Apple Maps has been updated in recent days with a small but important change: Crimea already appears as a territory belonging to Russia. East symbolic change appears on Apple Maps for all users … who enter from Russia, since from the rest of the world it does not appear as a territory belonging to the Russian nation. A modification made to comply with the laws of the country.
To put things a little in context, Russia annexation Crimea of ??Ukraine in 2014. This small but strategic territory has been an indefinite area during these last five years and the dispute between both countries to agree on what belongs to the peninsula is still alive.
At the moment it seems that Russia has won another small battle, that of Apple recognizes the territory in its services like Apple Maps and Weather. In order to comply with local laws, Apple now indicates that the territory is part of Russia eliminating previous borders. Apparently and as the BBC indicates, Apple preferred to describe the area as "undefined territory", although it has finally agreed to put part of Russia if Russian users are seeking information.
The Russian authorities have issued an official statement in this regard:
Crimea and Sevastopol now appear on Apple devices as Russian territory.
Why do you make these changes Apple
The answer to why we see these changes is very simple: abide by the laws of each country. Years ago, when Apple refused to open a back door on the iPhone for FBI, the idea grew that Apple is a rebel company that always seeks to defend the user by challenging authorities and governments. The reality is quite different, Apple, like any company, must abide by the laws of the country in which it operates. If the laws indicate that Crimea must be shown as Russian territory, Apple makes the change to be so, at least in Russia, which is where the laws have authority over Apple.
This it's not the first time it happens. We saw the most recent case with Hong Kong and a specific app that the Chinese government asked to be removed from the App Store. It is also remarkable how Apple eliminated for example VPN apps in China or hosted the iCloud accounts of Chinese users on servers in China. That is, where it does not seem to give way is to pre-install Russian apps on the iPhone.
Goes | BBC
Crimea already appears as Russian territory on Apple Maps … if you are looking for it from Russia