The iPad would also allow him to watch television shows and movies, listen to music, or just pass the time while waiting for the next flight home. “It’s interesting…Here you have a brand-new technology and a head of state actually using the technology to manage the country,” said Rob Enderle, principal analyst at the Enderle Group. “It either says an awful lot about the device or an awful lot about what he needs to do to manage the country.”
A Risky Move
What does a government official’s use of the iPad say about the security Relevant Products/Services aspects of the device? As Enderle sees it, one of two things: It either gives a nod to the security of the iPad and the network Relevant Products/Services or makes a fairly severe comment, which he thinks is more likely, about the official’s knowledge of the device and the network. Since the iPad is a consumer device, he noted, it doesn’t offer anywhere near the heavy encryption that a government device does.
“Remember, even a Research In Motion BlackBerry, which is relatively secure Relevant Products/Services in the smartphone space, wasn’t enough for Barack Obama. Stoltenberg had to get a specialized phone for government work, a very expensive hardened phone,” Enderle said. “So this may have more to do with the lack of knowledge of the risk that individual is taking than it does with the security of the device.”
Finally, there’s the question of more free publicity for the iPad. But analysts aren’t so sure Apple is doing cartwheels over this story because it carries a significant downside for the brand if anything goes wrong.
“If you are Apple, you don’t want people doing this because it’s so risky. If there is a known breach, it will do far more damage to Apple than this particular stunt will do good. This is one of those things I am not sure Apple is all that happy with,” Enderle said. “Stoltenberg is doing something that is incredibly risky. Like anything else, if it backfires on him it’s going to reflect poorly on Apple. All Apple can say is that they designed the device to do these things, but it’s not going to help Apple much.”
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