Apple has gone on the offensive against Samsung, as the industry's attention turns to New York this evening for the Korean giant's launch of the Galaxy S IV.
Despite the launches of the BlackBerry Z10 and Sony Xperia Z, the Galaxy S IV is seen as the big launch of the first quarter of this year. Samsung will be keen to capitalise on an impressive 2012, when it overtook Nokia to become the world's biggest phone maker. Last year's Galaxy S III was a key driver in this, selling more than 40 million units since launch.
Samsung has kept the details of the handset under wraps, although rumours have circulated that the device will feature eye-scrolling technology, allowing users to navigate screens just by looking at it. The device is set to have a 13-megapixel camera and is likely to boast a five-inch screen, continuing the trend for larger form factors.
In a sign of the concern at Apple about its Korean rival's dominance, the manufacturer's marketing chief Phil Schiller conducted a number of interviews last night where he attacked Samsung as running an outdated OS. Samsung's choice of New York to launch the new Galaxy device has been seen as a shot across Apple's bows. Schiller, who is rarely interviewed, told Reuters that the Galaxy S IV is likely to debut running an operating system that is at least a year old. He said: 'With their own data, only 16 per cent of Android users are on year-old version of the operating system. Over 50 per cent are still on software that is two years old. A really big difference.'
He said Apple research revealed four times as many consumers were moving to its iOS from Android than vice versa. He also attacked yesterday's statistics from Google, which revealed 1.37 million Android devices are being activated daily. He said: 'At Apple we know that it's not just enough to have products pumped out in large numbers. You have to love and use them. There is a lot of data showing a big disparity there.'
In a separate interview with the Wall Street Journal, Schiller said: 'Android is often given as a free replacement for a feature phone and the experience isn't as good as an iPhone.'
Author: Graeme Neill