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Here's why Bill Gates uses Android over iPhone

Bill Gates documentary
Bill Gates documentary (Image credit: Netflix)

What you need to know

  • Bill Gates has confirmed he prefers Android to iPhone.
  • He made the revelation in a Clubhouse interview with Andrew Sorkin.
  • He said he prefers how some Android phones have pre-installed Microsoft software.

Bill Gates has stated he prefers Android over the iPhone because of its pre-installed Microsoft software and its flexibility.

Gates was speaking to Andrew Sorkin during a Clubhouse interview earlier this week, as reported by iMore:

In an interview with CNBC and NY Times journalist Andrew Ross Sorkin, Gates spoke about various issues including Bitcoin, the pandemic, and the age-old question, Android or iPhone. Of course, people realized Gates had an iPhone due to the fact he was on Clubhouse, an iOS-only platform.From a YouTube recording, the interview opens with Sorkin describing how the immediate reaction to news of Gates' Clubhouse appearance was "Bill Gates has an iPhone?".In response, Gates said, "I actually use an Android phone" but played around with iPhones because he liked to keep track of everything.

Asked if that was "a religious thing", Gates confirmed he prefers Android because some vendors preinstall Microsoft software on handsets. He also said that he prefers how Android is more flexible in the way the software connects with the operating system, and so he was more used to using Android. He did, however, state that he had a lot of friends who used iPhones and that there was "no purity" there.

Gates also commented on the rise of Bitcoin, warning of its environmental impact and stating that he had chosen not to invest any money in it. He also spoke about the pandemic, and even what Netflix show he was binge-watching. Lupin, if you're interested.

