This is admittedly a thorny issue, with both sides having valid points, from which serious repercussions would ensue should the eventual decision go against them. While Apple maintains that smartphone encryption is a necessity in the modern world to prevent hackers from gaining a foothold for larger, bolder attacks, the FBI is advocating that a mechanism be made available for installation on the iPhone to break lock-screen protections where national security or the public interest are involved.
The view from this corner is that Apple should indeed contest the FBI directive, for the same reason the FBI is attempting to implement the order - public security. If this mechanism for breaking lock-screen protection were to fall into the hands of hackers - which seems entirely likely, given the ingenious and persistent nature of hackers - it could, and would be used to gather data from stolen phones.
However, the flip side of that security coin must also be considered, because the same phone-carrying public, whose personal security might be compromised by phone hackers, could just as well be threatened by terrorists using smartphones to coordinate their plans. The FBI mandate to protect the public has to be taken seriously, but in our view a better way must be found to carry that out effectively than by introducing a new security threat of a different type.