Donald Trump calls for boycott of Apple over FBI row

Shortly after making the remark Trump then tweeted using the Twitter iPhone app

Donald Trump calls for boycott of Apple over FBI row

Matt Rourke / AP

Donald Trump has called for a boycott of Apple products until the tech giant agrees to FBI demands to unlock a terrorist's iPhone.

Speaking at a rally in South Carolina, the Republican presidential candidate said Apple should help the US government in gathering information from a device owned by one of the killers involved in the San Bernardino shootings.

However, moments after demanding the boycott - Trump, or possibly one of his aides - began writing messages on Twitter... using the social media site's iPhone app.

A court hearing has been scheduled for Apple and the U.S. Justice department - in a row over access to the encrypted iphone. The government filed a motion to force the tech giant to unlock the device.

Company boss Tim Cook says it would threaten the security of its customers and is preparing to fight the court order.

The US Justice Department filed court papers asking for Apple to load software on to the phone to bypass a self-destruct feature that erases all data after 10 failed attempts to guess the passcode.

A judge ordered Apple to develop a workaround for its encryption software, but company boss Tim Cook said the move would "threaten the security of our customers".

Apple is preparing to fight the court order, which it said would set a dangerous precedent that could ultimately undermine the security of its products.

Facebook has now released a statement declaring support for Apple's stance while insisting it supported the police and security services in their fight against terrorism.

"We condemn terrorism and have total solidarity with victims of terror," it said.

"Those who seek to praise, promote, or plan terrorist acts have no place on our services. We also appreciate the difficult and essential work of law enforcement to keep people safe".

"When we receive lawful requests from these authorities we comply. However, we will continue to fight aggressively against requirements for companies to weaken the security of their systems".

"These demands would create a chilling precedent and obstruct companies' efforts to secure their products".

Twitter boss Jack Dorsey tweeted the social network supported the "leadership" shown by Cook.

"We stand with @tim_cook and Apple (and thank him for his leadership)!" he said.