Apple chief Tim Cook says iPhone owners hoping for more freedom to download software of their choosing should change platforms, because it's not going to happen anytime soon.
"If you want to sideload, you can buy [an] Android phone. That choice exists when you go into the carrier shop," Cook said in conversation with journalist Andrew Ross Sorkin during The New York Times' DealBook conference on Tuesday. "If that's important to you, then you should buy an Android phone."
Cook said sideloading apps on iOS is comparable to an automaker selling a vehicle without safety features like airbags or seatbelts. "It wouldn't be an iPhone if it didn't maximize security and privacy," Cook added.
Sideloading has become a prime example of how Apple exercises tight control over the iOS ecosystem, and that level of control has come under intense scrutiny in recent years due to public feuds with developers, antitrust lawsuits and ongoing U.S. and overseas investigations. Other areas of scrutiny have included Apple's 30% commission on digital goods and the company's use of iPhone features that give its own software services potential competitive advantages over that of rivals'.
Cook's comments today echo those of fellow executive Craig Federighi, who last week made a similar argument against sideloading when speaking at the Web Summit tech conference.
"In the noble pursuit of, say, more optimized package delivery, your town requires everyone to build an always-unlocked side door on the ground floor of their homes," Federighi said. "The safe house that you chose now has a fatal flaw."