Telegram founder says iPhones can't compete with Android, says iOS is stuck in the 'Middle Ages'

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Telegram Logo Lifestyle (Image credit: Chris Wedel/Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Telegram founder says Apple's software feels like the "Middle Ages."
  • He says anyone using an iPhone is a "digital slave."
  • His comments were made in response to a New York Times investigation.

Telegram's founder Pavel Durov says developing for Apple's software feels like working in the "Middle Ages," adding that users are a "digital slave" to the company.

Durov made comments in his public Telegram channel on May 19 in response to a recent New York Times investigation on Apple's relationship with China and its involvement in "large-scale surveillance and censorship at the behest of China."

"Apple is very efficient at pursuing their business model, which is based on selling overpriced, obsolete hardware to customers locked in their ecosystem," he wrote. "Every time I have to use an iPhone to test our iOS app I feel like I'm thrown back into the Middle Ages. The iPhone's 60Hz displays can't compete with the 120Hz displays of modern Android phones that support much smoother animations."

Durov added that the worst part about Apple's technology is not "clunkier devices or outdated hardware," but that users who have an iPhone are a "digital slave of Apple."

"You are only allowed to use apps that Apple lets you install via their App Store, and you can only use Apple's iCloud to natively back up your data," he said.

"It's no wonder that Apple's totalitarian approach is so appreciated by the Communist Party of China, which - thanks to Apple - now has complete control over the apps and data of all of its citizens who rely on iPhones."

Telegram is one of the best messaging apps on Android and is very similar to Signal. The company has more than 500 million active users worldwide. It recently saw an uptick of subscribers shortly after Facebook and WhatsApp announced new privacy policy changes and users were looking for an alternative messaging platform.

In late January, the Coalition for a Safer Web sued Apple for failing to follow its own App Store rules by hosting Telegram. The group said that Telegram is allegedly being used by hate groups and extremists, specifically during the attack on Capitol Hill.

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Shruti Shekar
Editor in Chief

Shruti Shekar is Android Central's managing editor. She was born in India, brought up in Singapore, but now lives in Toronto and couldn't be happier. She started her journalism career as a political reporter in Ottawa, Canada's capital, and then made her foray into tech journalism at MobileSyrup and most recently at Yahoo Finance Canada. When work isn't on her mind, she loves working out, reading thrillers, watching the Raptors, and planning what she's going to eat the next day.