Apple Marketing Chief Blasts Google, Samsung for Fragmented Software

Phil Schiller: Samsung Galaxy S IV Will Ship with a Year-Old Operating System

by Anton Shilov
03/13/2013 | 11:54 PM

The senior vice president of worldwide marketing at Apple said in an interview that although Google Android operating system is now installed on more smartphones than Apple’s iOS, only a fraction of those smartphones is powered by an up-to-date version of the platform. By contrast, Apple ensures that its latest versions of iOS could be installed onto both new and old handsets.


"With their own data, only 16% of Android users are on year-old version of the operating system. Over 50% are still on software that is two years old. A really big difference,” said Phil Schiller in an interview with Reuters news-agency.

Apple’s iOS 6 and 6.1 operating systems can be installed, and are usually installed, on all iPhone smartphones starting from Apple iPhone 4, which is nearly three years old. Since Apple ensures backwards compatibility with previous-gen handsets, provides an easy way to update and makes sure that the OS runs smoothly on all generations of products, the majority of iPhones out there run the latest version of the iOS.

Not everything is that rosy with Google Android operating system. The platform holder has been encouraging hardware makers to install Android onto all possible types of smartphones and currently there are a lot of under-performing Android-based handsets that can barely handle Android version 2.3 and cannot run Android 4.0 or 4.1. Moreover, not all cell phones provide smooth user experience because of the quality of hardware.

Apple ships its new iPhones with the latest versions of the operating system and/or provide easy way to upgrade smartphones that were manufactured before the latest one was released. According to Apple’s marketing chief, Samsung Electronics reportedly plans to ship its flagship Galaxy S IV with a well-polished, but outdated, version of Google Android 4.x, not the latest Android 4.2.1 (in fact, prototypes run 4.2.1 – X-bit labs editor).

“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. Customers will have to wait to get an update,” said Mr. Schiller, about a day before Samsung officially introduces its Galaxy S IV flagship offering it wants to sell in massive quantities. 

The vice president of marketing also pointed to numerous investigations from third party market research firms that indicated that people who have Apple iOS smartphones or tablets actually use them more than people who own Google Android devices, and more than half of Apple iOS users utilize the latest version of the OS. Moreover, Apple's internal research shows four times as many consumers are switching to Apple iOS from Google Android than the other way.

"At Apple we know that it is not just enough to have products pumped out in large numbers. You have to love and use them. There is a lot of data showing a big disparity there,” said Phil Schiller.