Obama Forbidden iPhone for Security Reasons

Looks like Blackberry will keep at least one loyal customer

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Jonathan Ernst / Reuters

Attendees photograph U.S. President Barack Obama with their mobile phones at a Women's History Month reception at the White House in Washington, March 18.

President Barack Obama publicly explained why he is sticking with his bulky Blackberry—the super-secure device is the only one he is allowed to carry.

At a meeting to promote the health care law at the White House on Wednesday, Obama told a group of young people, “I’m not allowed for security reasons to have an iPhone.” He added that daughters Sasha and Malea spend a lot of time on their iPhones.

Agence France-Presse reports that even though Blackberry has hemorrhaged market share to Apple and other tech firms, it’s still popular among officials in Washington because of its strong encryption. Around the time of his inauguration in 2009, Obama fought to keep his Blackberry; he has said he doesn’t want to be kept in the “White House bubble” where the majority of the president’s communications are filtered by staff and the media.

Obama also reportedly has a personal email address that’s limited to a small group of senior officials and close friends.