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Tim Cook Fans the Android Fragmentation Flames in a New Interview

by Sean P. Aune | September 19, 2013September 19, 2013 8:30 am PST


Tim Cook loves to take on Android, and in a new interview he isn’t pulling any punches on how he views the largest mobile operating system in the world.

As the release of the iPhone 5c and iPhone 5s draws near, Apple CEO Tim Cook, Apple Senior Vice President of Software Engineering Craig Federighi and Senior Vice President of Design Jonathan Ive sat down with BloombergBusinessweek for a lengthy interview. While the interview covers many intriguing topics such as how Apple set out to not make a “cheap” iPhone, but a more affordable one in the form of the iPhone 5c, Cook couldn’t help but also discuss the issues as he sees them with Google’s Android OS.

Speaking of a recent survey of AT&T Android devices, 25 phones were found to be running the OS, but of those six did not have the latest version, and Cook views this as a problem. “And so by the time [customers] exit, they’re using an operating system that’s three or four years old. That would be like me right now having in my pocket iOS 3. I can’t imagine it,” Cook said in the interview. The Apple CEO views this fragmentation as a “compounding problem,” and one that does indeed have consequences. “It will show up in developers,” he said. “It will show up for people that no longer have access to certain apps. It will show up in security issues because if you’re not moving your customer base to the latest version, then you have to go back and plug holes in all of this old stuff, and people don’t really do that to a great degree.”

Cook also finds the iOS/Android comparisons to the older Mac/Windows battles of decades past to be an incorrect way to view things.  “Microsoft kept things the same, and the level of fragmentation wasn’t as much.” Cook added, “There weren’t so many derivative works out there with Windows.”

The entire interview is an interesting read and well worth your time. But it is clear that taking on Android in the mobile market is never far from Tim Cook’s mind.

Sean P. Aune

Sean P. Aune has been a professional technology blogger since July 2007, but his love of tech dates back to at least 1976 when his parents bought...