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Netgear Chairman and CEO Patrick Lo.  (Source: Flickr.com/Jeremy Toeman)
Says Apple will eventually lose out to the more open Android

Netgear Chairman and CEO Patrick Lo has never been a shy guy, as evidenced most recently by his "scathing attack" on Apple CEO Steve Jobs in an interview with The Sydney Morning Herald.

"Steve Jobs wants to suffocate the distribution so even though he doesn't own the content he could basically demand a ransom," Lo told The Herald, referring to the closed delivery model of iTunes.

This was just one specific criticism from a broad discussion of closed and proprietary products vs. open ecosystems like Google's Android. Lo said that Apple has succeeded so far because they "own the market" of many of their products, like the iPod with MP3 players. However, Lo predicted that, like Betamax vs. VHS and Mac vs. Windows, the open platform -- again referring to Android -- would win in the long run.

"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 told The Herald. "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 predicted that Android would eventually become the standard for a range of consumer electronic devices, pointing to its recent overtaking of Apple in global market share as evidence.

He also attributed Jobs' trashing of Adobe Flash as nothing more than an issue of ego.

As for Windows Phone 7, Lo said that Microsoft had fallen behind its competitors and would continue to languish there. "Microsoft is over - game over - from my point of view," he told The Herald.




"It's okay. The scenarios aren't that clear. But it's good looking. [Steve Jobs] does good design, and [the iPad] is absolutely a good example of that." -- Bill Gates on the Apple iPad
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