Eric Schmidt, chairman of Google, has made the bold claim that the Android operating system is more secure than iOS, even though a recently published memo from the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Bureau of Investigation in the US revealed that 79 per cent of all malware attacks target Android. Apple's operating system has been found to be targeted by only 0.7 per cent of attacks.

Additionally, security companies such as Trend Micro suggest that there are more than one million Android apps "in the wild" that contain malware. An accurate figure of iOS apps found to contain malware has not been published but it is believed to be a mere fraction of that sum.

However, when faced with a question about security for the platform put to him by an analyst from Gartner during the Gartner Symposium/ITxpo this week, Schmidt's response drew laughter from the audience.

"Not secure? It's more secure than the iPhone," he replied.

His reasoning was that because Android has had one billion activations and is a platform that has been around for a while, it has had considerable real-world testing.

"Android is very secure," he reiterated, not being drawn any further on the iPhone comment.