Tuesday29 November 2022

China Claims the iPhone is a National Security Threat and Windows 8 is Spyware...

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Yesterday we reported that Apple had lost a big to toss out a patent suit aimed at their iPhone and iPad in China. This was quite a blow to the company that has made China its manufacturing home. Normally Apple can get its way when dealing with patents simply because of the mythology they have created.  However this has not always held up in China as we have seen multiple decisions go against Apple.

Now we hear that the Chinese Government is claiming that the iPhone represents a threat to national security. The claim is that by allowing a user to be tracked in all of their movements with a date and time it not only violates privacy (ironic huh?), but could also reveal information about an economy and state secrets.
While we agree that the ability to date and time stamp location marker in the phone using the recent locations feature is a bad thing (and violates privacy) we are not so sure it can breach national security. If you are working some place secret or classified it is likely that you will be required to turn your phone off or even hand it over while you are at the location. I know I would not only have my personal phone off, but in a RF protective bag on the way to and from work.

So why the backlash at Apple? There are probably multiple parts to this right now. China has launched some aggressive campaigns at Microsoft, Apple and lesser known is Google. It seems they are fighting back in their own way against the claims of state sponsored hacking by accusing US companies of assisting US intelligence agencies in gathering information.

Very recently China claimed that Windows 8.x was nothing more than US spyware and is refusing to use the OS at all. They have also repeatedly claimed that Apple willingly helps out the US in their efforts to spy on what is happening in China. If the push these devices and software out of China we lose a rather large market which does have an impact on the US economy (what little of that money makes it back to the US. Losing this market can and will make companies like Microsoft and Apple change their products for that region and potentially prevent US intelligence efforts.

In the end this will probably have a much more significant impact on Apple than Microsoft, but we do expect to see Apple try and push back on them. This may come in the form of moving more manufacturing to South America or the US and are further reduction in the partnership with Foxconn and Pegatron. If that is the case then the consumer will end up footing the bill for the move and the hassle.

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Last modified on Friday, 11 July 2014 16:18

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