After Apple installs iPhone backdoor, Android owners less likely to switch, says survey

After Apple inexplicably threw away iPhone’s privacy advantage by uninstalling a backdoor into iPhone to scan users’ photos, fewer Android users are considering switching to the upcoming iPhone. After all, if privacy is off the table, Android phones are much more competitive and offer interesting options, features, and technologies that aren’t available in Apple’s iPhone.

iPhone backdoor

Abhin Mahipal for SellCell:

18.3% of Android users would consider switching to iPhone 13 after it is released, down 14.8% compared to a similar purchase intent survey from a year ago.

The largest 6.7-inch iPhone 13 Pro Max is the most popular pick among potential Android-to-iPhone switchers at 39.8%, followed by the standard 6.1-inch iPhone 13 model (36.1%), the 6.1-inch iPhone 13 Pro (19.5%), and the 5.4-inch iPhone 13 Mini (4.6%).

‘Lack of fingerprint scanner on iPhones’ (31.9%), ‘limited customizability in iOS’ (16.7%), ‘restrictions on sideloading apps in iOS’ (12.8%), ‘Android phones have better hardware than iPhones’ (12.1%), and ‘intrusive iCloud photo scanning’ (10.4%) were among the biggest deal-breakers, according to Android users not interested in iPhone 13.

Less than two-in-10 Android users (18.3%) are willing to switch to an iPhone 13 model when they next upgrade. The new figure marks a 14.8% drop from a similar survey last year that found the purchase intent for new iPhones (iPhone 12 at the time) among Android users to be 33.1%.

Interestingly, more than one-in-10 (10.4%) users noted the upcoming ‘intrusive iCloud photo scanning‘ feature as the main reason for not making the jump. To curb the spread of child abuse images, Apple is set to introduce a new scanning feature that will check whether the hashes of pictures you upload to iCloud match with a database of known child sexual abuse material or CSAM hashes. This iOS 15 feature, however, has received more criticism than praise and has many privacy experts and users worried about possible privacy implications and the likelihood of it being exploited for other types of content.

MacDailyNews Take: Yet another wake up call for Apple’s brass. Will they wake up, or have they been boxed in somehow by governments and cannot even attempt to try to salvage the millions of dollars and the years they’ve wasted on “privacy” marketing?

Apple must have been placed in an untenable situation to introduce this backdoor, destroying their vaunted claims to protecting privacy, or Tim Cook has completely lost the plot.

“There have been people that suggest that we should have a backdoor. But the reality is if you put a backdoor in, that backdoor’s for everybody, for good guys and bad guys… I think everybody’s coming around also to recognizing that any backdoor means a backdoor for bad guys as well as good guys. And so a backdoor is a nonstarter. It means we are all not safe… I don’t support a backdoor for any government, ever. We do think that people want us to help them keep their lives private. We see that privacy is a fundamental human right that people have. We are going to do everything that we can to help maintain that trust.” — Apple CEO Tim Cook, October 1, 2015

Things that make you go hmmm. When somebody spends years insisting, correctly, that water is wet and then, all of a sudden, claims that, no, water is actually dry, then clearly something is rotten in the state of Denmark.

Something caused Tim Cook to kowtow to this backdoor. What was it?MacDailyNews, August 6, 2021

If you’re concerned about Apple’s recent announcement that the next version of iOS will install a mass surveillance backdoor into Apple devices, The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EEF) has created a petition to let users speak out.

Electronic Frontier Foundation:

Mass surveillance is not an acceptable crime-fighting strategy, no matter how well-intentioned the spying. If you’re upset about Apple’s recent announcement that the next version of iOS will install surveillance software in every iPhone, we need you to speak out about it.

Tell Apple: Don’t Scan Our Phones

Last year, EFF supporters spoke out and stopped the EARN IT bill, a government scheme that could have enabled the scanning of every message online. We need to harness that same energy to let Apple know that its plan to enable the scanning of photos on every iPhone is unacceptable.

