Apple (AAPL) to Review Policy After Mapping Crimea in Russia. Apple AAPL is examining how it handles disputed geographical borders in its Maps app after facing backlash from Ukraine for placing the Crimean peninsula in Russia in some versions, per a Bloomberg report.As of Nov 27, the Black Sea peninsula and its largest cities of Sevastopol and Simferopol were being displayed as Russian territory on Apple's apps when used in Russia.When viewed in the United States, Crimea is listed as undefined territory on Apple’s Maps App and no home country is given for the peninsula. However, when viewed on the Maps App in Russia, the region is listed as Republic of Crimea, Russia.Notably, Russia occupied and annexed the peninsula in 2014. However, The European Union and the United States do not recognize Crimea as part of Russia and have imposed sanctions against the peninsula and individuals they believe violate Ukraine’s territorial integrity.Nevertheless, Apple stated that it reviews international law as well as relevant U.S. and other domestic laws before labelling on Maps Apps and makes changes if required by law.Notably, Alphabet’s GOOGL Google also does not identify Crimea as belonging to either Russia or Ukraine on its maps. However, when used in Russia, Google Maps depicts Crimean locations in Russian language and shows a line along the de facto border with Ukraine. This threatens Apple’s position in the Russian smartphone market since it does not sell phones with third-party software.Moreover, Apple removed HKMapLive App, a tool for pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong and Quartz news app in October from its store, following criticism from the media in China.Apple CEO Tim Cook defended his company after Apple agreed to China’s demands. Notably, China is Apple’s third-largest market, having accounted for 17.4% of total sales in fourth-quarter fiscal 2019.Notably, Apple along with Alphabet is also facing investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ).Zacks Rank & Stocks to ConsiderApple currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).Some better-ranked stocks in the broader technology sector are Cirrus Logic, Inc. CRUS and CommVault Systems, Inc. CVLT, each sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).
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Dec 09, 2019