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President Obama says he can't have an iPhone

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Obama Blackberry stock 1020 white house flickr pete souza
Obama Blackberry stock 1020 white house flickr pete souza

Barack Obama was a BlackBerry addict even before he became President of the United States, but these days he may not have a choice. "I'm not allowed for security reasons to have an iPhone," he quipped today, in a speech promoting Obamacare to a youth audience attending a summit at The White House.

Obama's BlackBerry is "no fun"

The restriction is not much of a surprise, considering how stringent the President's security requirements are. Originally, Obama wouldn't even have had a BlackBerry if the NSA had its way in 2009. It was only after he declared that the government would have to "pry it out of my hands" that he was able to obtain a version of the communicator with beefed-up security — albeit one that could only communicate with a grand total of ten individuals. "It's no fun," he told ABC's The View three years ago.

But while you could possibly take Obama's comment as the latest admission that the government needs to better understand consumer technology — else risk another failure like — that wasn't the President's point at all. He was merely humbly admitting that he wasn't quite as tech-savvy as his youthful audience and doesn't know how much their smartphones cost on a monthly basis.

"Now my suspicion is that for a lot of you, between your cable bill and your phone bill, you're spending more than $100 a month," Obama continued. "The idea that you wouldn't want to make sure you've got the health security and financial security that comes with health insurance for less than that price, you guys are smarter than that. Most young people are as well."

It's not the first time the iPhone has popped up in Obama's recent rhetoric. In October, he argued that Obamacare itself shouldn't be judged harshly for initial glitches, comparing it to the way Apple fixes bugs in iOS. "I don't remember anybody suggesting Apple should stop selling iPhones or iPads or threatening to shut down the company if they didn't [fix a glitch]. That's not how we do things in America."

As of 2011, President Obama did own an Apple iPad.