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Back in August, an unclassified US government report on mobile security surfaced with data showing the various malware threats discovered on different platforms. And Android took the top spot, accounting for nearly 80% of all threats.

With that in mind, it’s not surprising that Eric Schmidt garnered some laughs yesterday during a question-and-answer session at the Gartner Symposium, when he said that the Android platform was more secure than Apple’s iPhone…

ZDNet reports:

“Gartner analyst David Willis, who is chief of research for mobility and communications and who runs Gartner’s Senior Research Board, said to Schmidt: “If you polled many people in this audience they would say Google Android is not their principal platform […] When you say Android, people say, wait a minute, Android is not secure.”

Schmidt didn’t miss a beat, replying, “Not secure? It’s more secure than the iPhone.” The Google chairman danced around a straight answer explaining Android has more than a billion users, is a platform that will be around for a while, and therefore goes through rigorous real-world security testing.”

In a recap of the session, Willis says that Schmidt’s comments on Android being more secure drew laughter from the crowd—which according to the symposium website was made up of a bunch of IT professionals and chief information guys.

Apple, for its part, frequently touts the fact that studies show iOS is one of the most secure mobile platforms available. In fact, back in March Phil Schiller tweeted out a link to a “Mobile Threat Report” showing the lack of security on Android.