Apple’s Marketing chief Phil Schiller recently took a jab at Android, tweeting a link to an blog post highlighting the high malware rates on Android devices. In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Schiller continues his attacks on the OS, dismissing the notion of Android increasingly becoming a threat to iOS, and maintaining that Apple’s offerings remain superior to that of Google’s.
[Schiller] shared data on the iPhone’s popularity and said Apple’s own research shows that four times as many iPhone users switched from Android than to Android during the fourth quarter.
He added that “Android is often given a free replacement for a feature phone and the experience isn’t as good as an iPhone.”
Mr. Schiller said the Android service suffers in part because different elements come from multiple companies, where Apple is responsible for all its mobile hardware and as well as its iOS operating system.
Schiller again pointed to Android fragmentation, noting that a new user has to sign up with nine different services “to get the experience iOS comes with.”
The timing of Schiller’s interview is well calculated, just a day ahead of Samsung’s Galaxy S4 launch event. Apple’s known to time announcements to steal the thunder away from rival company launch events, though his comments seem defensive, which isn’t likely to take the focus away from Samsung’s event.
We think Schiller’s metric of measuring success using customer shift from one smartphone platform to another isn’t entirely comprehensive since future growth lies in tapping the market that isn’t yet introduced to smartphones as opposed to those that have already made the jump. We do understand though, that the metric might be important to play down the importance of high profile people like Robert Scoble and Andy Ihnatko switching from iPhone to Android.
Reuters has some more details from that interview with Phil Schiller. He also took a dig at Samsung’s Galaxy S4, which will be launched later today.
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Schiller said fragmentation, or the host of customized versions of Android in the marketplace, poses a problem for consumers.
Every version of Android’s operating system update has to be tested to ensure a good fit for a multiplicity of handset makers before it can be widely released by the handset makers, which slows updates. That’s because some manufacturers, such as Amazon.com Inc, employ heavily customized versions.
“And that extends to the news we are hearing this week that the Samsung Galaxy S4 is being rumored to ship with an OS that is nearly a year old,” he said. “Customers will have to wait to get an update.”