Obama says he's not allowed iPhone for 'security reasons'

WASHINGTON - The troubled mobile phonemaker BlackBerry still has at least one very loyalcustomer: US President Barack Obama.

At a meeting with youth on Wednesday to promote his landmarkhealthcare law, Obama said he is not allowed to have Apple'ssmart phone, the iPhone, for "security reasons," though he stilluses Apple's tablet computer, the iPad.

Apple was one of several tech companies that mayhave allowed the National Security Agency (NSA) direct access toservers containing customer data, according to revelations byformer NSA contractor Edward Snowden. The companies deny theallegation.

Obama fought to keep his BlackBerry after coming to theWhite House in 2009, though he said only 10 people have hispersonal email address. Neither George W. Bush nor Bill Clintonused email during their presidencies.

BlackBerry, a Canadian company formerly known as Research InMotion Ltd, virtually invented the idea of on-the-go email, butlost its market stranglehold as rivals brought out moreconsumer-friendly devices, like Apple's iPhone and phones usingGoogle's Android software.

The company recently halted plans to be sold and is tryingto chart a new course by focusing on large business andgovernment clients.

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