The US-based Apple`s latest iPhone4, which was launched in China five days ago, contains censored maps depicting Arunachal Pradesh as part of the Chinese territory.
"Beware, Chinese iPhone 4 comes with a crippled Maps application," says a blog in `ogleearth.com`.
One of the bloggers complained that his phone`s "base map is hard-wired to Google Maps` censored dataset for China, where the depiction of China`s borders complies with the official propaganda of the Chinese government."
The maps show Arunachal Pradesh as part of China, "even though the facts on the ground belie it," he says.
His comments were carried by some other blogs in China as well.
"If I went online in China without a VPN (virtual private network), the Google Maps dataset was an English language version that nevertheless had borders which complied with Chinese law," he said. "As soon as I turned on my VPN to tunnel into San Francisco, the refreshed base map automatically showed the proper international version, the one which the rest of the world gets to see."
"You could make the case that Apple and Google just want to comply with local Chinese law even though the legality of the Google`s mapping service in China is now in question as it still needs to comply successfully with a new Chinese law that requires a licence to publish online maps in China," the blogger complained.
Also, the Chinese official media today carried reports saying that a number of people, who bought the phone, were angry because the maps showed the name boards in different cities abroad in Chinese language.
"A Chinese version of Google map and an unchangeable default google.cn search engine have rendered Apple`s newly launched iPhone 4 less appealing to international users or just plain `useless` as some have already dubbed it," state- run `Global Times` reported Thursday.
Users wanting to buy the phone here and use it in other countries may be disappointed with the Google map application in which street names in cities including London, Berlin, Paris, Toronto, Montreal and Sydney are in Chinese only.
This Chinese mainland version of the Google map application displays all the street names in China – excluding Hong Kong - in Chinese only.
"On a desktop computer, the lack of street names is perhaps not so glaring an omission," wrote Stefan Geens of Ogle Earth, who bought an iPhone4 in Apple`s retail store in Xidan. "On a mobile device travelling to one of these cities, however, it`s a deal breaker."