of 226
Netgear makes junk and is pissed at Apple?

I laughed when I picked up their wireless routers vs the AirPort Extreme Base Station. Junk versus quality is no wonder he's whining.

He's complaining his company can't be a key player in helping route all that content.
post #11 of 226
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

Netgear makes junk and is pissed at Apple?

I laughed when I picked up their wireless routers vs the AirPort Extreme Base Station. Junk versus quality is no wonder he's whining.

He's complaining his company can't be a key player in helping route all that content.

I wouldn't get a netgear either but don't forget what happened to all those time machines from 2 years ago apple made either.
post #12 of 226
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

"Ultimately a closed system just can't go that far," Lo said. "If they continue to close it and let Android continue to creep up then it's pretty difficult as I see it."

He's spot on. We all know how successful Linux has been, don't we?
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post #13 of 226
Also, throwing the name of Steve Jobs seems to be the only way this nobody can make it to the headlines... Lame Beyond You Can Imagine
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post #14 of 226
While I dont really care about open vs closed, or agree that the Android eco-system is better ( it can be closed by the Carriers) there is little or no doubt that this bit is correct:

Quote:
"Steve Jobs wants to suffocate the distribution so even though he doesn't own the content he could basically demand a ransom," he said.

As it now stands, clause 11.2 of the app store guidelines do exactly that. And Apple have less than a year to fix it, or all content distributors will move from the iPad to Android. And no longer produce for the iPad.

Its that serious. Lets see what they do on Wednesday.
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post #15 of 226
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jensonb View Post

Can someone who works in tech journalism please take the time to point out to these bozos that vertically integrated does not mean closed and that that "openness" (Especially openness for openness's sake) is, at best, a nebulous concept which has no demonstrable real-world advantages? I'm particularly keen for Google to get called out for this crap, but apparently NetGear need a talking to as well.

Steve Jobs said at All things digital conference D8 that Open v Closed is a smokescreen, the real issue is integrated v fragmented.

Quote:
Lo also blamed last year's heated war of words between Adobe and Apple on Steve Jobs' ego. "What's the reason for him to trash Flash? There's no reason other than ego," Lo remarked.

This dude has obviously never noticed what happens to the CPUs on his computer when Flash starts playing. The reason has nothing to do with ego and everything to do with performance of Apple products lashed to Adobe's lack of progress in making Flash a good performer on Mac Products.

I suspect a different person's ego is at play here.
post #16 of 226
Quote:
Originally Posted by sprockkets View Post

I wouldn't get a netgear either but don't forget what happened to all those time machines from 2 years ago apple made either.

Hey, Apple at least has a repair extension program for those.

I've a closet-ful of dead Linksys and Netgear routers that crapped out after a year or two of time. Meanwhile, in the last 6 months, I just retired the last of the silver UFO AirPort Base Stations, in use at end-users' homes...
post #17 of 226
What is 'closed'? Apple's platform or his mind? Crazy stuff from someone who hasn't yet learnt that customers ultimately determine whether a product succeeds or not - not CEO's or techos who want to reinvent the wheel a thousand times and expect their customers to thank them for making their lives far more complicated than they need to be.
post #18 of 226
This is a mixed bag. What he says about Apple needing to find a way to open up iTunes is quite right. Sooner or later competition watchdogs are going to want to know how a 3rd party can compete with Apple given its current revenue model.

As for 'open' always triumphing over 'closed' (I hate these terms for the record), it's not always the case (Sony Blu Ray, Adobe Flash). Crucially, Apple's system is only 'closed' for hardware manufacturers wanting to make use of their software and ecosystem, it's very open indeed for developers, albeit with some caveats some are not comfortable with.

Steve Jobs hates Flash because it's awful. It is the epitome of what Apple has been so successful as the antibody of; corporate tick-box software that doesn't do its job as well as it could, but because it can be bought off the peg companies just use it rather than innovating or developing bespoke, more effective solutions. Flash DOES hang my 2010 MbP, it burns my battery life for fun and since they added GPU hardware acceleration in the Mac version, it performs appallingly on integrated hardware. I have to disable Automatic Graphics Switching to watch HD iPlayer and I get blank screens for several seconds when I go full screen in Flash videos (I have to hit escape and go full screen again and it all works fine because the discrete GPU has been told to kick in finally). To top it all off, as we all know, there is no valid Flash client for a mobile device, and that's not down to Steve Jobs' ego.

