“Androids are more secure than iPhones,” says Google chairman Eric Schmidt. What do you think?

Graham Cluley

Eric SchmidtEric Schmidt says that Android devices are more secure than iPhones.

Schmidt, it must be admitted, might not be entirely impartial. He is, after all, Google’s executive chairman.

In the words of Mandy Rice-Davies, well.. he would say that wouldn’t he?

According to a ZDNET report, Schmidt shared the breaking news of Android’s security superiority at a Gartner Symposium.

Gartner analyst David Willis, who is chief of research for mobility and communications and who runs Gartner’s Senior Research Board, said to Schmidt: “If you polled many people in this audience they would say Google Android is not their principal platform […] When you say Android, people say, wait a minute, Android is not secure.”

Schmidt didn’t miss a beat, replying, “Not secure? It’s more secure than the iPhone.”

Funny. I could have sworn that Android is a much more fragmented operating system than iOS, with a far higher percentage of Android devices not running the latest version of the operating system (and benefiting from security fixes).

Furthermore, new Android malware is seen (often even in the official Google Play store) making security headlines every day compared to the wilderness in the more tightly-policed Apple operating system.

Although – to give it some credit – at least you can get real anti-virus software for Android, whereas you can’t for iOS. Mind you, you need it for Android.

But what do you think? Take the quick poll and leave a comment below.

Graham Cluley Graham Cluley is a veteran of the anti-virus industry having worked for a number of security companies since the early 1990s when he wrote the first ever version of Dr Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit for Windows. Now an independent security analyst, he regularly makes media appearances and is an international public speaker on the topic of computer security, hackers, and online privacy. Follow him on Twitter at @gcluley, or drop him an email.

6 Replies to ““Androids are more secure than iPhones,” says Google chairman Eric Schmidt. What do you think?”

  1. Still rather have Android and run decent anti-virus software than use iOS. I think security is not, in most consumers minds,a priority point as of yet. iPhone users think they're device is safe as a given, and some of the apps I see Android users download…well…

  2. If Unknown Sources is checked, then from what I can guess, iOS would be safer but otherwise, both sides face seen dangerous apps appear. iOS can't beat Android's openness, which is its disadvantage. I didn't vote because I don't know whether you mean with Unknown Sources checked or not.

  3. Well with this new 4.4 KitKat update, fragmentation is a thing of the past and is basically irrelevant. So I would say they are the same. Though if you ALSO have antivirus software then your as protected as possible.

  4. So, what anti-programme would you reccomend, Graham? Because I'm not sure if any of the programmes I see on the Google Play store are malwares or genuine.

  5. Another INCOMPLETE article, because there are so MANY aspects to consider when considering this issue!
    As (what I would consider) an advanced Android user, I have a clue as to what I should (would) download to my phone, and what I shouldn't. My custom ROM has the latest security updates, and (as an example only) I check any new apps (before even running them) to see what they want to do in the background (broadcast receivers).
    I do understand the problem though … fragmentation is a BIG problem for Google, because so MANY phones still run OLDER versions of Android, which are FULL of vulnerabilities. It's not Google's fault, it's the fault of the Telcos and OEMs, who are not fast enough (or simply too lazy) with updates for "older" devices. I guess they would simply prefer you to buy a new phone/tablet, which includes the latest and greatest Android version =)

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