29 Comments
  • I prefer Android because it is flexible and highly customizable compared to the iPhone. Android works the Your Phone App in Windows 10. Bill Gates had said that one on his biggest regrets is Microsoft not buying Android. As you know, Microsoft has failed with Windows Phone. Like Windows, Android is licensed to OEMs and is allowed to be installed on any device whereas Apple does not allow this with iOS restricting to just the iPhje,, so with iOS you don't have choices like you do with Android
  • This. I feel that Android is the spiritual successor to Windows on mobile in terms of how you can greatly customize it to your liking and how you can use virtually any app you want on it (even ones that are not from the store) compared to the locked-down nature of iOS. However, unlike Windows 10 (for instance), Android does suffer from a lack of cohesion at times, ESPECIALLY when it comes to things like updates. For example, a phone, which is basically a mini-computer, not receiving more than two years' worth of updates is crazy, considering how laptops/desktops more than 10 years old running Windows 10 get updated just as regularly as brand-new Windows 10 PCs. Another example is the VoLTE mess on Android. On iPhones, it works with every carrier due to unified software and implementation method, but on Android, it seems that each carrier/phone vendor implements it differently, so if you have an unlocked device, you are SOL when it comes to using VoLTE unless it's a Samsung or something.
  • Android phones get updated for several years through Google Play Services. Over years Google has been working in making everything they can be updated through GPS. It isn't quite the same as a full system update, but Android is supported longer than iPhone as all the way back to 4.1 is still supported!
  • That's true, but it's not the same as a full-fledged system update that updates EVERYTHING (not just whatever is under GPS) on a device, like with Windows 10 or iOS devices. Google is gradually putting everything under GPS, but it's still not quite the same.
  • Google is working on making sure Android phones are supported for up to 3 years by OS (not just security) updates, but that's still a fraction of the time that Microsoft supports PCs and tablets. Understandable though, considering that the upgrade cycle for phones is far sooner than that of PCs
  • As a lifelong Microsoft evangelist, Windows fan and Android user, I agree Android is more customizable and easier to integrate with Microsoft products. Nevertheless, I increasingly feel on the verge of jumping ship some days. The Apple ecosystem is better at countless little things that add up to a great UX. (And yes, that's easier for Apple given their unified platform.) The sheer volume of niggling bugs and shortcomings in Windows, apps like Your Phone and Skype, messaging fragmentation in general, MS 365 (especially shortcomings in Personal and Family), Android apps (e.g. devs frequently being lazy about ignoring tablets) and even Android itself (although the OS has come a LONG way) leave me fatigued sometimes. This leads to fantasizing about switching to iOS/MacOS. Slow, but steady improvements give me hope and keep me on the Microsoft/Samsung/Google platform for now. But these tech giants need to keep ramping up cooperation and attention to UX if they want to fend off the Apple train.
  • Android is indeed more flexible and considerably easier to develop software for, but you have to admire Apple's attitude. It's not afraid of being Apple-first, Apple-best with everything it does. It's why Apple was worth $24 billion more than Microsoft last year.
  • The reason Apple is worth more, at present, than Microsoft has nothing to do with Apple's "attitude" about its walled garden. It has everything to do with the margins Apple generates on its products. Wall Street doesn't value attitude, it values profits.
  • Gee, ya think? (hand slapping my head) So, should any company then just demand Apple's margins and then it will be successful? How is Apple able to achieve its margins? It's able to achieve them because when people buy Apple, they buy into an ecosystem, an ecosystem that Apple creates by committing to Apple-first, Apple-best.
  • Apple's PE has historically been on the low side in relation to its other competitors.
  • and what generates profits?....
  • Admire the attitude of Apple first? this is purely selfish financial gain. I hate that about apple. I like the R&D and product quality, but their walled garden is why I use Android and like it far more.
  • Lupin?? So corny!
  • It grew on me. I'm looking forward to the next season to see how things resolve.
  • "Gates confirmed he prefers Android because some vendors preinstall Microsoft software on handsets."
    Guess how that happens.
  • Wonder if Bill still codes or keeps up with new languages?
  • I really do not care one bit about what that disgusting man uses. Truly.
  • I too prefer Android over iPhone overall, but I never understood the "preinstalled software" argument. I mean, how hard is it to spend a couple minutes installing apps? WP/WM users used the same argument (about Microsoft apps) back in the day. To me, preinstalled software is actually a negative, especially if it cannot be uninstalled. Why not sell the devices "clean", and let users install what they want to use?
  • I guess it depends on how many apps you want. I suspect it will take longer than "a couple of minutes".
  • I won't use iPhone's because you can't have console emulators on it, phone games are mostly garbage so emulators is something essential for me.
  • This is a big reason why I prefer Android.
  • I sure wish I could use Android. Without any Dual SIM Android phones in the US, I will be stuck on iPhone forever. It's a real shame that carriers have so much power to restrict phone features like Dual SIM. At least Apple stands up to them on this issue. Maybe someday Samsung will take their customers needs into account.
  • You know in our day and age it is quite easy to importe whatever you want.... especially something like a phone. You just have to make sure it covers US wavebands
  • Here in Europe, it's the other way around. Almost all Android phones nowadays are dual SIM. And I mean actual dual SIM, where you can put 2 SIM cards in your phone. Apple only offers the option of 1 SIM card and 1 eSIM. However, only a few providers support eSIM, so for most people it's useless. Besides all that: I'm not really happy with either iOS or Android. iOS is of course a walled garden and awfully expensive, but at least it all works since Apple has control over everything. Android gives you much more freedom but is fragmented like hell... I guess I wish there was a decent Windows OS for phones and that all app developers put their apps in the Microsoft store :)
  • "I wish there was a decent Windows OS for phones and that all app developers put their apps in the Microsoft store" Oh the bittersweet memories...
  • Yes, the world was a better place to live in. 😔
  • Me too, I'd rather have Windows 10 Mobile with Continuum than Android. And since Apple stopped making four inch phones by emulating the Galaxy line, I'm not really interested in a new iPhone either.
  • Continuum would have been amazing solution for the current predicament impacting IT departments due to the pandemic. As there are not enough laptops... and to expect people to set up dumb terminals at home. Not to mention the logistics in getting a whole PC set up to someone via post... 😅 and then getting them back in working order... 🥴.
  • I doubt even Bill Gates has a Surface Duo.