Phil Schiller bashes Android on eve of Galaxy S4 announcement

Apple's chief marketer takes potshots at Android ahead of one of most anticipated handset releases of the year.
Written by Jason D. O'Grady, Contributor

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?

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