back to article iPhone denies existence of Gibraltar, other bits of British empire

The iPhone will not accept that people live in Gibraltar, a reader has pointed out to us, highlighting that the phone will not acknowledge this as a possibility when users are entering country names in their address book. Android phones let users type in country names manually when adding addresses to contacts, while iPhones …


This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. Only me!

    Just cannot wait for the new maps!

    See title.......

    Oh well.....

  2. Duncan Macdonald Silver badge

    Obviously Apple are too stupid to use a map

    Or they made the mistake of asking Siri.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    It is all in the detail.....just outside the USA that does not count!

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Just wondering, does the non-existent 'Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus' exist? And have the original names been replaced with Turkish names?

    (It's part of the Republic of Cyprus (according to everyone but the invaders), but Turkey invaded in 1974 and haven't gone home).

    1. Mint Sauce
      Big Brother

      Re: Curious

      It does according to the ISO 3166-1 Alpha-3 country codes that the UKBA require to be used when we're telling them about overseas students... (It's XXT if you're interested - sounds a bit made-up-at-the-last-minute to me.).

      Then again, the UKBA only recognise the FCO's approved list of 200ish 'passport issuing' countries. Maybe they all use iThings there ;-)

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Curious

      Slightly economical wiith the truth there. The Turkish invasion didn't just happen out of the blue. The Greek military dictatorship had seized control of Cyprus following a coup which it had organised. Turkey originally intervened to prevent the ethnic cleansing / massacre of Turkish Cypriot civilians. If Turkey hadn't acted, Cyprus would have lost its independence and been annexed by Greece.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Curious

        @AC.......your're not the only one being economical wiith the truth. The facts is such situations is always much more complicated.

        Cyprus was part of the Ottoman Empire since the 1500. Britain annexed Cyprus from the Ottoman Empire in because in 1914 after the Ottoman Empire declared for the wrong side. Throughout the 1930s and 1950s (with all nationalistic aspirations being paused for WW2) the Greek Cypriots wanted the island to join Greece, Britain governed with a divide and rule method, playing off the Turkish and Greek factions against each other. Britain wanted to keep control of Cyprus in the 1950s as their Middle East HQ as they had been kicked out of Egypt by that time.

        In the 1950s the pro-greek EOKA group started a campaign of violence to end of British rule in Cyprus, at around the same time the TMT was founded by the person who became president of the Turkish bit of Cyprus with the aid of the Turkish military to counter the EOKA,, As much as the EOKA called for union the TMT called for separation.

        The Greeks did not organise the coup to which you refer, EOKA did, but with the support of the Greek military junta.

        I also feel that your claim that if Turkey hadn't acted, Cyprus would have lost its independence to be a bit dubious as well. A 1951 referendum conducted by the Cypriot Orthodox Church got just a result of nearly 100% in favour of union. The referendum may have been suspect as there was religious coercion to vote in favour of union but it does show that there was significant part of the population in favour of union.

  5. andreas koch

    That's part of

    Tim Cook's 'really exciting news later in the year': A complete world reorganisation to conform to iStandards. Some of these little alleged islands were approached and told that they couldn't have the 'i' in the front, for obvious reasons. You know how stubborn Brits are, and, after they declined to change names repeatedly, Apple's only defence was erasing them completely.

    The Caymans and Bermuda are an exception: The latter are nice for conferences (coughcough), and the former need to be kept because that's where the money goes.

    So. all in all, completely understandable. Except Gibraltar, it seems, but no: The Rocks original name was iabal tāriq (جبل طارق), and neither Steve nor Tim ever liked that.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: That's part of

      I'm surprised Kosovo's in the non-existent category, as the rest seem to be iSlands

    2. Chris Sake

      Bring back the Classics

      Prior to it being called Tariq's Mount, it was one of the Pillars of Hercules, being called Mons Calpe by the Romans. No doubt, Hercules (Heracles), being Greek, would have called it something else.

      It's not surprising that Gibraltor is not included in the iPhone map as the helpful prejudicial map, labelled "Europe according to Americans", at [1] does not show it either.


    3. g e

      Re: That's part of

      Is that the reorganisation where China appears at the top of every list as a 'favourite' ?

    4. Jason Tan

      Re: That's part of

      So who's that bloke who designed the iPhone.

      Jonathon Eyeves?

  6. Khaptain

    That's not a problem.

    The Iphone AutoCorrection utility would not allow an Apple user to write "Gibraltar" , so they wouldn't actually be able to look it up anyway.

