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Apple’s Phil Schiller Attacks Android Fragmentation

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In an interview with Reuters Apple vice president of marketing Phil Schiller took a few more shots at Android just ahead of the Galaxy S4 launch event.

During the interview Schiller commented on fragmentation in Android. He said that based on rumors the Galaxy S4 may run year-old Android software that it will have to update later. He added that users will have to wait for an upgrade, hinting at the excruciating wait time for some Android devices to receive updates.

Schiller also commented on Google’s statistics that show only 16 percent of Android users run Jelly Bean, the version Google introduced last year. According to Google’s data 14.9 percent of users have Android 4.1 Jelly Bean while only 1.6 percent have the latest Android 4.2 Jelly Bean.

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“Over 50 percent are still on software that is two years old. A really big difference,” Schiller added.

By comparison, every recent iPhone is able to upgrade to iOS 6, the latest version of the platform. Schiller said that more than half of all iPhone users run iOS 6. That’s likely thanks to Apple’ complete control over the platform as opposed to Google’s more open approach. Carriers also have more say over Android updates arriving on devices.

The Apple executive also cited the company’s own research that iPhone users use their smartphones more often than Android users. He didn’t give any numbers, but recent studies have shown similar patterns. The thinking is that by using their phones more often, iPhone users are more likely to use and buy apps, which benefit Apple as well as developers.

The interview, paired with Schiller’s other interviews yesterday seem to indicate that Apple wants to take a stand against Samsung and the upcoming Galaxy S4. The phone, which Samsung will unveil tonight in New York City, will likely have a 5-inch 1080p display with a number of new eye-tracking features. It’s not clear when the device will come to U.S. carriers, however.

Shawn is a tech junkie who spends most of his time reading and writing about it. You can follow him on Twitter, @shawn_i.

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