Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has called for an official boycott of all Apple products until the company complies with a court order to unlock the iPhone belonging to the alleged San Bernardino terrorists.
The billionaire businessman made the declaration during a rally in Pawleys Island, South Carolina on Friday - just one day before the state's Republican voters cast their ballots in the first-in-the-South primary.
He told supporters:
"Boycott Apple until they give up the information. The phone is owned by the government...
[Apple CEO] Tim Cook is looking to do a big number probably to show how liberal he is. Apple should give up."
Trump, who personally uses an iPhone, later tweeted that he would only use his Android-platform phone until Cook gave into the government's request - urging his 6.26 million followers to do the same:
While Bloomberg Politics reported that Trump's tweets about the boycott were made by Tweetdeck on his Samsung device and not his iPhone, NBC News discovered that a few hours after his boycott announcement Trump's campaign was still using iPads to sell items at its pop-up campaign store:
Nonetheless, during an interview with Bloomberg Politics, Trump declared that Cook:
“...is living in the world of the make believe.”
“I would come down so hard on him — you have no idea — his head would be spinning all of the way back to Silicon Valley.”
Cook posted an open letter on Apple's website on Wednesday, writing that he was not planning to reply with the court order. Investigators have had the phone in their custody since shortly after the December 2nd shooting, but have struggled to decode it during that time.