Looks like not everybody wants Steve Jobs back at Apple. Netgear CEO Patrick Lo attacked the Apple CEO, who is on medical leave, for promoting closed platforms on the company's devices.
"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," he told the Sydney Morning Herald.
Apple famously closes off their platform by controlling everything from hardware, to software, to content and applications. By contrast, competitor Google's Android OS is open-source, allowing any manufacturer to use the software for free.
Lo believes such a system only works because Apple currently "controls the market," but foresees a future where their closed platform will inevitably be overtaken by open platforms.
"Ultimately a closed system just can't go that far," he said. "If they continue to close it and let Android continue to creep up then it's pretty difficult as I see it."
The outspoken Netgear CEO pointed to the history of computing, as with Mac vs. Windows and Betamax vs. VHS, saying that the history of the tech industry had "seen this movie play several times." But Apple has thus far been able to succeed on their closed system, despite historical trends that would prove it wrong.
"Right now the closed platform has been successful for Apple because they've been so far ahead as thought leaders because of Steve Jobs," Lo said. "Eventually they've got to find a way to open up iTunes without giving too much away on their revenue generation model."
Lo didn't stop at prognosticating Apple's downfall. He also had a few choice words for Steve Jobs himself.
"Steve Jobs wants to suffocate the distribution so even though he doesn't own the content he could basically demand a ransom," he said, calling Jobs' criticism of Adobe's Flash a function of his "ego."
What does Jobs think of all this?
"Steve Jobs doesn't give me a minute!" Lo said.