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.

Popular Stories

iOS 17

10 New Things Your iPhone Can Do in Next Week's iOS 17.4 Update

Friday March 1, 2024 1:30 am PST by
Apple will this month release iOS 17.4, its biggest iPhone software update of the year so far, featuring a number of features and changes that users have been anticipating for quite a while. Below, we've listed 10 new things that your iPhone will be able to do after you've installed the update, which is projected to arrive by March 7. When the day arrives, be sure to check Settings ➝...
Apple Maps vs Google Maps Feature

Apple Maps vs. Google Maps: Which Is Better?

Friday March 1, 2024 7:10 am PST by
Apple Maps has been providing navigational guidance to Apple users for almost 13 and a half years now, and much has changed about the app in that time. However, according to data from Canalys, the overwhelming majority of iPhones in the U.S. still have Google Maps downloaded as an alternative to Apple Maps, which comes preinstalled on all iPhones. We want to hear from MacRumors readers. Which do...
Google maps feaure

Google Maps Finally Rolls Out Glanceable Directions

Wednesday February 28, 2024 2:07 am PST by
After more than a year since announcing the feature, Google Maps is finally rolling out glanceable directions on Android and iOS (via Android Police). The feature allows users to view turn-by-turn directions and a live ETA directly from their device's lock screen – information that was previously only visible when a phone was unlocked. Glanceable directions also work on the app's route...
iOS 18 Mock iPhone 16 Feature Gray

iOS 18 Rumored to Be Compatible With These iPhone Models

Tuesday February 27, 2024 6:31 am PST by
iOS 18 will be compatible with the iPhone XR, and thereby also the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max models with the same A12 Bionic chip, according to a post on X today from a private account with a proven track record of sharing build numbers for upcoming iOS updates. The post was spotted by MacRumors contributor Aaron Perris, and it has since been deleted. However, this was likely because the...
apple tv plus banner

Apple TV+ Gains Over 50 Movies for a Limited Time

Friday March 1, 2024 6:29 am PST by
Apple TV+ today gained over 50 movies, adding to its back catalog of content for a limited time. The collection includes a large number of popular and classic titles. Subscribers can access the movies in a "Great Movies on Apple TV+" section in the Apple TV app. Some titles are also available in 3D. Movies in the collection include: 21 Jump Street 300 American Sniper Argo ...
M3 MacBook Air Feature

New MacBook Air Models Launching This March: 5 Features to Expect

Wednesday February 28, 2024 1:50 am PST by
The existing 15-inch MacBook Air arrived in June 2023, which is not that long ago in terms of Mac update cycles. However, Apple released the current 13-inch ‌MacBook Air back in June 2022. It is now the oldest Mac in Apple's current crop, having not been updated in 600 days. But rumors suggest that is unlikely to be the case for much longer. According to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman, Apple has...
airpods pro 2 pink

Apple Releases New Beta Firmware for AirPods Pro 2

Thursday February 29, 2024 11:41 am PST by
Apple today introduced a new beta firmware update for the AirPods Pro 2, both the USB-C and Lightning versions. The new firmware is version 6E188, up from the prior 6B34 firmware released in December. Apple does not often provide details or notes on what features might be included in the refreshed firmware, so it is unclear what's new. Note that this software is limited to developers at the...