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Steve Wozniak, who along with Steve Jobs founded Apple in 1976, reckons Android has leapfrogged iOS in the fiercely-contested smartphone software battle.

Steve Woz

Despite his obvious affinity to Apple, The Woz has never denied affections for iOS’ bitter rival – Google’s Android. Whilst Jobs harbored an almost hatred-like feeling towards what he described in his biography as a “stolen product,” the mellower of the Apple co-founders admits to using the Big G’s Mobile OS on a daily basis (along with his iPhone, of course). Being a long-time friend of Android Chief Andy Rubin, this isn’t much of a surprise, but recent comments of his published by The Daily Beast may raise a few eyebrows down in Cupertino:

My primary phone is the iPhone. I love the beauty of it. But I wish it did all the things my Android does, I really do. [...] If you’re willing to do the work to understand it a little bit, well I hate to say it, but there’s more available in some ways.

He then goes on to compare Android’s current position over iOS to the way Windows smothered Macintosh back in the day – creating success by making the OS available to as many manufacturers as possible. While he stopped short of tipping history as repeating itself, it does seem Android has an unlikely advocate in the form of a founding father of its arch nemesis:

There’s not as big a difference [between iOS and Android] as there was between Mac and Windows

Strangely enough, Wozniak also has a preference to Android’s voice commands over the much-hyped voice recognition/virtual slave that is Siri. Since landing along with the iPhone 4S back in October of last year, Siri has created a great amount of buzz – particularly within the developers community – eclipsed only by the recent release of iOS 5’s first untethered jailbreak.

Wozniak reckons Android will win the smartphone war, but does indeed hope Google’s mobile operating system doesn’t ever overthrow the iPad.

Would he ever return to Apple? Well, he has stated he would consider if asked. But with comments so casually praising a bitter rival, we doubt Tim Cook will come calling any time soon.

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