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Apple exec blasts Android, Galaxy S4's 'year-old' software

Apple's Phil Schiller has had a go at Android ahead of the Galaxy S4's unveiling tonight.

Senior Apple exec Phil Schiller has taken a pop at Android ahead of the Samsung Galaxy S4's launch, blasting the slow pace of updates to Google's software and saying that more people switch to iOS than switch to Android.

In an unusually direct attack for the normally-aloof company, Schiller told Reuters, "Over 50 per cent [of Android users] are still on software that is two years old."

Schiller took aim at the Galaxy S4, which is rumoured to arrive running Android Jelly Bean. "That extends," Schiller is quoted as saying, "to the news we are hearing this week that the Samsung Galaxy S4 is being rumoured to ship with an OS that is nearly a year old."

Apple's new iPhone and iPad devices do ship with up-to-date software, though the Galaxy S4 has been tipped to run on Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, which isn't actually a year old, first landing on the Nexus 4 in mid-November.

Meanwhile the Wall Street Journal quotes Schiller as saying, "Android is often given as a free replacement for a feature phone and the experience isn't as good as an iPhone."

"When you take an Android device out of the box," the on-the-warpath marketing boss is quoted as saying, "you have to sign up to nine accounts with different vendors to get the experience iOS comes with".

While Android's issues with updates and fragmentation are well documented, it's unusual for Apple to take such a public swing at a rival, and perhaps indicates that Tim Cook and company are unsettled by Samsung's smart phone success.

Are you excited for the Galaxy S4? Or is Apple right about Android? Let me know in the comments, or on our Facebook wall.

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