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Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump called on Friday for a boycott of Apple Inc (AAPL.O) products until the tech company agreed to help the U.S. government unlock the cellphone of one of the killers in last year's San Bernardino, California, shooting.
"Boycott Apple until such time as they give that information,” Trump said at a campaign event in Pawleys Island, South Carolina. "It just occurred to me."
Trump, front-runner for the Republican nomination ahead of the Nov. 8 presidential election, made the off-the-cuff comment at a town hall-style event at a country club, a day before the state's nominating contest.
Even as he was still speaking, Trump's campaign posted on his Twitter handle (@real Donald Trump) from an iPhone, with the timestamp labelled "via Twitter for iPhone." Trump later posted



on Twitter that he used both an iPhone and a Samsung (005930.KS) device.
In response, senior Apple executives, on a call with reporters on Friday, said they felt they were in good company given the other groups and people Trump has criticized in the past. They defended encryption as a way to protect Apple customers' rights.
It was not the first attack on the world's best-known technology company by the real estate mogul and reality TV personality. Trump has previously been critical of Apple, which has its headquarters in Cupertino, California, for not producing enough of its products in the United States.
"We're gonna get Apple to start building their damn computers and things in this country, instead of in other countries," Trump said in a January speech at Liberty University in Virginia. 

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