Apple CEO: 'Buy an Android Phone' If You Want to Avoid the App Store

Apple CEO Tim Cook recently explained the circumstances in which users should purchase an Android phone instead of an iPhone, encouraging users who want to download apps from anywhere on the internet instead of the App Store to "buy an Android phone."

iPhone 12 v Android 2020
Speaking at The New York Times "DealBook" summit last month, Cook explained that sideloading, the practice of downloading and installing unverified apps from the internet, was a key reason why users may choose an Android phone over an ‌iPhone‌:

If you want to sideload, you can buy an Android phone. That choice exists when you go into the carrier shop. If that is important to you, then you should buy an Android phone. From our point of view, it would be like if I were an automobile manufacturer telling [a customer] not to put airbags and seat belts in the car. He would never think about doing this in today's time. It's just too risky to do that. And so it would not be an iPhone if it didn't maximize security and privacy.

Cook's comments come amid a time of intense scrutiny for the ‌App Store‌ and the limits on what users can install on their ‌iPhone‌. Some critics have called for Apple to enable sideloading on the ‌iPhone‌ to allow users to download and install apps directly from the internet, with no need to use the ‌App Store‌.

Cook has fiercely defended the inability to sideload apps on the ‌iPhone‌ on the basis of security, as bipartisan antitrust legislation to allow third-party app stores and sideloading on the ‌iPhone‌ gather pace.

Last month, Apple's senior vice president of software engineering, Craig Federighi, said that sideloading is a "cybercriminal's best friend," highlighting the potential dangers of allowing users to install software from anywhere on the web. In a paper published in October, Apple said that Android smartphones have been attacked by mobile malware 15 to 47 times more than iPhones. "This is closely linked to sideloading," the paper claimed.

Earlier this year, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates presented an alternative view when he said he prefers Android to iOS in an interview with journalist Andrew Ross Sorkin:

I actually use an Android phone. Because I want to keep track of everything, I'll often play around with iPhones, but the one I carry around happens to be Android.

[...]

Some of the Android manufacturers pre-install Microsoft software in a way that makes it easy for me. They're more flexible about how the software connects up with the operating system. So that's what I ended up getting used to. You know, a lot of my friends have iPhone, so there's no purity.

In a 2019 interview, Gates admitted that Microsoft losing to Android as the standard non-Apple phone platform was "one of one of the greatest mistakes of all time" for the Redmond-based company.

Related Stories

iOS App Store General Feature Dock

Indie Developer Dogged By Scammy Clone Apps Again Highlights the Holes in Apple's App Store Review Process

Monday February 21, 2022 9:29 am PST by
Apps that copy concepts and features from other apps are nothing new in the ‌App Store‌, but scammy like-for-like clones of genuine apps remain a perennial problem that Apple still hasn't resolved, as indie developer Kevin Archer recently discovered. Archer is responsible for 2Stable's Authenticator App, a feature-rich app that stores and generates secure two-factor authentication tokens...
Google Logo Feature Slack

Google Launching Privacy Sandbox to Limit Ad Tracking on Android, Calls 'Blunt Approaches' Like Apple's 'Ineffective'

Wednesday February 16, 2022 7:50 am PST by
Google has announced plans to strengthen user privacy on Android with a new initiative that will put an end to cross-app tracking on Android over the next two years, making it more difficult for advertisers to track users across other apps. In a blog post, Google announced a multi-year project named "Privacy Sandbox" that introduces "more private advertising solutions" for mobile apps. The...
craig federighi web summit

Apple's Craig Federighi Says Sideloading on iPhone Would Open the Floodgates to Malware

Wednesday November 3, 2021 10:16 am PDT by
Apple's software engineering chief Craig Federighi today expressed his opposition to a provision in Europe's proposed Digital Markets Act that would require the iPhone to allow sideloading of apps outside of the App Store. Speaking at the Web Summit conference in Portugal, Federighi said sideloading would result in the "floodgates" opening to malware. Federighi said that while the Digital ...
iOS App Store General Feature JoeBlue

Apple to Allow In-App Third-Party Payment Options for First Time in the Netherlands

Saturday January 15, 2022 12:39 am PST by
Apple has announced that it will allow third-party payment options for in-app purchases for dating apps in the Netherlands, in the first ever concession of its kind. In a message posted on its developer site late on Friday, Apple announced that it will comply with a Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) ruling that compels the company to allow third-party payment services to...
timcook

