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Maricopa county attorney cancels official iPhone orders in protest

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Apple's legal fight with the FBI has made the company very unpopular with some law enforcement groups, and that's now beginning to translate to office budgets. In a memo sent to staff on Sunday, the Maricopa County attorney's office announced it would no longer purchase iPhones for its employees, in direct response to Apple's legal fight. The county attorney will also decline to upgrade or replace official iPhones that are currently in use. In a statement explaining the move, county attorney Bill Montgomery said the current legal fight "puts Apple on the side of the terrorists instead of on the side of public safety."

The number of iPhones involved is trivial, but the move suggests that law enforcement hostility towards Apple may be more persistent than many expected. Last week, Republican frontrunner Donald Trump suggested a boycott of Apple products until the company complies, although it's unclear if the Maricopa County move is related. Polls have been split as to whether the public supports Apple on the issue. Best known as the home of controversial sheriff Joe Arpaio, Maricopa County is often an outlier in law enforcement matters, adopting more sophisticated tactics than most local departments while drawing outsized criticism from civil liberties groups.