Chinese news channel believes iPhone threatens national security
The Chinese national news station CCTV has claimed that the iPhone poses a threat to the country's national security. The state-run broadcaster said the smartphone's 'frequent locations' feature means that users and their movements can be closely tracked and monitored.
A researcher from the People's Public Security University in Beijing said that data about users' movements is "extremely sensitive" and could thereby potentially reveal China's economic situation and even state secrets.
Apple responded on Saturday with a statement:
"We want to make sure all of our customers in China are clear about what we do and we don't do when it comes to privacy and your personal data. Apple does not track users' locations - Apple has never done so and has no plans to ever do so."
iPhone three times less popular than Samsung smartphones in China
Last December, Apple signed a deal with state-owned China Mobile, and it was estimated at the time that up to 30 million iPhone handsets could be sold in 2014 alone.
However, according to Analysys research published in The Wall Street Journal, the iPhone has just a 6 per cent share of the smartphone market in China. Samsung models are almost three times as popular, with a 17.8 per cent share.
Apple will be hoping to defuse this issue in time for its planned iPhone 6 release, which is scheduled for later this year.
Kleon West, business development director at theEword, said: "Samsung and Lenovo are the two most popular smartphone manufacturers in China. The odds were already stacked against Apple in that market, so this recent claim by the country's government may have added to their worries."