In a surprise move, Steve “Woz” Wozniak announced today that he was founding a new firm to compete with Apple, Inc., a company he started with Steve Jobs 30 years ago.
Like Apple, Wozniak’s PhonePhreaks Unlimited will market a line of handheld devices, computers, and phones. Unlike Apple, however, PU products will only incidentally be computing devices and telephones. Rather, Woz said he is poised to capture the hacking and pranking aesthetic.
“When you use the wPhone, you’ll receive a slight electric shock when it rings, unless you remember to enter ‘skcussboj’ every morning,” Wozniak said in a conversation overheard through a shotgun mike aimed near his backyard.
“Better still, you can set the device so that when someone asks you to see your wPhone, it will produce an ear-splitting shriek and an electric shock when they start messing with it. It’s awesome! Waaaaa!!! Ah-ha-ha!”
The wPhone will primarily work as a voicemail system, including a voicetree prepopulated with endless loops and Polish jokes. It will also allow the user to receive and place calls, but only to for-fee sex talk lines and Dr. Phil’s home phone.
A wWoz computer will be an aquarium full of mechanical fish, which will emit puns on a regular basis. A Woz Pro desktop model will only run Mac OS X in a form of emulation that experts haven’t yet figured out, but seems to involve BeOS, nuclear radiation, and cells scraped from Woz’s cheeks.
It is unclear whether Woz believes these products will actually compete with Apple offerings or if this is yet another prank. Or whether the idea of the products is a bigger prank than his production of them. Or if Wozniak is simply too inscrutable to fathom.
Analysts speculate that the firms hired to manufacture the PU products will find that when the schematics are turned into circuit boards, the metal traces will reveal a picture of Woz mooning Steve Jobs.