Today, John Sculley, Apple’s CEO from 1983 to 1993, unveiled two new Android smartphones developed by his company, Obi Worldphone.
Sculley is well-known for being the Apple CEO who “fired” Steve Jobs from his own company after the release of the Macintosh the year before, leading to what Jobs called one the most “devastating” periods of his life. Of course, Jobs went on to found NeXt, which then led to “one of the most creative periods” of the late tech-titan’s life.
The two executives were known to clash and criticize each other on company direction and development. Where Jobs exclusively focused on the aesthetics and user-friendliness of his products, Sculley was a sales-focused executive who was criticized by Jobs for his lack of technical and engineering knowledge.
With Sculley’s new smartphones, that difference in philosophy is apparent, but not without a few slight jabs at his former company, according to CNNMoney.
To start, Obi’s all-plastic phones are cheap and specifically designed for the mass consumer markets of Third World countries.
The high-end model, the Obi SF1, features a signature five-inch HD “floating display” which makes the screen look like it sits on top of the phone’s body, a 13-megapixel camera, a large battery with turbo-charging capabilities and a fast processor. The SF1 also only costs $200.
The cheaper Obi SJ1.5, which costs $129, has a lower resolution five-inch screen, an 8-megapixel camera, has a slower processor and no 4G connection.
Despite the lack of sleek features, Obi said the SJ1.5 is “beautiful on the inside,” something Jobs said of his own products — Jobs famously included the carved signatures of the engineers inside the original Macintosh to make it “beautiful on the inside.”
Obi’s phones also say “Designed in San Francisco” on the back, mimicking Apple’s “Designed in California. Assembled in China” phrase on the back of their products.
Given their different approaches to the cell phone market, Obi’s smartphones aren’t meant to compete with iPhone. The more affordable phones are set to target younger demographics in select countries in Southeast Asia, Africa and the Middle East.