Apple's senior vice president of worldwide marketing Phil Schiller criticised Google's Android and Samsung in two seperate interviews yesterday, ahead of the Galaxy S4 launch today.

In an interview with Reuters yesterday, Schiller referenced Google's own research to blast Android and play down iPhone rivals such as Samsung's highly anticipated Galaxy S4, which will be unveiled today.

"With their own data, only 16 per cent of Android users are on year-old version of the operating system," said Schiller. "Over 50 per cent are still on software that is two years old. A really big difference."

Schiller said that the "plain and simple" fragmentation of the Android operating system is a problem, and that the problem "extends 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," he said. "Customers will have to wait to get an update."

On the other hand, more than half of iOS devices have the latest version of the mobile operating system installed.

Schiller highlighted research from several third parties who have found that iOS devices are used more than Android devices by their owners.

In addition, Apple's internal research has also found that four times as many consumers are switching to iOS from Android than from iOS to Android, he said.

In a second interview on Wednesday, this one 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."

"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," Schiller continued. "They don't work seamlessly together."

Schiller highlighted that iPhone users are overall more satisfied with their smartphone than Android users, directly referencing a survey by research firm ChangeWave. He also said that he doesn't think market-share figures "gives an accurate picture of it all."

Apple's iPhone accounted for about 19 per cent of global smartphone shipments in 2012, whereas Android phones represented about 70 per cent, according to IDC, but Schiller said that he doesn't think market-share figures "give an accurate picture of it all."

Schiller declined to speak about future Apple products during the interview, but he did speak about the iPhone 5. He said that the lastest iPhone's screen is "still the best display of any smartphone."

"Given the iPhone 5 is so thin and light, the reason that people are making their devices bigger is to get up to the battery life the iPhone 5 offers," Schiller added.

Just last week, Schiller took to Twitter to mock Android security issues, writing: "Be safe out there."

Samsung's Galaxy S4 will be shown of in New York by the company this evening. Speculation suggests that the new smartphone will have a larger display, a faster processor and trademark Eye Scroll software that tracks a user's eyes to determine when to scroll through pages on the display. SEE: Samsung Galaxy S4: What to expect and what really matters.

Gartner analyst Van Baker said: "There is going to be an incredible amount of pressure on Apple once the Galaxy S4 is out. The Galaxy S3 is already very strong offering, and the S4 will obviously offer more things that appeal to users."

Apple's iPhone 5 was launched in September, making it six months old. With the growing hype surrounding Samsung's launch event today, many are worried that Apple could be in trouble if it doesn't hold its own product unveiling soon, as consumer interest in the company risks taking a nose dive. Samsung has already released two teaser videos for the Galaxy S4, helping to add to the event's buzz.

(Updated at 14:24 on 14 March to include Reuters interview)

See also:

HTC One release pushed to April, risks conflict with Galaxy S4 launch

iPhone 6 rumours: Apple, Samsung to launch smartphones with wireless charging this year?

Samsung aims to sell 10 million Galaxy S4s per month