Background: Obviously, buying an iPhone has its advantages - lots of apps, a closed source operating system, etc. Also, unlike an Android user, it seems like an iPhone user can be reasonably assured that they will actually receive fixes for newly discovered bugs, since the the OS and the hardware are made by the same manufacturer.

But what are some security/privacy related reasons why someone would buy a smartphone from a different manufacturer instead of an iPhone?

Threat model: let's say specified attacks from hackers rather than generalized data collection or spamming, etc

  • There is a slight issue with your question; virtually no Android or Windows 7/8/10 phone has any useful security or privacy features that cannot be circumvented, not even Samsung's KNOX turner out te be any actual secure system architecture in it's implementations. Choices are basically bound to full in-house vendors like Blackberry and Apple, and only with known secure implementations to go with them. Also, note that iOS isn't a closed source system, you can access public sources at opensource.apple.com. What's not open source are the parts Apple deems too valuable to share. – John Keates Sep 26 '16 at 23:17
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    Just to add to Johns comment - the same holds true for Apple, Blackberry, in fact the security features on almost any device can be circumvented. – Rory Alsop Sep 27 '16 at 10:54
  • Also worth pointing out that there is virtually nothing commercially available that's fully open source, including baseband. There are degrees of open, just as there are degrees of trust with the various vendors in the supply chain that make the parts and software for any phone. This is where your threat model comes into play, as well as your level of knowledge and willingness to trade-off convenience for security. – pseudon Sep 27 '16 at 19:23
  • It also comes down to which services, features, and settings a user enables, since different elements of the OS (not to mention 3rd-party apps) have different privacy and security considerations. There's a lot that can be done to lock down a device from its shipped defaults, addressing different threat models to varying degrees. – pseudon Sep 27 '16 at 21:31
  • But comparatively speaking, which system possesses the best protection against hackers? Assuming that the user is careful with permissions and 3rd party apps. – asdfdsa Sep 28 '16 at 0:13

Your operating system knows everything about you. Everything you do, everything you see, everything you type can be stored, manipulated or transferred by your OS. If you are not able to see the source code of the OS, you are at the mercy of the supplier and have to trust him that he is not malicious.

This, of course, is not just a problem of iOS but of any closed source operating system, be it from Apple, Microsoft or a vendor installed Android. As Billy Joel would put it: It has always been a matter of trust.

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