Just a few weeks ago, the U.S. government summoned Apple to help unlock the iPhone of one of the terrorists in the San Bernardino case. Apple has been fighting the request, saying it needs to protect users' privacy, and other industry giants like Google and Twitter have supported the action. The federal government has purported this is simply brand strategy.
However, Pew Research Center's new poll suggests it could have negative brand implications if Apple does not help unlock the phone. Fifty-one percent of Americans agreed that Apple should unlock the iPhone, while only 38% says Apple should not.
The survey of 1,002 adults found that the pro-government sentiment cut across political lines: Roughly equal numbers of Republicans and Democrats–56% and 55%, respectively–said that Apple should help unlock the San Bernardino attacker’s iPhone, which is owned by his county-government employer.
The results of the survey highlight a rift between Silicon Valley and the rest of the country. The nearly even numbers of respondents on either side suggests that Americans are deeply divided.