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Apple's Schiller rips Android ahead of Samsung Galaxy S4 launch

It seems that Android fans are not the only ones paying attention to today's big Galaxy S4 launch.

Samsung's biggest rival, Apple, has come out swinging in a recent interview, claiming that iOS sits at the top of the smartphone kingdom.

Phil Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of worldwide marketing, spoke with the Wall Street Journal and insisted that Android-based devices are inferior to the iPhone.

Schiller criticised Google's mobile operating system for fragmentation, and its multiple handset partners, which he said makes for a disjointed ecosystem. He claimed that four times as many people switched from Android to iPhone during the fourth quarter than the other way around.

"The [Android] experience isn't as good as an iPhone," Schiller told the Journal.

"When you take an Android device out of the box, you have to sign up to nine accounts with different vendors to get the experience iOS comes with. They don't work seamlessly together," he added.

This type of rhetoric is nothing new; Apple has long claimed that it has the best smartphone experience on the planet and hasn't shied away from adjectives like magical and revolutionary. But the timing shows that Samsung is now a force to be reckoned with, and that the Cupertino-based firm is watching the Galaxy S4 very closely.

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Globally, Samsung enjoys a clear advantage in total units shipped. Looking at 2012 as a whole, recent data from Canalys indicates that Samsung was the top global smartphone vendor.

"First-placed Samsung shipped 74 million more than Apple – the gaps are colossal," the firm said.

But as each company releases a new phone - the Galaxy S3 or the iPhone 5, for example - they tend to flip when it comes to market share. Samsung had the lead after the Galaxy S3 launch, while Apple picked up after the iPhone 5; the fight for supremacy in 2013 is now set to kick off in earnest.

Schiller's criticisms of Android come the same day that Google re-organised and combined the Android and Chrome teams. Andy Rubin is out as Android chief, and Sundar Pichai will now handle Android and Chrome. Google had few details about how this might affect Android, but stay tuned for more details at Google I/O this May - tickets sold out quickly, as they did in 2012.

Samsung's Galaxy S4 event kicks off at 19:00 EST, or 23:00 GMT, and is taking place at New York City's Radio City Music Hall. Stay tuned, as ITProPortal will be keeping track of all the big Galaxy S4 developments throughout the evening.

In the meantime, why not check out Will Dalton's ruminations on how the Galaxy S4 must improve on the Galaxy S3? Alternatively, James Laird has compiled an exhaustive guide on what to expect from the Galaxy S4 launch.