Following numerous outspoken assertions during his remarkable political rise in recent months the American businessman and Republican candidate Donald Trump has personally called out Apple CEO Tim Cook and pushed for the American people to boycott Apple products.
Apple is one of the largest companies in the world and is a huge contributor to the American economy. However, Trump believes they should be boycotted after the firm refused to change security settings on their iPhone handsets.
Having recently traded blows with the Pope, Trump now has his sights set on Apple, which until recently was the world’s most valuable company, before Google announced bigger numbers in Q4 of 2015.
The issue at stake here is actually a serious one, even if Trump’s suggested approach to solving the dispute is somewhat clumsy. Apple is involved in a tangle with the U.S. Justice Department over an encrypted iPhone belonging to one of the accused participants in the San Bernardino massacre in December last year. The FBI demand that Apple develop technology to unlock the phone in question.
Apple and their CEO Cook assert that doing so is not a straightforward task and that unlocking the phone would set a dangerous precedent. It could essentially allow hackers and scammers easier access to unlock encrypted iPhones globally. Essentially Apple’s stance is that letting the good guys in makes it easier for the bad guys to get in too.
Apple will contest the FBI order in court, with an appeal against the order due to be heard on 26th February, in a case which could rumble on for months.
Trump, stated at a rally in South Carolina “Boycott Apple until such time as they give that information.” He also added on Twitter “I use both iPhone & Samsung. If Apple doesn’t give info to authorities on the terrorists I’ll only be using Samsung until they give info. Boycott all Apple products until such time as Apple gives cellphone info to authorities regarding radical Islamic terrorist couple from Cal.”
He also said, “Tim Cook is looking to do a big number probably to show how liberal he is.”
Calling for a boycott on the company’s products is of course great publicity for the Republican. There are estimated to be somewhere in the region of a billion devices running Apple’s iOS software worldwide.
Apple say they are protecting civil liberties and consumer rights, whereas their critics feel they should comply with the FBI, as the privacy of a terrorist sympathetic to ISIS who murdered 14 civilians at an office party is of no consequence.
Trump has previously called for boycotts of large brands including Macy’s and Starbucks.