Apple is in the news again and this time around, it has to do with maps. After a major uproar, the electronics giant has said it is going to take a much closer look at how border issues are handled. This is coming after it faced a backlash for referring to the Crimean Peninsula as a part of the Russian Federation. The Russian-annex peninsula was addressed as a section of Russia by Apple in its Map and Weather applications for users in Russia. This was made known by a company representative on Friday.
No Changes Outside Russia Yet
Trudy Muller is the spokeswoman for Apple and she has said that the company has not implemented any kind of changes to the maps that it has outside the Russian Federation. However, a change was made for those within the Russian Federation. She further explained that this change was because of new legislation that just came into effect in the nation.
She went on to state that Apple is going to also take another look at international rulings as well as the laws of the United States and even Russia itself. These are steps that are going to be taken before they go ahead with the labeling of the maps. Apple is also ready and willing to make the necessary modifications as stipulated by the law. While speaking to the media, she said that Apple was taking a more comprehensive look at how issues relating to controversial borders are handled. Then she added that if needed, the necessary modifications are going to be made in the future.
The eastern European nation of Ukraine and the Russian Federation have been in the news ever since the annexation of Crimea. In early 2014, Russia sent in its armed forces into the peninsula and annexed it. This was despite a referendum denouncing the move, the referendum was organized by Ukraine and its Western allies.
Just checked on my phone, it's true!
Apple has complied with Moscow’s demands to show Crimea, annexed from Ukraine in 2014, as Russian territory. Crimea & the cities of Sevastopol & Simferopol are now displayed as Rus. territory on Apple’s map & weather apps when used in Russia
— Will Vernon (@BBCWillVernon) November 27, 2019
When pressed for comments, the embassies of both countries in the United States of America declined to give feedback. As for Apple, it seems that it has modified the way it shows locations in Crimea for its users. It is seen as bowing to the wishes of politicians in Russia. This is because the politicians in the country have explicitly demanded that the peninsula be properly addressed as a part of Russia.
Journalists in Moscow who also checked up the name of Simferopol on Apple’s Maps and Weather applications also noticed that it carried the appellation: Simferopol, Crimea, Russia. Simferopol is the capital of the Crimean Peninsula. As for the other users outside the area, like those in Kiev, the capital of Ukraine or even in Crimea itself, it is a different thing that they see.
For such ppl, they will see the locations in Crimea but there is no specification to the country that it belongs to. From all indications, Apple is trying to balance everything and play safe – time will tell how long it is all going to hold up.