At a lunch in Sydney today, CEO of Netgear Patrick Lo had some harsh criticism for Apple and Steve Jobs. Citing Android’s recent overtaking of the iPhone in U.S. market share, he predicted that Apple’s closed approach would ultimately play out like so many battles before. Just as VHS overtook Betamax, Windows overtook Mac, and TCP/IP overtook proprietary networking protocols, Android will overtake iOS, said Lo.

“Right now the closed platform has been successful for Apple because they’ve been so far ahead as thought leaders because of Steve Jobs. 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,” said Lo. “Ultimately a closed system just can’t go that far … If they continue to close it and let Android continue to creep up then it’s pretty difficult as I see it.” Lo continued his assessment of Jobs’ stance on Flash. “What’s the reason for him to trash Flash? There’s no reason other than ego,” he said.

Lo also said Netgear had seen a boom in sales of its Wi-Fi network booster product due to the trend of people taking their iPads with them into the bathroom.

Wow.

If market share were the only important thing, then I suppose Lo is correct. Eventually the thing that is cheaper and less restricted will be in more places. It’s logical. It leaves out other factors such as usability, user satisfaction, ease of use, and so on, all of which Apple is able to accomplish precisely because of its ‘closed’ nature.

And the kick ’em while they’re down comment about Jobs going away? I have a feeling Netgear is going to be doing a bit of damage control on that one.

Article Via Sydney Morning Herald

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