UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn won the young vote in the country’s snap general election last year. However, the recent news that British Prime Minister Theresa May is ditching her outdated Blackberry smartphone might help her to connect a little better with the country’s youth.
May had long been resisting attempts from those within Number 10 to get her to upgrade to an iPhone, Downing Street’s smartphone of choice, according to reports.
However, she has now caved in to pressure and handed over her ancient device.
Given that Blackberry use peaked between 2007 and 2011, May is behind the times. Yet, she’s ahead of some of her fellow world leaders, man of whom rely on outdated tech stay connected to the world.
US – Donald Trump – iPhone
If the spelling mistakes weren’t a giveaway, it was always easy to tell the US president Donald Trump’s actual tweets from tweets posted by his PR team.
Prior to his inauguration, Trump’s own tweets, posted from his trusty, old Samsung Galaxy, were clearly labelled with “via Twitter for Android”.
Despite threatening to boycott Apple on the campaign trail, Trump has been forced to switch to an iPhone for security purposes since taking to the Oval Office.
White House Director of Social Media Dan Scavino confirmed this via Twitter, Trump’s social media platform of choice.
— Dan Scavino Jr. (@DanScavino) March 29, 2017
North Korea – Kim Jong-un – HTC
You would expect a $5 billion man to possess a decent handset. However, there’s a good reason why North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un is using an old phone.
Luxury items have been banned from entering North Korea since 2006, so a solid gold iPhone is out of the question until the rogue nation agrees to give up on nuclear weapons.
However, according to reports out of South Korea, the dictator insists that using an iPhone or Samsung model would be risking “extra burdens”.
Instead, Kim Jong-un has been relying on a dated HTC smartphone, as spotted in pictures of the dictator released in 2013.
— VR Zone (@vrzone) March 29, 2014
North Korea has since developed its own Android device, the Arirang. However, there has been no news on whether the Supreme Leader has upgraded.
Russia – Vladimir Putin – None (but maybe a Glonass)
Russian President Vladimir Putin has said countless times that he doesn’t understand technology. He barely uses the internet (he previously called it a “special project of the CIA”) and doesn’t have a smartphone.
“I personally practically don’t’ use this [the internet]. My hard working day finishes so late, I’m not up to Instagram,” Putin told some school children last year.
However, according to the Telegraph, Putin isn’t as technologically-incompetent as he claims. The newspaper reports Putin has previously been pictured using a Russia-developed MTS-Glonass 945.
Germany – Angela Merkel – Blackberry
A Blackberry seems a little outdated now but they weren’t quite so unpopular back in 2014 when German Chancellor Angela Merkel got a new one.
WikiLeaks previously claimed that the US National Security Agency had been performing surveillance on 125 phone numbers connected to top German officials.
In a bid to beef up security, Merkel was given a Blackberry Q10 fitted with additional security features to protect Merkel from eavesdroppers.
Merkel’s phone contains a €2,500 so-called crypto-chip by Secusmart that provides a secure connection.
Only devices with a crypto-chip of their own can make calls to Merkel’s custom-made handset. This allows Merkel to read emails, send text messages and make calls without the US listening in.
France – Emmanuel Macron – iPhone
Emmanuel Macron became the youngest president of France in history last year. He took over from Francois Hollande at the age of 39.
His youthfulness showed in his official portrait. Former leaders Nicolas Sarkozy and Francois Hollande kept their portraits strictly professional. They kept their arms by the side and stood in front of a muted background.
However, Macron’s portrait shows him leaning back on his desk. Two flags, a clock, three books and not one, but two iPhones surround him.
While there’s a chance that it was staged to present Macron as the modern face of France, judging by his choice of prop, we can assume that Macron favours Apple over Android.
Portrait officiel. pic.twitter.com/fAhSZJvPa5
— Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron) June 29, 2017
Australia – Malcolm Turnbull – iPhone
Age is no excuse for May. Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, two years her senior, has mastered technology.
In fact, he’s more advanced than most. The former Communications Minister revealed in 2015 that he was using encrypted messaging app Wickr, which destroys all traces of messages after they’re read, rather than less secure communication channels such as SMS.
He does so through his iPhone that, as revealed by former Liberal Party staffer Peta Credlin last year, he finds it difficult to stay away from for too long.
Speaking to The Australian, Credlin said:
Anyone who has sat in a meeting with the Prime Minister knows they have 10 minutes to get to the point before he loses interest and starts to fidget for his technological fix.
It used to be the Blackberry as he scrolled through emails with the addiction so pronounced we used to warn people that as soon as it was in his hand, the meeting was in wind-up mode.
Now it’s the iPhone and the warning’s still the same.
India — Narendra Modi – iPhone
India has a good relationship with Apple, who manufactured the iPhone SE model in Bangalore until March.
Recent reports suggest the iPhone SE 2 will also be made in India.
Seemingly keen to keep the good relationship going, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi regularly does his part to advertise the Apple brand.
Modi has been photographed using a range of iPhones, including the 5s, 6 and 6s, over the years as he poses for pictures with his friends and fans.