South Korean military poised to ban iPhones over “security” concerns

Anurag Singh
Image showing iPhone 15 Pro from the side

A report claims iPhones aren’t secure enough for the South Korean military and could get banned within the organization in June 2024.

The Korean Herald, citing multiple military sources, reports that South Korea is considering a complete ban on iPhones in military buildings due to concerns about data leaks through voice recordings.

The report claims the country’s Air Force headquarters released an internal announcement on the military’s intranet server on April 11, stating that starting June 1, all devices lacking third-party app control over core functions and capable of voice recording are banned. The memo specifically mentions iPhones among the prohibited items.

“It’s inevitable to block any kind of voice recording, not just formal communications including meetings, office conversations, business announcements and complaints from and consultations with the public, but also informal communications such as private phone calls (within military buildings),” reads the internal announcement.

From what we understand, the South Korean military wants to ban the iPhone because their mobile device management app (MDM) isn’t able to lock down the iPhone’s inherent features, including voice recording.

The report, claims that Android-based smartphones, mostly those from Samsung, will be exempted from the ban. While the reason behind this exemption is unclear, it’s possible that the said MDM can easily lock down voice recording on Android. It’s also worth noting that Samsung is a South Korean conglomerate.

It’s not uncommon for militaries to restrict certain electronics in secure areas to prevent security breaches. However, a complete ban on a specific company’s products is a rare occurrence.

There seems to be a technical issue with the South Korean military’s MDM system, as Apple‘s official documentation on MDM support suggests that most iPhone features, including voice recording, can be controlled through such a system.

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About The Author

Anurag is a Tech writer at Dexerto. He is an expert in laptops, smartphones, and wearables. Anurag has previously covered major brands like Apple, Samsung, and Microsoft. He's previously written for publications like Android Police, Neowin, MakeTechEasier, Gizmochina, and more. Get in touch at