Apple may not have the public's support in its legal fight with the FBI, according to a recently published Pew report. In a survey that reached 1,000 respondents by phone over the weekend, Pew researchers found 51 percent of respondents believed Apple should comply with FBI demands to weaken security measures on an iPhone used in the San Bernardino attacks, in order to further the ongoing investigation. Only 38 percent of respondents agreed with the company's position.
Limiting the sample to respondents who own a smartphone only improved the numbers somewhat, changing them to a 50-41 split in the FBI's favor. Among those who own an iPhone, the numbers are even closer, but still in the FBI's favor 47 to 43 percent.
Public perception has been a crucial element of the fight between Apple and the FBI, particularly during the weekend that Pew conducted the survey. Apple has yet to file an official legal response to the court order, but Tim Cook has issued two separate statements (to customers and employees respectively). FBI Director Comey published a statement Sunday night, coinciding with the announcement that some victims of the San Bernardino attack plan to file a legal brief in support of the FBI.