Eric Schmidt, in a remark delivered to a packed audience during a question and answer session at the Gartner Symposium, unequivocally said that Android is more secure than the iPhone. This unsurprising statement coming from Google’s chief executive is sure to draw no small amount of discussion between fans of both platforms.

In context, the statement was just one among the many things that Schmidt had said in a 45-minute long session that revolved around Google, its business, its products, and everything under the sun that relates to the company, which really means almost everything under the sun. When the discussion went into Android territory, Gartner analyst and senior research board head David Willis remarked that many in the audience did not use Android as their principal platform because it is not that secure.

Understandably, Schmidt went on the defensive, claiming that the mobile platform is, in fact, more secure than the iPhone. While not exactly spouting off figures, he justified his claim by citing Android’s more widespread distribution and longevity, which translates to rigorous, real-world security testing. He also predicted that in the future, the paradigm will shift towards apps themselves providing their own security as nothing will be assumed to be inherently secure.

Schmidt also briefly touched on the other biggest complaint about the platform: its version and device fragmentation. He didn’t really give a direct answer but instead pointed out the established agreement between Google and Android vendors to keep their stores compatible.


  • buginsoup

    Both security and device fragmentation are biggest issues to Android. I do see Eric didn’t give any supporting evidence for both.

    • Fragmentation is not an issue for users. It is only lazy developers who complain. Now with iOS7 and iPhone5S with both 32 bit and 64 bit processors in the wild, it is a bigger problem for iOS since iOS is designed assuming uniformity.

  • Steve

    Your article forgot to mention that everyone in the audience laughed at him! Lol

  • woofa

    I like my Android phone but once again Eric Schmidt has stuff his giant foot in his mouth.

  • marclee

    it’s cute….

  • marclee

    he once said Google TV will be everywhere by now….

  • Szymon Kosecki

    I do not think Android has a huge security issue with the platform itself. It’s the Google Play app admission process that is the problem as it lets the malicious apps through its screening.
    At the end of the day, most of the malicious apps are not “hacking” their way around android system protections but simply work within the confines of the permissions users have granted them during the installation.

  • jpa

    Well, if you consider the fact that by default Androids are not rooted and sideloading is disabled, Android itself does actually have far better internal security than IOS. And a rooted (recent) Android with sideloading allowed is also way more secure than a rooted i-device, due to having better security baked in.

    Fully automated app checking and admission in Play Store is a bit of an issue. Then again, from an app developer’s perspective, so is Apples random policy changes and senseless limitations (though I do like Apples app sales model better). Still, this is the only widespread security issue Android has.

    Now if Google added an option to the Play Store for publishers to have the ability to request a manual check of their apps for a small fee and actually marked the manually checked apps as such, this problem might just disappear.