Just When I was Starting to Hate Apple

 'Photographer Credit: Nichollas Harrison' - thanks

File:Steve Wozniak, 1983.jpg
I am not a Troll
Steve Wozinak Speaks to Bloomberg about Smart Phone Patent Wars.
“I hate it,” Wozniak said when asked about the patent fights between Apple and Samsung. “I don’t think the decision of California will hold. And I don’t agree with it -- very small things I don’t really call that innovative.
“I wish everybody would just agree to exchange all the patents and everybody can build the best forms they want to use everybody’s technologies.”
Steve Wozniak, the engineer-geek who co-created Apple Computer with Steve Jobs, was ever the good cop.   Yes, Jobs was a visionary, yes he was an orphan, yes he climbed up from the bottom, and yes he got blindsided by IBM when richie rich kid Bill Gates' Parents (who were on IBM's Board of Directors) got Gates a personal meeting to pitch Windows... Perhaps those tender moments influenced Jobs, perhaps he grew up tough.

But Steve Jobs also sued 14 year old bloggers, parked in handicapped spots, and (my beef) took credit infamously and greedily for other peoples ideas.  See Wired News articles... (but beware of flame-baiting your blog)...

My position in this industry was built by reading Digitimes, a Taipei-based tech journal which I started subscribing to about 10 years ago.  It was mainly about displays, displays, displays then.  I was able to predict and ride the sales of CRTs when the demand curve was outpacing the LCD supply curve, due to increasing demand projected in emerging markets, I was able to find Taiwanese-owned contract manufacturers, and I became who I am by riding Taiwanese coat-tails.  And here's the truth - Windows and IBM released their hardware, the PC clones, rather than open-source their software (as Google has now done) and the deal worked.  The Asian Tigers engineered and tinkered and produced PC Clones into a massive industry.  And the biggest thing you wanted to clone, 50% of the cost of a computer, was the CRT monitor.

Apple had to outsource their displays, they had nowhere near the market share to produce their own, not even close, in the 1990s.  And they outsourced them to Japan (Sony Trinitron), and did not develop the ties with Proview, BenQ, Wistron and Foxconn which others in the industry developed.  Apple tried to keep control, when Windows and IBM were PC-cloning, and tries to keep control as Google is Androiding.  But eventually, they had to come work to discover the IPhone prototype.

The Taiwanese became to display devices what Japan had become to automobiles.  In fact, it drove Beijing nuts that Taiwan was becoming outsource-in-chief to Japanese manufacturing, drove the Communist Party so nuts that they tried to corner the entire CRT manufacturing market, buying out all the furnaces and dumping subsidies into the manufacture... in 1999.   (Newbies).

China's inferiority complex over Taiwanese display technician geeks was offset by Hong Kong investors who helped Taiwanese finance contract manufacturing plants in Guangdong during that decade.  As much as Beijing wanted to bring the manufacturing capacity NORTH NORTH NORTH, and as much as they seethed at the Taiwan-Cantonese-Hong Kong machine, the truth was that the south of China, and the partnerships between HK, Taipei, and Guangdong New Territories, brought China most of its money.  And in the way that economics often brings peace, a younger generation of Chinese leaders seems to be shrugging off the anger of the Generals, who invited me and other e-Scrap USA companies to build plants to destroy the products Guangdong was refurbishing.

I don't know whether Steve Jobs, the anti-open-source, anti-PC clone, gets the credit for making a "Nixon to China" visit with Foxconn to take advantage of tablets and touch screens, or whether someone from his staff did it and Jobs stole the idea.   What matters is that if you go to Digitimes and use the Time Portal (headlines from articles going back to February 2000), and search the word "touch screens" and "Pads", way back in 2003 and 2004, that the "innovation" claimed by both Samsung and Apple was born in a slum in a poor country where tinkerers clamored to get jobs in the outsourced display industry.  People my friend Allen went to school with, when Allen was inventing the way to display Chinese characters with a cathode ray gun onto phosphor CRT panels, were working on touch screens for bank tellers, and those people began finding ways to apply the touch screen technology to LCDs.  THAT was the innovation, I think.

The Taiwanese Digitimes showed all the touch-screen and LCD and LED and Plasma developments in real time, and showed how much money was being made by the Contract Manufacturing and ODM industry the past decade.

File:Steve Wozniak 2012.jpgSo... In the Samsung vs. Apple patent value in California, a Korean and a Californian are fighting over a Taiwanese invention.  The smart phone is, and everybody knows this, about the touch screen.  Blackberry RIM was plenty-as-smart as the IPhone.  What Jobs wanted was to compete with Blackberry, and what he discovered - like I discovered - was that Taiwanese Geeks Are Awesome.

My read is that Steve Wozniak would get along really well with Allen Liu, Ow Young Su Fung, and other "primitives" who were beset on by the Communist Party.   I love the article quoting him.  And I don't think there are any photos around the webosphere showing Wozniak's car parked in a handicapped spot.

Wozniak is not a troll.

I think he has a lot in common with the geeks of color in Taipei.   I wonder if he had a role in the Nixon-China-Jobs-Taipei outsource saga?  Would be a dream to meet him and speak about it.  But all I got are these tickets this morning to meet the Dali Lama.

1 comment:

Nik Harrison said...

Hi, you have used my photo of Woz and permission to use has not been sought. Please either caption the image with 'Photographer: Nichollas Harrison' or remove it. nikharrison.com