Apple News & Rumors, Feb. 17: Encryption, Trump, 4-Inch iPhone

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Apple and Mac rumors for February 17 include a huge controversy with the FBI, and Trump’s weighing in. (Getty)

The latest Apple and Mac rumors and news for February 17 include a big controversy surrounding Apple and the San Bernardino terrorist suspect’s phone. You’ll also learn why Apple’s pulling some phones from India and banking on $5 billion from a 4-inch iPhone in the U.S.

Here’s what you need to know.

Apple Released a Letter Explaining Why It Won’t Create Special Software to Break iPhone Encryption

Today, Apple released a letter to the community addressing the FBI’s request for breaking into a San Bernardino terror suspect’s phone. Apple said that when the FBI requested data in its possession, they were happy to comply because they mourn the loss of life from the horrible terror attack and have no sympathy for terrorists. But this, they said, was different. The FBI wanted them to create a new version of the iOS that would circumvent critical security features.

Tim Cook wrote:

In the wrong hands, this software — which does not exist today — would have the potential to unlock any iPhone in someone’s physical possession.”

They’re refusing because they believe this will set a dangerous precedent. The new feature would allow a passcode to be entered electronically that would make it much easier to unlock an iPhone using sheer brute force.

Trump Is Slamming Apple for Its Decision

Meanwhile, Trump has slammed Apple publicly for its decision to reject the court order. He said they need to open up the security and use common sense, Politico reported. Trump said:

Who do they think they are? They have to open it up.”

Apple Could Bring in $5 Billion From a 4-Inch iPhone, Which Is Just a Small Sliver of Its Profits

In happier news, rumors about an iPhone with a 4-inch screen continue. RBC Analyst Amit Darayani has said that a 4-inch phone could bring in $5.5 billion in revenue for Apple, CNet reported. However, this really wouldn’t be a big slice of Apple’s profits at all. In fact, for fiscal year 2016, it would just add about 2 percent.

There’s hope that a smaller, newer phone would increase demand in countries like India, where Apple’s been struggling. This week, Apple stopped selling the iPhone 4S and the 5C in India altogether, positioning the iPhone 5S to be India’s most affordable entry-level smartphone.

Apple Pay Has Arrived in China

According to MacRumors, Apple Pay is now officially available in China. It’s arrived through a partnership with UnionPay. Apple thinks that China might be Apple Pay’s largest market. China’s already Apple’s second-largest market overall. Apple Pay is available on the iPhone 6 and later phones, and on the Apple Watch, in China.