Apple CEO Tim Cook recently published a letter to Apple's customers concerning the company's policy on smartphone privacy. You can read it here.
Law enforcement authorities should not burden companies with these requests. It is not without risk. Back-doors can be misused and will be misused. Lots of wide-spread software systems contain back-doors. These are not always created by the owner of the system, but by criminals.
There exist back-door-like features that most users will welcome and the most famous may be the Find my iPhone, which can indeed find a lost iPhone, but can also remotely erase all data from a stolen iPhone, under its owners control. The great thing about that feature is that it will in the end make iPhones less desirable for thieves.
American companies may already be suffering from their government's poking its nose into all kinds of electronic devices and services. People are becoming more aware of the possibilities of surveillance and outright data theft. This opens possibilities to companies in other jurisdictions taking market shares. I'm talking about trust, which I've mentioned earlier on this blog. Once trust is lost, rebuilding it is at best a hard struggle, and I think trust is actually never rebuilt. Governments should not ask of its companies to help it combat terrorists, which they could have avoided by properly screening immigrants. Here's hoping more companies show the stamina Apple has.