The chairman and CEO of Netgear, Patrick Lo, has apologised and expressed regret over his choice of words that he used about Apple boss Steve Jobs in a press interview.

Earlier this week Lo severely criticised Apple for pushing "closed" platforms and the company's dominance of the digital music ecosystem.

Other comments, though, seemed to be directed at Jobs specifically, such as blaming Jobs' "ego" for the high-profile dispute with Adobe over Flash. Jobs took a leave of absence from Apple on 17 January citing medical reasons.

In an email to Macgasm, Lo expressed his regret for his "choice of words" though did stand by comments he made about "business issues".

He claimed that his words had been "construed by some to be references to Steve Jobs' health" and that he had not intended this. In his comments to the Sydney Morning Herald Lo said: "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 [iOS] platform."

The full text of Lo's statement follows:

"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."