"It’s technically possible for Apple to hack a device’s PIN, wipe, and other functions. Question is can they be legally forced to hack," said iOS security expert Jonathan Ździarski.
"Theory: either NSA/CIA dragnet and cryptanalysis capabilities are severely limited, or this is a test case to see how the courts respond."
For a security expert this guy is really stupid.
By and large the opinion of the security community has been, unless the device is truly secure, as in Apple can't hack the device, it isn't secure. If Apple can figure it out, so can somebody else, in particular state sponsored groups, but possibly including large or at least wealth criminal enterprises. So Apple set out to meet those requirements and thus far their defense has been precisely that even THEY can't hack the phones.
As to the second part, there is no need to test the courts. Apple is not charged in the crime, nor are they married to any of its perpetrators. Therefore once the Judge signs the warrant from the FBI, Apple MUST supply the evidence demanded if they are able to. In fact, what the FBI has done negates the usual criticism of privacy advocates that the police are attempting to circumvent established legal procedures.
That being said, I have to wonder why the FBI are so focused on the phone. If the perps had an Apple account and were backing up the phone using that account, it certainly is within Apple's ability to change the password on the account which would enable the FBI to download the data to an unencrypted device.