Steve Wozniak: Microsoft resting on its laurels

media captionWozniak: Apple found the formula to remain innovative despite its size.

Apple's co-founder Steve Wozniak has said that rival Microsoft has been "resting on" the markets it built up a "long, long time ago".

He added that Steve Ballmer's time as the chief executive was not as significant as that of Bill Gates.

Mr Wozniak told the BBC that one of the key reasons for the success of Apple was that despite being a big firm, it had remained nimble and innovative.

He also gave his backing to Apple's current chief executive Tim Cook.

"Steve Jobs had very strong feelings about what makes a company great, what makes products great. He more-or-less chose Tim Cook to be in that role, in that position," Mr Wozniak told the BBC's chief business correspondent Linda Yueh.

He said that those who had been criticising Apple for not coming up with a great new product needed to understand that "great advances for mankind don't happen every year".

'Fight for Apple'

Apple is one of the pioneers in the smartphone and the tablet PC markets. The success of its iPhone and iPad devices has been a key driver of its growth in recent years,

However, the company has been facing increasing competition in the two segments, especially from Samsung.

The South Korean firm has gone on to become the world's biggest smartphone maker and has been increasing its share of tablet market rapidly.

Mr Wozniak said that while Apple had great products and technology, the firm had found it tough to take on the reach of Samsung, especially in emerging markets.

"Samsung had great marketing prowess," he said. "They also had distribution channels in so many markets of the world that Apple was not in, because Apple more-or-less grew up under the Macintosh, which had a low world market share.

"You are going up against people that already have the connections, the business strategies, the business methodologies of those other parts of the world.

"It is going to be a fight for Apple and a worthy fight," he added.

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