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Phil Schiller calls Android 'a free replacement for a feature phone'

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phil schiller
phil schiller

Apple doesn't seem particularly worried about the imminent launch of Samsung's Galaxy S 4 — at least publicly. In an interview today, marketing chief Phil Schiller reiterated that Android doesn't make for a pleasant user experience. Speaking to The Wall Street Journal, Schiller echoed Apple's old talking points including Android's continued fragmentation woes, which he described as "plain and simple." Perhaps most damning of all, he took a shot at the very appeal of Google's mobile operating system, saying "Android is often given as a free replacement for a feature phone and the experience isn't as good as an iPhone."

Schiller also criticized Android for an apparent lack of integrated software solutions. "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," he said. "They don't work seamlessly together." The executive's derisive remarks come just 24 hours ahead of Samsung's press event where it's widely expected to unveil the Galaxy S 4. Schiller didn't address Samsung — Apple's largest competitor in the smartphone space — directly during the interview. He did have some data to share though: Apple's internal research reportedly shows that four times as many iPhone users switched away from Android than to Android during the fourth quarter of 2012.

Schiller was eager to point out how favorably the iPhone 5 compares with what's already on the market

Confronted with market share numbers indicating that the iPhone only ships about a quarter of the units that all Android phones do combined, Schiller questioned the accuracy of Gartner's modeling methodology. He then countered with statistics from research firm ChangeWave showing that three quarters of iPhone users were "very satisfied" with their purchase, compared with around 50 percent of Android users.

The release of Apple's next smartphone is still months away, but Schiller was eager to point out how favorably the iPhone 5 compares with what's already on the market. Not only does the iPhone 5 still have the "best display of any smartphone," says Schiller, but its battery technology is forcing other companies to simply make bigger phones in order to compete. "The reason that people are making their devices bigger is to get up to the battery life the iPhone 5 offers," he said.

Jeff Blagdon contributed to this report