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Eric Schmidt says Android is “more secure than the iPhone”, audience laughs

Eric Schmidt has claimed that Google’s Android OS is actually more secure than the iPhone and iOS.

Google’s co-founder has quite a reputation for making outlandish statements, but this one will make quite a few people chuckle.

Speaking during the Gartner Symposium/ITxpo, Schmidt made the statement in a question and answer session and actually made the audience laugh out loud.

“If you polled many people in this audience they would say Google Android is not their principle platform,” said David Willis, Gartner’s Chief of Research for mobility and communications, to Schmidt. “When you say Android, people say, wait a minute, Android is not secure.”

“Not secure? It’s more secure than the iPhone,” came Schmidt’s quick reply.

Of course, Schmidt couldn’t follow this statement up with a real answer, instead reminding the audience Android has more than a billion users and undergoes rigorous security testing.

Google has made effort to enhance security on Android, including those included in Android 4.3 Jelly Bean, but the platform is plagued by security issues.

A Mobile Threat report from F-Secure released in March showed that 79 per cent of all 301 mobile threats in 2012 were on Android devices. iOS on the other hand only accounted for 0.7 per cent of those figures.

“Given the 1.5 million Android activations daily, the mobile threat landscape continues to grow and evolve,” said Brian Coffey, senior product manager at security company, Webroot, to TrustedReviews. “We don’t see that changing, and social engineering threats are the biggest concern and come in the form of fake or rogue apps, infected apps and of course phishing attacks.”

Security has always been an issue with Android devices, with the enterprise market considering iOS as the more secure platform. One report in February suggested iOS accounts for 77 per cent of the mobile devices in the enterprise market, with another obvious choice being BlackBerry.

“To minimise their risk, users need to be careful and diligent about where they are downloading apps, avoid untrusted links and sites and use a security app to help keep them safe,” added Coffey.

Google is expected to imminently launch Android 4.4 KitKat alongside the Nexus 5, so it will be interesting to see whether the company introduces enhanced security features.

Next, read our pick of the best Android tablets of 2013.

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