    1. Silverburn

      Re: That's not a problem.

      It does. It just corrects it to "Spain", if you have the spanish language option running. the British it's politically another Falklands. But warmer and with monkeys not sheep.

  7. Simon Jones [MSDL]

    It isn't exactly difficult

    ISO maintain a list of all the countries in the world. That's where we get the ISOCountryCode from. GB = United Kingdom, GI = Gibraltar. The list is freely available. Why would Apple use anything else?

    GA Gabon

    GB United Kingdom

    GD Grenada

    GE Georgia

    GF French Guiana

    GG Guernsey

    GH Ghana

    GI Gibraltar

    GL Greenland

    GM Gambia

    GN Guinea

    GP Guadeloupe

    GQ Equatorial Guinea

    GR Greece

    GS South Georgia And The South Sandwich Islands

    GT Guatemala

    GU Guam

    GW Guinea-Bissau

    GY Guyana

    1. TeeCee Gold badge

      Re: It isn't exactly difficult

      "Why would Apple use anything else?"

      What? Comply with standards? Apple? You're kidding, right?

      For a start, they wouldn't be able to sue anyone else for using it......

    2. Alan Bourke

      Re: It isn't exactly difficult

      > Why would Apple use anything else?

      Probably offended Jobs sense of design or something.

    3. hitmouse

      Re: It isn't exactly difficult

      When I wrote specs for US software companies, one of my managers said (only slightly tongue in cheek) "we don't need international standards when we have four standards of our own".

    4. stanimir

      Re: It isn't exactly difficult

      Apple does have some serious issue with stuff not invented there - ISO is seriously no Apple's property and that's uncool (unlike iSlands).

      Reference: look at function names or documentation of objective-c.

  8. Michael Prior-Jones

    Falkland Islands

    At least the Falkland Islands actually has a mobile phone service these days - when I first went there in 2005 you still had to use a red phone box...

    1. Hardcastle the ancient

      Re: Falkland Islands

      s/a red/the red/

    2. hazzamon

      Re: Falkland Islands

      I bought a PAYG sim when I was out there in 2008 - the phone number was only 5 digits long, including area code!

      1. stanimir

        Re: Falkland Islands

        the phone number was only 5 digits long, including area code!

        this is cool :)

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Or use the CIA world factbook

    1. LinkOfHyrule
      Big Brother

      Re: Or use the CIA world factbook

      Oh yes, I had a butchers at that once and it said Southwark was a no go zone for American tourists!

      I think they should do a new spin off version - the CIA World Facebook..... hang on......

  10. thesykes


    Does that mean Apple list (or try to list) the name of every country in the world, in every language iOS is available in? They do know that what us English-speaking people call a country isn't necessarily what the locals call themselves?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: so...

      Yes, they do list the name of every country as natively written in all languages supported by iOS (e.g. Great Britain becomes Grande-Bretagne in French)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: so...

        So for the Argies the Falklands are listed as the Malvinas?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: so...

          > So for the Argies the Falklands are listed as the Malvinas?

          Well, Spanish speakers do call them Malvinas regardless of their political stance (if any) on that issue. Just as Portuguese speakers also call them Malvinas, and the French, Malouines.

          I take it i18n / l10n is not your line of work.

    2. hitmouse

      Re: so...

      Like Google who list the name of every language in the world localised to the current IP-address-selected language. So if you need to change your computer back to English, you just need to know that it's written Αγγλικά, английский, 영어 or 英語

      1. stanimir

        Re: so...

        Google who list the name of every language in the world localised to the current IP-address-selected language

        google is exceptionally retarded with this functionality, try a trip around Europe and you'd be amazed. Living in a country where you do not speak the language is like punishment from them. Some of their services ignore the account lang. preferences.

        ...And of course, google, the web-standard defender ignores Accept-Language header.

        Being big is a plus - in Apple's case: feel free to deleted few islands here and there.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: so...

          > google is exceptionally retarded with this functionality

  11. Anonymous Coward

    Once again iDevice owners are fully informed. splutter!

    [cause your having a laugh]

  12. TeeCee Gold badge

    It recognises the Falkland Islands?

    Hark, was that sound of the presidential iPhone going into the bin in Buenos Aires, to the accompaniment of the slapped arse of latin-american politics throwing a wobbly?

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Did it really take 5 years for people to find this out?

    If only someone had reported it through the usual channels... (i.e. or Radar...)

