The New York Times published a report yesterday alleging that Mark Zuckerberg had ordered Facebook executives to ditch their iPhones in favour of Android. The Times alleged that this was a response from an aggravated Zuckerberg after Tim Cook commented on the platform’s practice of “trafficking in user data.” Since then, Facebook has come out and issued a statement, denying the claims of the New York Times report.
"Tim Cook has consistently criticized our business model and Mark has been equally clear he disagrees," Facebook said in a press release. "So there's been no need to employ anyone else to do this for us. And we've long encouraged our employees and executives to use Android because it is the most popular operating system in the world." Facebook’s statement clearly confirms that executives were asked to use Android smartphones, but flat out denies the reasoning New York Times gave for it.
Android at this point in time is the most popular smartphone OS in the world, sheerly because of the number of manufacturers using the platform and the wide budget gamut that Android devices come under. With the iPhone generally dominating the upper-strata of users especially in the US, it is entirely possible that the lack of familiarity with Android was keeping Facebook executives from making the right development calls. The Android version of Facebook’s apps do have a slightly different experience than their iOS counterpart, with a belief that the iOS versions are superior in some ways. Additionally, given Android’s propensity to allow more access to user data than iOS, a company whose business relies on collecting as much user information as possible makes sense as well. Either way, there’s no actual way to know whether this order from Zuckerberg will have any actual benefit to end users.