Phil Schiller bashes Android on eve of Galaxy S4 announcement

Phil Schiller bashes Android on eve of Galaxy S4 announcement

Summary: Apple's chief marketer takes potshots at Android ahead of one of most anticipated handset releases of the year.

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Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing, Phil Schiller is in rare form.

He's talking trash about Android in an effort to diffuse attention from the Apple-style splash Samsung is expected to make when it announces the highly-anticipated Galaxy S IV smartphone at an event at Radio City Music Hall in New York tomorrow, March 14 at 7pm ET. 

It started with a Tweet last week: 

In it, Schiller simply says "Be safe out there" but then links to a report from security firm F-Secure's latest Mobile Threat Report. The 34 page PDF details the mobile threats that the company has discovered in the last quarter and is basically an indictment of Android. 

But that was only the beginning. 

Schiller dropped an atom bomb on Android today in form of an interview with the Wall Street Journal where he flat out bashes Android on everything from security to fragmentation of the OS.

Here are a some of the choice quotes from the interview:

He said that Android users are often running old operating systems and that the fragmentation in the Android world was "plain and simple." Google's own developer dashboard for Android supports this assertion, noting that only 15.5 percent of devices are running the latest version of the OS, Jelly Bean. Advertising and analytics company Chitika said recently said that 61 percent of iOS devices are running iOS 6.

Google: 15.5 percent of Android devices are running Jelly Bean

He added that "Android is often given as a free replacement for a feature phone and the experience isn't as good as an iPhone." His user experience is subjective, to say the least. 

Schiller goes on to say, "When you take an Android device out of the box, you have to sign up to nine accounts with different vendors to get the experience iOS comes with, They don't work seamlessly together." iOS is a more unified experience because Apple controls the hardware, software and to a large extent, the apps. One of the penalties of being open, is having to log into multiple services to get the same set of features Apple provides out of box. Another way to look at it is that Android is more open which gives its users access to some services that aren't available on iOS.

Schiller cited a survey from ChangeWave that found that around three-quarters of iPhone users say they are "very satisfied" with their device compared with around half of Android users. That one is hard to debate, iOS is more user friendly and requires less technical skill to set up, configure and maintain. Which is probably hurting Android's satisfaction scores.

Schiller said the screen on the iPhone is "still the best display of any smartphone." While I generally agree with Phil on this one in terms of Pixels Per Inch (PPI), he chooses to ignore screen size. The iPhone 5 comes in one screen size: 4-inches, while Android smartphones screens range from 2.8 to 5.5-inches. Some people might find that a larger screen is better for their particular needs.

Lastly, he says, "Given the iPhone 5 is so thin and light, the reason that people are making their devices bigger is to get up to the battery life the iPhone 5 offers." While the iPhone 5 promises up to 8 hours of talk time or Internet use, many users have complained that, in reality, it doesn't achieve those kind of numbers.

So, what do you make of Schiller's remarks? Does he have a point? Or is it just spin control because he's scared that Samsung's new offering will have a large impact on iPhone sales?

Topics: Apple, Android, Google, iOS, iPhone, Samsung

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64 comments
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  • Sounds like Apples running scared!

    Should just get back to work.
    martin_js
    • Nah, it just sounds unprofessional.

      Apple hating android isn't new. What they need to learn is that if you try and build up buzz by sayin nothing, the competition will fill the silence. It is time for apple to give their users some idea what is going on.

      It was a pretty bum move to be honest. They all do it; MS do the same around apple press releases. But it looks petty. Just let your competition do their thing. If yours is better you don't need worry. If it isn't get your thumb out.

      Read the proper article here
      http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324077704578358760931327672.html?mod=WSJ_hp_us_mostpop_read

      This one's a little difficult to read through the venom.

      Now... On to the s4 launch!
      MarknWill
  • the schill is scared of Android...

    ... and he should be... Apple is doing what Palm did. Releasing the same old tired stuff over and over again until one day it simply stops selling. The same grid of icons the same way Palm did it the days of the Pilot. No widgets, no Live Tiles, no new thinking. Same old grid for the last 6 years. And who thinks the 5S will change from that old song and dance. No one. Everyone already knows what Apple will release because Apple has become predictable, boring and lacks any creativity. What's Apple big game plan, thinner & lighter. Seriously, who cares? Who still buys this stuff?

    I know... I know... it sells like not cakes, in the US, where brand loyalty is high. But just listen to what Apple tells the courts in the pleadings against Samsung. They basically say that if someone buys an Android device they have "no reason" to ever buy an iPhone. Sounds like an admission to me that Apple brings nothing of value to the table beyond what Android already has.

    And no I'm not an Android user or an iPhone user. I have owned many of both but like Windows Phone 8 over both.

    Schiller is so funny though. Getting all mad when Instagram released for Android. Getting all mad the day before the Galaxy S IV is announced. That doesn't sound like confidence to me. Sounds more like chicken little.

    Ride Steve Jobs wave as long as you can Schiller. Your contribution to the iPod is noted. You have brains, I'll say that. But you're also lucky that most of the time your competition is simply stupid. It's that you guys are geniuses. It's more like your competitors have simply been incredibly stupid and made bad choices repeatedly. But given that 85% of your revenue stems from iOS, what do you plan to do once no one cares about iOS? It's not like the Mac brings in the kind of dollars you've become used to. So if I were you guys, I'd think long and hard before you buy back stock and waste money on dividends. Once iOS gets so old and boring that not even the United States buys it, you're going to need all the cash you can lay your hands on to buy back into relevance. And you guys don't have any other cash cows. You're riding the only wave you've ever known, which is iOS. Hope it lasts...
    sfoalex
  • Well, unlike Tim Cook, Phil Schiller does at least get the numbers right...