Apple plans to install two scanning systems on all of its phones. One system will scan photos uploaded to iCloud and compare them to a database of child abuse images maintained by various entities, including the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), a quasi-governmental agency created by Congress to help law enforcement investigate crimes against children. The other system, which operates when parents opt into it, will examine iMessages sent by minors and compare them to an algorithm that looks for any type of “sexually explicit” material. If an explicit image is detected, the phone will notify either the user and possibly the user’s parent, depending on age.

These combined systems are a danger to our privacy and security. The iPhone scanning harms privacy for all iCloud photo users, continuously scanning user photos to compare them to a secret government-created database of child abuse images. The parental notification scanner uses on-device machine learning to scan messages, then informs a third party, which breaks the promise of end-to-end encryption.

Apple’s surveillance plans don’t account for abusive parents, much less authoritarian governments that will push to expand it. Don’t let Apple betray its users.

Tell Apple: Don’t Scan Our Phones

MacDailyNews Take: The EFF petition, which we have signed and recommend that our readers sign as well, reads as follows:

Don’t Scan Our Phones

The “child safety” changes Apple plans to install on iOS 15 and macOS Monterey undermine user privacy, and break the promise of end-to-end encryption.

I urge Apple to reconsider these systems. Continuous scanning of images won’t make kids safer, and may well put more of them in danger. Installing the photo-scanning software on our phones will spur governments around the world to ask for more surveillance and censorship abilities than they already have.


Your Name

Tell Apple: Don’t Scan Our Phones


    1. So you think you have Privacy with Google and Android OS!!!??… They’ve been collecting and analyzing your data since 9-11 and the Homeland Security Act. Just ask the former head of the NSA or Edward Snowden, it’s why he bailed!

      1. I used to think Google is evil, spying our privacy and all that, which bothered me to no end. Now, I think I have a bit fairer view of them. In many areas (particularly in the software side), they have been doing amazing jobs and I recognize it. Re privacy issue, they are essentially living on ad revenue and as such, they developed very cleaver ways of tracking people and collect data to maximize the effects of ads. But that’s not the only thing they do. Today, they are so much more than data tracker and privacy invader which I care less about. Beside, they are very open about what data they are collecting and what they are tracking etc (not so before though). As an incurable gadget freak, I am also seduced by some greens on the other side of the fence. Some of the services offered by Google can easily replace the bind of iCloud sync and I have a temptation to be freed from Apple garden at least to some extent. I also use VPN and I do not have too may secrets to offer in the first place.
        OTOH, Apple became secretive, greedier, sneakier, pretentious and tend to flip-flop easily depending on where money leads to etc etc. I am still an Apple fan but do not write-off Google. If it makes sense and convenient for what I do, I totally feel comfortable to jump the fence to see what the other world offers.

  1. MDN’s latter comment is very likely the case and consequently extremely unfortunate – Apple has definitely been ‘boxed in by government” here, my guess would be China, possibly Russia as well and without complete compliance run the risk of potential product ban, their hand has been forced. The issue here is much bigger than what meets the eye at first glance – it simply doesn’t add up with the privacy marketing campaign the last several years that suddenly Apple would have a change of heart.

  2. Thats just Half of the pic…. the other half is people abandoning apple and moving to Android since there is no active Surveillance code in their phones.
    massive blunder that IMO is not at all responsible from fiduciary perspective and the absolute contradiction and hypocrisy of Apple and their Mantra!

  3. For the record, I used to be all in on Apple’s ecosystem. I have an M1 mac mini, four homepods, an ipad pro, iphone and apple watch, and an old imac.

    The old iMac is now running Linux. I purchased my first Android phone and moved it to All of my photos have been removed from icloud and exported, and moved to my Linux box.

    As soon as Linux is ready for the M1, macOS will be blown away. I will likely replace the ipad pro with a new samsung tablet when they come out later this fall or early next year.

    The iPhone, iPad Pro and Apple Watch will be sold or given away. I will replace the watch with a Garmin, Fitbit or Samsung watch.

    Apple has lost me forever as a customer because of this. I believed their marketing lies about privacy, but there’s no way I’ll pay their prices or buy their services after this betrayal of trust.

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