Apple CEO Tim Cook has said that, while competition from the likes of rival Samsung is tough, he still believes that Apple's ecosystem and products are "the best by far."
"The smartphone market has always been competitive," said Cook at Apple's quarterly earnings call on Tuesday, adding that the competition has changed since the launch of the iPhone. "In the beginning, RIM was the, sort of, the very strongest player because the smartphone as you know really got going in the enterprise area."
"And of course, today, out top competitor from a hardware point of view would be Samsung, married to Google on the operating system side," Cook continued.
The rivalry between Apple and Samsung has been hotting up in recent years, as the popularity of Samsung's Galaxy smartphones and tablets increases. In A recent survey of consumers' future purchase plans, Apple's iPhone lost ground to smartphones from Samsung.
"They're obviously tough competitors, but we feel that we have the best products by far," Cook asserted. "We are going to invest in innovative products, and I feel really, really confident about our product pipeline in both hardware, software and also services."
"We have the best ecosystem by far, and we're just going to keep augmenting it and making it better and better, and that shows up in both our loyalty ratings and our customer satisfaction. And so I'm feeling very good about our competitive position," he continued.
"I would just add to that that because we are not fragmented like our competition," Cook highlighted. "We can update an OS with a major release and a substantial percentage of our customers will update to the – to our latest software. We've made that very elegant and very easy."
"Also, because the usage for iOS is so much higher, when we integrate things well, people use them a lot more. And so, just those concepts by itself are huge advantaged from a customer experience point of view."
On the eve of Samsung's Galaxy S4 launch, Apple senior vice president of worldwide marketing Phil Schiller criticised Google's Android and Samsung in two separate interviews, for being fragmented and giving users an experience that "isn't as good as an iPhone."
In the interviews, Schiller referenced Google's own research to blast Android and play down iPhone rivals. "With their own data, only 16 per cent of Android users are on year-old version of the operating system. Over 50 per cent are still on software that is two years old. A really big difference."
On the other hand, more than half of iOS devices have the latest version of the mobile operating system installed.