    Even if he's slicing them up to overstate things. If you look at the chart posted above you'll notice something very interesting: if you add up the market shares for Android SDKs 10, 15 and 16 you get 87.4%. That means by just targeting 3 releases, you get most of the Android market.

    Fragmentation isn't about 'not having the most recent' - it's about having too many different versions to deal with. In fact, Android developers can get away with just three. And more so, if they build for SDK 10 (Gingerbread aka 2.3.x), it'll still work for all the versions after it.
    TheWerewolf
    • Nope

      Schiller's fragmentation argument is totally legit but you'd be hard pressed to believe it with all the Phandroids in here. I own a Galaxy S2 (previously owned an HTC Amaze and the original Google Nexus, and 7" Galaxy Tab) and I can say you guys are pathetic cause you can't even acknowledge legitimate cons within the Android ecosystem.

      It's more than just having different version of Android out there. Each device maker has their own spin on Android. Samsung has their Touchwhiz which their mod, HTC has Sense and so forth. Each experience is slightly different, not to mention the hardware like camera lenses have their own individual drivers.

      App makers have to test their apps on each individual device to make sure they work with the device because each Android smart phone is their own device. iOS devices are far simpler and streamlined for app makers in comparison.
      Maha888
      • just because you are a hater...

        ... @TheWerewolf incorrect... what he said was absolutely true... android is backwards compatible. Anything that runs on gingerbread will run on ics and jb just fine... so you only need to make one app to get it out there... then yes you will have to tweak it for other versions and screen sizes... touchwiz and sense are not an operating systems, they are just a skinning layer oni top of android. layers i dont particularly like, but that's all they are, apps do not have to be modded differently to run on them...
        ukjb
      • Not anymore

        The newer kernel solved that problem, it is why we are seeing more upgrades to Jellybean than we did with ICS. Nice try though.

        Also, on my iPad mini, I had to login to each amazon app separately, google+, mail, google talk, and a few others. I guess it just goes to show that iOS isn't as well integrated as Phil would like huh?
        slickjim
      • Well somebody obviously doesn't understand fragmentation

        n/t
        Little Old Man
      • "Fragmentation"

        Is a big bad wolf buzzword that people afraid of Android use to scare their current customers. It's like a Tea Party shill saying "Big Government", even as they vote to put that government into your bedroom. It's meaningless.

        The only real fragmentation is one that affects application compatibility. Android, like Windows, like MacOS, like Linux, like every web browser, like pretty much any OS other than iOS, is designed to work with just about any screen resolution. Drivers do what drivers have always done in modern operating systems -- they isolate the OS from the quirks of the hardware. Apps don't need to know the precise resolution (they can ask if they want to), they don't need to know the specifics of the camera (the camera API does that job), etc.
        Hazydave
  • And He's Wrong About Having The Best Display

    Has he not been informed yet about the Android models with 1080p screens and pixel densities of 440dpi and more?

    Seems like Apple's market intelligence is about 6 months behind. Which would explain some of their product-development decisions...
    ldo17
    • Wrong

      You sound like a PC user, all you spout are specs cause it's the only leg you can stand on. It's more than just specs. The Sony Experia Z blows iP5 out the water in terms of specs but it's a cheap ass screen. As soon as you move it a little bit off angle the colors start to get washed out, not so much with iPhone. The Sony Experia has got a 1080P screen but don't tell me it's better than iPhone 5.

      Your argument is about as sound as saying all 12megapixel cameras are better than 10megapixel cameras because they offer more megapixels.
      Maha888
      • Um... I thought this is about Galaxy S4? What Z has to do with it?

        Funny you should use the expression 'blows out of the water' since Xperia Z is water resistance whereas IP5 is not.

        But you're right, people should buy phones based on their respective needs and wants, not according to specs alone. As for me, I don't see the color really wash out that much to be that distracting since I don't watch it from a steep angle and being able not to worry about some rain or holding the phone with a wet hand made my decision for me.

        Cheers.
        User Anonymous
      • .

        yeah because i regularly hold my phone at a 60 degree angle because that is the best viewing angle, damn the Z ... they ruined my perfect viewing angle
        ukjb
    • Or

      The Note 2 sRGB Super Amoled display which whooped his iPhone 5 in most areas including Black Level and Color Gamut.

      Samsung also put profiles in the phone so it is possible to get fairly close with the color accuracy if you like the duller colors.
      slickjim
  • Apple's getting jealous and scared

    So lets just throw some hogwash on Samsung's parade!
    reefshop
    • Yeah right...

      Like Samsung never did anything like this to Apple???
      Jackie-Smith
      • Re: Like Samsung never did anything like this to Apple???

        Samsung's Apple-mocking ads were at least funny.
        ldo17
  • I love my Galaxy S2

    Just waiting to upgrade to the S4. Would be happy to test drive an iPhone to see if my love is real or a delusion. I'm passionate about my Samsung galaxy S2 android phone. Any takers?
    I think apple is heading for a harsh winter.
    LizGanser
    • I can't stand my S2

      luckily its just my work phone and I have a nokia 920 for a personal phone.

      Given that an IPhone 5 equals an S2 basically, and the S2 is prolly a year or two old, apple needs to catch up a lot.
      everss02
      • @everss02

        What's with 'PROLLY'????

        Exactly how much time did you save by writing that word?

        Would it have been too much to write, "probably', or do you also refer to Motherboards as 'MOBO's', or the dreaded use of the word PHABLET for those oversized phones.
        Jackie-Smith