Apple's map program 'solves' isle dispute

Tokyo - The new map program of Apple's new iPhone 5 may have inadvertently provided a diplomatic solution to China and Japan's ongoing territorial row by showing a duplicate set of the disputed islands, with one appearing alongside the other.

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 the islands in the East China Sea claimed by both Tokyo and Beijing, Apple's new iOS 6 software has provided a resolution of sorts.

"The (iPhone's) map has one set of islands for each country. Is this a message from Apple we civilians must not get engaged in a pointless dispute?" one Japanese blogger wrote of what he found when looking for the Tokyo-controlled Senkaku islands, claimed by Beijing under the name Diaoyu, on his iPhone.

The new map program was released last week as part of Apple's updated mobile operating system software, which powers the iPhone 5 released last Friday.

Yesterday, in Tokyo, hundreds of Japanese people rallied against Beijing over the isle dispute.