If Bill Gates had to choose between using an iPhone or Android smartphone, he’d definitely pick the latter. The ex-Microsoft CEO and wealthy philanthropist confirmed his preference during a Clubhouse chat with CNBC and NY Times journalist Andrew Ross Sorkin earlier this week, noting that his decision has a lot of do with pre-installed software. Gates seems to like Android because some of the phones already come with Microsoft software, which he’s unsurprisingly biased toward.
“I actually use an Android phone,” Gates said in a transcript provided by MacRumors. “Because I want to keep track of everything, I’ll often play around with iPhones, but the one I carry around happens to be Android.”
“So Android vs Apple – is this a religious thing?” asked Sorkin.
“Some of the Android manufacturers pre-install Microsoft software in a way that makes it easy for me,” Gates replied. “They’re more flexible about how the software connects up with the operating system. So that’s what I ended up getting used to. You know, a lot of my friends have iPhone, so there’s no purity.”
Clubhouse co-founder Paul Davison was quick to enter the conversation and clarify that his increasingly popular social media app, which allows groups of people to join an audio chat, would be getting an Android version as a top priority. Back in 2019, Gates admitted that Microsoft’s biggest mistake was failing to become the Android of today.
“The greatest mistake ever is whatever mismanagement I engaged in that caused Microsoft not to be what Android is,” Gates said. “Android is the standard phone platform — non-Apple phone platform. That was a natural thing for Microsoft to win. It really is winner take all. If you’re there with half as many apps, or 90 percent as many apps, you’re on your way to complete doom. There’s room for exactly one non-Apple operating system.”