Time and again we see rival hardware manufacturers knocking Apple. Why? Because they are all in Apple's shadow when it comes to design quality and current success. I wish they'd all stop bemoaning Apple's success and start looking at why Apple is currently storming ahead. Stop making plastic laptops and ugly black PC towers, stop releasing poorly-conceived, clunky smartphones (also plastic), start investing the money Apple invests in R&D and actually bring something to the game rather than outsourcing every part of your product. Apple is hated because it doesn't need to kowtow to anyone else, and that drives its competitors crazy.

What he says about Microsoft being game over seems very cut and dry. I agree that Microsoft is in a true crisis when looking at the bigger picture, but to call it game over for them is premature to say the least.

I doubt his comments about Steve Jobs leaving the industry are as sinister as they might appear in the circumstances. Sooner or later Jobs will retire or reduce his input, and his poor health would suggest that might not be decades away. It's a fair point to make that he will leave a huge hole. That said, my impression is that Apple has hired some serious talent over the last few years and just as importantly, it's developed a company ethos that I think will help when the time does come for Apple to stand on its own two feet without its talisman.

It has to be said, railing against Apple and writing off Microsoft isn't the smartest move when you make hardware.
post #19 of 226
Quote:
Originally Posted by pauldfullerton View Post

What is 'closed'? Apple's platform or his mind? Crazy stuff from someone who hasn't yet learnt that customers ultimately determine whether a product succeeds or not - not CEO's or techos who want to reinvent the wheel a thousand times and expect their customers to thank them for making their lives far more complicated than they need to be.

Content also matters. Apple is holding content holders to ransom. Thats the case.
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post #20 of 226
Quote:
What's the reason for him to trash Flash?

My battery life improved dramatically after installing click2flash. Seems like reason enough to trash flash.
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post #21 of 226
Who??
post #22 of 226
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

When asked if he had communicated his concerns to Jobs, Lo replied: "Steve Jobs doesn't give me a minute!"

I wouldn't give you a minute either.

Quote:
Lo's comments about Jobs could provoke a controversy, as they may be perceived as a 'low blow,' given that Jobs is currently on medical leave

Shouldn't that be "Lo blow"


Quote:
For instance, it is unclear what Lo means when he says that Jobs will "go away" in the not too distant future.

Retirement?! Job is almost 56... Ten years can seem to pass by in a flash. (flash - no pun intended)

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post #23 of 226
I think he may have stooped lower (or is that Lo-wer) then Ballmer on criticizing his competitors. He even says Steve will die soon and the company will go a different course. He obviously doesn't know anything about Apple's culture and you just don't say some of these things.

This guy isn't one to talk about egos. It takes a big ego to complain about others egos to the public.
post #24 of 226
It's funny to me how CEO's from companies that wish they were as successful as Apple keep saying that they are doing it the wrong way. That Steve Jobs has an ego? Well yeah, the man is one of the great CEO's in the history of business and has transformed the tech world with his vision, an ego is a byproduct of success. If you make good products the consumer doesn't care if it's closed or open. Apple's so called closed ecosystem hasn't hampered it from growth, the contrary is true, it has fueled it. I think the 100 million plus iOS device customers have spoken pretty loudly on this issue, the rest is all conjecture.
post #25 of 226
This rant is just sad. The closed iTunes system, has provided consumers with an excellent product and developers, through the App Store, with a great development and sales model. As much as film studios may balk, the fact is that content providers have a great deal with iTunes. The revenue split is extremely favorable and the opportunity to get and keep low volume items on the virtual shelf is fantastic. I personally make decent money from iTunes sales.

And can we call a moratorium on the Betamax/VHS analogy? Can we throw it under the bus? Has it jumped the shark yet? It doesn't really apply here. There are two many differences between the situations. And it happened 30 years ago.
post #26 of 226
Quote:
Originally Posted by ranReloaded View Post

He's spot on. We all know how successful Linux has been, don't we?

There is a diff btw open and "free" as in stallman free. OpenMoko vs. Android is a good example of this.

Besides, Linux the kernel is quite widely used for a lot of stuff, cause it is free as in beer.

