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Is Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) Plotting to Influence Direction of Encryption Case with its March 21 Event?

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)

Apple Inc. has recently generated a lot of media buzz, mostly due to its ongoing court squabbles with the U.S. Justice Department as a result of its refusal to unlock an encrypted iPhone that was used by one of the terrorists involved in San Bernardino shootings in December.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)

The court order, issued by a Riverside, CA district court, required Apple to create software that would enable law enforcement agents to access an iPhone belonging to Rizwan Farook. The phone is encrypted with a software that automatically erases data stored within if an incorrect passcode is entered about 10 times.

So far, the case has turned into a mudslinging contest, with Apple accusing FBI of trying to set a dangerous precedent that will interfere with its users’ privacy rights. FBI has vehemently denied this, and has now adopted a new line, saying that the firm did cooperate with Chinese authorities in security-related issues.

The U.S. Justice Department on Thursday claimed that China asked Apple to provide information on 4,000 iPhones in H1 2015. Apple responded by providing the required information 74% of the time. Apple interjected, saying the U.S. Justice Department wants to smear it using unsubstantiated and desperate claims to compel it to unlock the smartphone.

Apple Issues Invitations for March 21 Event

The court fights aside, Apple has mailed invites for media event that will be held March 21. The gathering has raised eyebrows, since it is scheduled to be held a day before the court hearing date that pits the firm against the U.S. government.

The event will be held at Apple’s Cupertino, CA campus, starting 1 p.m. ET. Most analysts expect Apple to launch new products or issue updates. This could be true, since while the company holds most of its presentations later in the year, beginning with the annual Worldwide Developer Conference in June, it also hosts spring gathering to launch new products or issue fresh updates to Macbook, iPad or the Apple Watch.

The catchphrase in the invitation letter to the event is “let us loop you in”, which most tech enthusiast view as a wordplay on the company’s corporate address, One Infinite Loop.

Apple is expected to launch a newly-revamped version of the iPad  and a much-smaller 4-inch iPhone. While Apple recorded booming sales of its iPhone 6 model, there is still a small segment of clients who use the iPhone 5 series and had hoped Apple would launch an updated small-sized phone.

But let’s not forget that Apple is scheduled to table its defense March 22  on why it shouldn’t comply with the order compelling it to unlock the encrypted iPhone. Hence, it is highly likely that Apple executives would use the occasion to influence media opinion of the case.

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