Netgear chairman and CEO Patrick Lo recently slammed Apple CEO Steve Jobs for his business practices, saying that the company would have to open its platform to compete with Google in the mobile space. Lo has since apologized for one of the comments he made, but he says he is sticking to his analysis of Cupertino's business issues.

Lo was criticized about one specific comment, which was taken out of context: "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." When Macgasm asked him about it, the site received the following response:

Hi. As many of you know I spoke in Sydney on Monday, at a lunch with more than a half dozen of Australia's leading technology and business journalists. We covered a wide range of topics including the emergence of new IP protocols, cloud computing, wireless routers/repeaters in the home, the National Broadband Network (a current major Government project in Australia) and much more. During the course of the discussion, I shared my views about the future of Apple and Microsoft, as well as the surge of Android. Some of my comments were covered by the media who attended, and were reported more broadly outside Australia by media and bloggers who picked up on the story.

I stand by the opinions I stated on the business issues. Supporting open standards and environments in order to ease seamless networking integration of multimedia content is good for the consumer and good for content providers.

However, I deeply regret the choice of words I used in relation to business decisions Apple must grapple with in the future in relation to open vs. closed systems, which have been construed by some to be references to Steve Jobs’ health and which was never my intention. I sincerely apologize that what I said was interpreted this way, and I wish Steve only the very best.

Patrick Lo,
NETGEAR
Chairman and CEO

Lo did not choose his words very carefully, but it's clear that he was focusing on Jobs' work and not his health. Nevertheless, it was the right move on Lo's part to clear the air and issue an apology, to be on the safe side.