Tim Cook: Users Who Want to Sideload Apps Can Use Android, While the iPhone Experience Maximizes 'Security and Privacy'

Tuesday November 9, 2021 8:51 am PST by
Amid a heightened amount of scrutiny and tension surrounding the App Store and how users download and install apps on the iPhone, Apple CEO Tim Cook said today that customers who wish to sideload apps should consider purchasing an Android device as the experience offered by the iPhone maximizes their security and privacy. Speaking at The New York Times "DealBook" summit, Cook said that...
iPhone 12 Made in India

India Planning Homegrown Operating System to Rival iOS and Android

Tuesday January 25, 2022 5:50 am PST by
The Indian government is planning to incentivize the creation of an "indigenous" mobile operating system to rival iOS and Android, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology has announced (via The Economic Times). The proposal, announced on Monday by Minister of State for Electronics and IT Rajeev Chandrasekhar, will encourage the technology industry to create a homegrown Indian...
google android ios like features feature

Google's 2022 Product Roadmap Includes Apple-Style Integration Across Devices

Wednesday January 5, 2022 11:35 am PST by
Google today announced its 2022 product plans for the Android operating system, and several of the upcoming additions clearly mirror existing Apple features. The new functionality will allow Android smartphones and Google products to match capabilities already available with the Apple devices. Fast Pair, a Google feature that enables Bluetooth accessories to instantly pair to an Android...
app store blue banner

Apple Says iOS is Safer Than Android Because Sideloading Apps Isn't Allowed

Wednesday October 13, 2021 5:00 am PDT by
In response to the European Commission's proposed Digital Markets Act, which could force sideloading of apps on the iPhone in Europe, Apple has shared an in-depth document highlighting the security and privacy risks of sideloading. Sideloading refers to installing apps outside of the App Store, such as from a website or a third-party app store. Apple's document, titled Building a Trusted...

Popular Stories

macbook air m2

Exclusive: Apple Plans to Launch MacBook Air With M2 Chip on July 15

Wednesday June 29, 2022 5:23 pm PDT by
The redesigned MacBook Air with the all-new M2 Apple silicon chip will be available for customers starting Friday, July 15, MacRumors has learned from a retail source. The new MacBook Air was announced and previewed during WWDC earlier this month, with Apple stating availability will begin in July. The MacBook Air features a redesigned body that is thinner and lighter than the previous...
Mac Studio IO

Apple Begins Selling Refurbished Mac Studio Models

Thursday June 30, 2022 7:42 pm PDT by
Apple today began selling refurbished Mac Studio models for the first time in the United States, Canada, and select European countries, such as Belgium, Germany, Ireland, Spain, Switzerland, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. In the United States, two refurbished Mac Studio configurations are currently available, including one with the M1 Max chip (10-core CPU and 24-core GPU) for...
top stories 2jul2022

Top Stories: M2 MacBook Air Release Date, New HomePod Rumor, and More

Saturday July 2, 2022 6:00 am PDT by
The M2 MacBook Pro has started making its way into customers' hands and we're learning more about how it performs in a variety of situations, but all eyes are really on the upcoming M2 MacBook Air which has seen a complete redesign and should be arriving in a couple of weeks. Other top stories this week included a host of product rumors including additional M2 and even M3 Macs, an updated...
original iphone 2007

15 Years Ago Today, the iPhone Went On Sale

Wednesday June 29, 2022 4:43 am PDT by
Fifteen years ago to this day, the iPhone, the revolutionary device presented to the world by the late Steve Jobs, officially went on sale. The first iPhone was announced by Steve Jobs on January 9, 2007, and went on sale on June 29, 2007. "An iPod, a phone, an internet mobile communicator... these are not three separate devices," Jobs famously said. "Today, Apple is going to reinvent the...
rootbug

Major macOS High Sierra Bug Allows Full Admin Access Without Password - How to Fix [Updated]

Tuesday November 28, 2017 12:33 pm PST by
There appears to be a serious bug in macOS High Sierra that enables the root superuser on a Mac with a blank password and no security check. The bug, discovered by developer Lemi Ergin, lets anyone log into an admin account using the username "root" with no password. This works when attempting to access an administrator's account on an unlocked Mac, and it also provides access at the login...