But I get it hahahaha
post #27 of 226
patrick lo's logic is revealed if you reverse the sentences:

- windows is a meaningless platform to his business at this point
- he blames this on steve's single minded nature of being able to succeed in knowing how to give customers a wonderful user-experience on an apple platform
- he needs to wait for his next chance which might come if steve isnt around anymore
- which might somehow make patrick lo's own business succeed in providing wonderful user-experiences

huh?

does anyone buy netgear anymore? certainly not their NAS crap.

for conduct unbecoming a publicly listed company's CEO: probable changes in the boardroom within a few weeks.
post #28 of 226
Lo, over yonder I here an annoying buzz. Lord, tis nothing but a festering pile of dung that hath attracted numerous large flies. They fly about as they may, but yet all die a short time hence me lord.
post #29 of 226
Lo is spot-on.
post #30 of 226
Hmm. So that explains why every attempt at an open games console platform, since MSX in the 80s, has collapsed. And Java.

Equally, by the same logic, Unix should have succeeded, and Windows failed (well, actually that is what's happening now) - especially as Windows was locked down to one, inferior, CPU architecture, rather than the multiple platforms supported by Unix.

There was nothing open about having to buy an operating system from one supplier, and a CPU from their main business partner.

Any sufficiently advanced monopoly is indistinguishable from a standard.

I'd also say that while content providers don't like Apple's dominance of the digital retail channel, at least Apple want to build a retail model.

That's something they understand - it's not that different from dealing with Walmart or Amazon or any other huge retailer. It's aggressive bargaining, but it is about who gets what share of the pie.

Apple have also done things for the content producers (DRM on video, even closing the treaming video hole in iOS 4.0 that's allowed PC users to download iOS H264 streams).

Google TV, on the other hand, has been a flop, because from what I can see, Google don't know how to negotiate. Same thing with the book industry, and YouTube/music industry - Google go straight in with threats and bullying, 'so sue me' attitude, then wonder why negotiations are hostile.

Put another way - negotiations work when you have two people with essentially the same goal, but who want to get the best settlement in their favour. They don't work when one partner wants something that was never on the table.
post #31 of 226
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoolook View Post

I had a Netgear router once. It looked like a children's bath toy and never worked properly with my Macs.

Everyone knows Jobs has an ego the size of a planet. Given the success of Apple in the last 10 years, as either an Apple consumer or shareholder, you'd have to be pleased. This is needless bleating by someone no one even knows.

i had 2 netgear devices. both were junk and i will never buy anything from that brand again. but lets not call them out for looking like childrens bath toys. the early i products especially looked like disneyland and playskool designed it and os x still looks like that.
post #32 of 226
In the MP3 player market, Apple iPods are in a closed system, aren't they? Does he think iPods are a failure?
post #33 of 226
Quote:
Originally Posted by ranReloaded View Post

He's spot on. We all know how successful Linux has been, don't we?

As in very much? As in, Safari is based on a Linux Web Browser?
Mac OS X being Open, as is stated on the Apple Website (though, however, not Open Source), I'd call BS on your comment.

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post #34 of 226
Steve Jobs' ego? Psychology theory tell us ego is the part of the mind that mediates between the conscious and the unconscious and is responsible for reality testing and a sense of personal identity. So, yes, Jobs has an ego, but what's wrong with that? Is he tyrannical? Does he suppress criticism of his ideas so that he 'wins' every contest? Does he never listen to others? If he were any of these things, he could never have built the powerful (and loyal) team of highly competent individuals manning the key points in Apple. Yes, he's forceful, and yes, he's brutal in dismissing poorly thought out schemes, and yes, he surely makes mistakes and errors of judgment along the way. But nobody is perfect.

My experience of working in the senior levels of IBM, where high quality people abound, is that at some point, a decision has to be made, often between finely balanced choices. What it comes down to then is that the right decision is the one that comes closest to embracing and supporting the core values of the company, and it's in this regard that Jobs shows just how single-minded he is. By his tight focus on wanting to make insanely great products that just work, he will indeed reject ideas that he doesn't believe will support this objective. But that's not ego, that's a rational mind focused on a clear objective.

The argument that Android will 'win' over iOS demonstrates a superficial (at best) understanding of the issues. If you give your software away for free and allow people to do whatever they want with it, you will surely attract in hundreds of suppliers who don't have the nous to develop their own OS. They will sell a boatload of cheap devices. If you just count the number of Android devices, you'll probably find your free software is all over the market. But will this aggregate to a mass of highly satisfied users who can take advantage of hardware and software advances as they come along, or will it develop a market of users stuck at different places in the OS development cycle, with no way to move forward?

