Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) Maps makes the government of Taiwan uncomfortable

With the launch of the new iPhone5, the launch of the new iOS 6 operating system has also caused its fair share of excitement. This is Apple Inc.(NASDAQ:AAPL)’s home-grown operating system, although, unlike their hardware, people have not taken quite so easily to their software. The Maps application, in particular, has been called flawed and inaccurate by many users, and people have been cribbing about the Google Maps application which Apple has unceremoniously decided to throw out. However, the government of Taiwan does not have problems with the inaccuracy, and the lack of clarity, so much as they do not like their defense stations open to be scrutinized by the maps.

The Maps application by Apple reveals the early warning radar station in Taiwan, which is making the government a little uncomfortable. They are anxious for Apple to try and make the area as obscure as possible. The $1.4 Billion station was built so that the government can keep a look-out for missile attacks by other countries, and especially by China. Based in Hsinchu, the station has powerful radars, which are of high-frequency, and are long-range. The radar can detect missiles from far off. It can give out warnings of missile attacks from China’s Xinjiang in the north-west. Apparently, China has about 1,600 ballisitic missiles which are aimed at Taiwan, and the lack of discretion can be a major problem for the government. The radar has been supplied by Raytheon, the U.S. defense group.

While other users are complaining about blurry pictures on the maps, the Taiwanese government is asking Apple to blur out the pictures of the missile defense facility. The facility is located near the Hsinchu Air Base, northern Taiwan. Since these images have been captured by commercial satellites, the Defense Ministry is aware of the fact that no legal action can be taken against Apple, but they are still hopeful that the company will understand the importance of the situation, and blur the images nevertheless. Google too, had been asked by the Taiwanese government, to blur images of defense bases.  The Apple Maps App already shows a very blurry version of the facility. 

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