Apple maps disaster may solve islands row

2012-09-22 16:08

Tokyo - Apple's new iPhone 5 may have been criticised for its glitch-ridden new maps feature but it may have inadvertently provided a diplomatic solution to China and Japan's ongoing row over disputed islands.

The new smartphone, which has dumped Google Maps in favour of its own version, has been ridiculed for misplacing major landmarks, shifting towns and even creating a new airport.

But amid a row over an outcrop of islands claimed by both Tokyo and Beijing, Apple's new iO6 software has provided a resolution of sorts.

When a user searches for the Tokyo-controlled Senkaku islands in the East China Sea, claimed by Beijing under the name Diaoyu, two sets of the islands appear alongside each other.

"The map has one set of islands for each country. Is this a message from Apple that we civilians must not get engaged in a pointless dispute?" one Japanese blogger wrote.

The new mapping feature was released this week as part of Apple's updated mobile operating system software, which powers the new iPhone 5, released on Friday, and can be installed as an upgrade on other Apple devices.

To the chagrin of many, the new operating system replaces Google Maps, which had been the default mapping system in Apple devices until now.

As of yet there is no stand-alone Google Maps app available for the iPhone, although some reports say this is coming.

The East China Sea islands, strategically coveted outcrops, have been the focus of a territorial dispute between Tokyo and Beijing, with tensions escalating dramatically after the Japanese government bought three of them from their private owners.

Tens of thousands of anti-Japanese demonstrators rallied across China, with some vandalising Japanese shops and factories, forcing firms to shut or scale back production.

  • ed.edvil.9 - 2012-09-22 16:47

    Because the two islands are too close to each other, the owner of one island will claim the other island is also his, based on sea boundary rules. In effect, the dispute goes on while doubling its intensity.

      preshen.govender.90 - 2012-09-24 12:39

      Steve Jobs will be turning in his grave

  • frikdt - 2012-09-22 17:38

    There you go Apple, your chance to patent the concept of 'Diplomacy' - then you can sue everyone using (or referring to) diplomacy in any form, be it verbal, electronic, or otherwise. Don't forget to get an injunction against Google to exclude anything related to 'Diplomacy' from all search results.

      tuco.angeleyes - 2012-09-23 20:12

      hahaha, just hadf to laugh out loud. I bet apple has an entire dept and budget set aside for patenting anything and everything they do.

  • jeff.swart.96 - 2012-09-23 07:31

    Androids next operating system should be called BadApple

  • theMichaelHawthorne - 2012-09-23 11:21

    The only thing Apple can solve is $1 $1 = ?

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