Bad News and Challenges for Apple

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Apple has been making headlines again – nothing new there. One of the most prominent stories relates to requests (more like demands) from the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to assist them with unlocking the iPhone owned or used by Syed Rizwan Farook, killed in a police shootout following a horrific attack in San Bernadino, CA on December 2.  Along with his wife Tafsheen Malik the two killed 14 people.

FBI officials have obtained a court order requiring Apple to help them penetrate the iPhone’s security through creating a variation of the iOS system that provides access to the content of the device. Their belief is that there is valuable information contained in the iPhone that would provide leads or contacts to aid their investigation, possibly to others involved in planning the attack, or knowledge of other incidents.

This is actually nothing new for Apple. There are a number of other similar instances of court orders for Apple to unlock iPhones for other investigations. These include a DOJ request to US Judge James Orenstein, who is considering the case related to an iPhone owned by an alleged drug dealer.

Apple is of course fighting these attempts now numbering at least 12 cases, with Apple CEO Tim Cook pointing out that this would set a precedent for requests to penetrate the security inherent in their iOS system. His concerns include the view that once they create such a method to unlock the iPhone, “the technique could be used over and over again, on any number of devices”. The DOJ responded in their complaint that such concerns “merit little weight”.

Michael Hayden, a former director of the National Security Agency (NSA) and Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) weighed in on the battle, siding with Apple that such requests to build back doors into secure devices should concern Americans from the standpoint of their rights to privacy. Not only should citizens be concerned about what the federal government could have the ability to access, but other outside elements could conceivably utilize the technology to access private information as well.

Even Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has made a contribution to the discussion, suggesting a boycott of Apple and their products until Tim Cook agrees to assist with the DOJ and FBI requests.

In other Apple news, the company remains a distant second in sales of wearable technology, with the Apple watch lagging behind the Fitbit with a market share of roughly 15% as compared to Fitbit’s lead of nearly 30%.

Good News for Apple

On the positive side, Fortune has declared Apple #1 in their “World’s Most Admired Companies”, for the ninth consecutive year. Their reputation for advanced technology and financial longevity is a key component to their success and popularity with investors.

Investing in Apple?

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