We are already seeing Google making noises about the need to 'control' Android and 'curate' their app store because of the huge mess their 'open' strategy has already caused.

Apple's foresight that this would happen to them unless they controlled certain aspects of how iOS is used, and curated the apps running on iOS so as to banish malicious and dangerous apps, just goes to show that a focus on making insanely great products leads you to the right solution, at least in this case.
post #35 of 226
Quote:
Originally Posted by JulesLt View Post

Hmm. So that explains why every attempt at an open games console platform, since MSX in the 80s, has collapsed. And Java.

Any sufficiently advanced monopoly is indistinguishable from a standard.

Which looks like Android, extrapolating. I hope it isn't, but it looks like.

Quote:
I'd also say that while content providers don't like Apple's dominance of the digital retail channel, at least Apple want to build a retail model.

What they dont like is being forced to pay a ransom to Apple for content purchasing they could provide themselves. The 30% on in-app purchases for content bought through iTunes makes sense for small distributors with no web presence. For other distributors it is an extortionate racket - a price for doing business in Apple's neighborhood with no value added by Apple.
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post #36 of 226
Steve will "soon go away". I'm sure he meant that Steve will die soon, punished for creating the iPhone and turning it into a "closed" platform. What difference does it matter if Apple has a closed platform and doesn't have the largest market share? It's not helping Nokia and Symbian any. I guess it always comes down to whatever platform has the largest market share, those are the one's who are "winning". A close second place doesn't count for anything? I think any company that is profitable and has a loyal set of customers would be considered successful. This guy Lo is no different from the rest of industry that considers Steve arrogant and controlling. Maybe Steve is both of those things, but the company still makes some darn good products and that's enough for me as a user and a shareholder.

Saying that the iOS platform is "destined to fail" is really taking it to the extreme. It doesn't even seem close to a failing platform. It honestly looks to be thriving extremely well. As long as iOS continues to pull in developers and as long as product quality is kept high, there is no reason for it to fail. Most consumers don't care about "open" or "closed" platforms. They just want products that work well and are useful to them.
post #37 of 226
"When asked if he had communicated his concerns to Jobs, Lo replied: "Steve Jobs doesn't give me a minute!"

And herein lies the reason for the vitriol... He is a total unknown and the *only* way he could get his name in the press was to attack one of this century's icons (and while Steve is down no less)... Very, very sad.

"Once Steve Jobs goes away, which is probably not far away, then Apple will have to make a strategic decision on whether to open up the platform," Lo said on Monday."

I am dumbfounded that he said this - totally dumfounded. I had to read the quote 3 times; I didn't realize that there was anyone who was so Lo (pun intended). But looking back, it got him PR that he never could have gotten for himself.
post #38 of 226
Quote:
Originally Posted by screamingfist View Post

i had 2 netgear devices. both were junk and i will never buy anything from that brand again. but lets not call them out for looking like childrens bath toys. the early i products especially looked like disneyland and playskool designed it and os x still looks like that.

Yeah. Same experiences here. I had a Netgear router that would constantly crash and need manual restarts. I also had a business class Netgear that would get bogged down with only a few simultaneous connections while a Airport Extreme could handle 50+ connections while maxing the connection and providing good quality of service. It is disappointing that most of these consumer networking companies have a race to the bottom mentality. They create a poor product just to make it slightly cheaper.
post #39 of 226
Ha ha.
Another troll comment by a guy who is trying to convince us with an outdated narrative.
Here we go again.
The Android business model is very progressive with too many goddamn players. You will have to iterate up the a** to compete. Which means you'll most likely end up with tons of unsold Android phones in your warehouse.So you will accrue debt as you battle to one-up the slew of competitor's new sh** hitting the market every month. And of course you know about the BIGGER, BETTER BADDER consumer mentality. Well the Android business has capitalized on that like no other business model.
So on the surface the Android game seems like "WOW" but behind the scenes it is nasty. A wasteful, debt filled whorehouse.
I don't think Apple needs to play that game.
Just my two cents.
post #40 of 226
"What's the reason for him to trash Flash? There's no reason other than ego" Some people just don't like "rich, immersive" web experiences. I can't understand why my SouthPark video episodes have to be wrapped in a Flash container. It's just a video. Why is Flash in the mix at all?
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