Google chairman Eric Schmidt has claimed that Android smartphones have better security than that of Apple's iPhone.
Schmidt made the statement at Gartner Symposium/ITxpo in Orlando, Florida during a question and answer session following a comment from a senior Gartner analyst.
"If you polled many people in this audience they would say Google Android is not their principal platform," Gartner chief of research for mobility and communications David Willis told Schmidt. "When you say Android, people say, wait a minute, Android is not secure."
"Not secure? It's more secure than the iPhone," the Google chairman immediately replied, reportedly drawing laughter from the audience.
The rise in popularity of smartphones has seen mobile devices become the primary target of malware writers, with sharp increases in samples discovered by security firms, most of which target the Android operating system.
Consensus remains that Android is the most vulnerable mobile platform. Indeed, a recent report by Homeland Security suggested Android is 100 times more vulnerable to malware than iOS.
Even applications that have been approved by Apple, Android and other platforms can contain questionable features making the devices susceptible to malicious attacks.
"McAfee conducted a test across the app world. We were not looking at the way it was created or what it does, we were looking at what it was ‘talking' to. Of the 100,000 apps that we were looking at in this test, about four per cent were connecting to untrusted locations," Jason Brown, enterprise solutions architect at McAfee, told Computing.
Apple's iPhone 5S was recently launched with fingerprint security in an effort to make the device more secure by encouraging users to protect their devices. However, hackers from German group Chaos Computer Club managed to breach the new system of iPhone security within days of its release and warned that biometrics are "inherently insecure".