  14. archengel46

    Not only the iPhone

    Recently had to fill in the form for a Canadian Visa where they only had "England" as an option and "Great Britain", "United Kingdom" were not listed. Nor were "Wales" or "Scotland". So basically anyone in Scotland and Wales have to fill in as English?

    1. pPPPP

      Re: Not only the iPhone

      Did you not spot the box in front that allows you to put "not English"?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Not only the iPhone

      Just pencil in the correct name. I've done this, along with correcting spelling errors.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Not only the iPhone

        I use pen, perhaps explaining the white-out all over my iPhone.

        You say there's a better way ?

  15. Alan Denman

    Found Apple yet?

    It's the Apple shaped country on the map.

    Things will improve but does it's clients really care?

    Their 'turkeys voting for xmas' vocal crowd help see to that.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Does the iPhone have an anatomy app?

    JOKE ALERT! (for the sensitive fanbois out there)

    If so, does it include arse and elbow in the right places?

    PS. If such an app does exist I would also expect eyeball, eyelash, eye-socket, and eyebrow to be removed for copyright reasons - as these are all Apple terms....

    iBall - Apple workers day out (or 30 second break if working in Chinese Apple sweatshop)

    iLash - Serious drinking session by Apple workers (or punishment for spending more than 30 second at the iBall for Chinese workers)

    iSocket - Used for connecting non-proprietary devices to i-Devices [not currently available on iPhone. iPod, Ipad, etc] - (or where the special 'chair' is connected for really naughty Chinese apple workers)

    iBrow - German beer sold to Apple workers (erm....)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Does the iPhone have an anatomy app?

      Too much free time?

  17. stuartnz

    No Cook Islands? Possibly the only place in the world to have a legal tender $3 note? How can that not be real?

    1. Dexter Berlekey

      Not just the Cook Islands

      Cuba, which uses the Cuban Convertible Paso for tourists has a 3 CUC note.

  18. NightFox
    Black Helicopters

    I think there's a recognised standard in the US that Apple will be obliged to use:

    If ( [country isSourceOfOill] != YES )

    [country include];


    [country exclude];

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Bitch, please.

    I helped my brother apply for the dole online last year. When you enter your address, you have to include the country. Now, for almost everyone that will be the UK. Other options on the list included Antarctica, the USSR, the Byelorussian SSR as well as Belarus, the German Democratic Republic, Zaire as well as Dem Rep of Congo, and Southern Rhodesia.

    1. FrankAlphaXII

      Re: Bitch, please.

      Southern Rhodesia?

      About 41 years late there. It ceased to exist when they declared a Republic in 1971, not that anyone else recognized it.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Another controversial iOS6 place-naming snafu...

    In the sea between Korea and Japan (almost precisely halfway between each, and even that measure is fought over), there is a tiny archipelago of pointy rocks which both countries claim - heatedly - to be their own. The Koreans call it "Dokdo", whilst Japan names it "Takeshima".

    Particularly on the Korean side, they are fiercely insistent that the islands are theirs, and woe betide anyone who suggests otherwise (if you're visiting Korea and the subject comes up, just agree with it - really). There's a lot bubbling away under the surface, not least the legacy of Japan's half-century occupation of Korea and the atrocities that took place, and that undoubtedly fuels the issue on the Korean side.

    Whatever the rights and wrongs here (and why two nations would want to possess a desolate rock in the ocean is up for discussion - natural resources are suspected), it probably doesn't help that iOS6 names the islands as... "Takeshima".

    A bit of a snub to a nation increasingly enamoured with Apple products? Perhaps this is Apple's two-fingered reply to the country that gave us Samsung...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Another controversial iOS6 place-naming snafu...

      That's just made up bullshit.

      Dokdo/Takeshima aren't labelled in the iOS6, probably because they're just that - rocks.

      They're not labelled in Google Maps either.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Another controversial iOS6 place-naming snafu...

        Admittedly, the rocks are a bit on the small side to need road-maps (or roads, for that matter), but there was no call for such a strong response...

      2. Blue eyed boy

        Re: Another controversial iOS6 place-naming snafu...

        There's equally **ckall on Rockall, but that doesn't stop the UK, RoI, Iceland and the Faeroe being in dispute over the place.

      3. MrZoolook
        IT Angle

        Re: Another controversial iOS6 place-naming snafu...

        Google Earth lists them as 'Liancourt Rocks' with a note that both Japan and Korea claim them under different names.

  21. This post has been deleted by its author

  22. Steve Renouf

    ISO country list

    Sadly, they're not the only ones that don't use a COMPLETE list of the countries included in the ISO standard country list.

    It's particularly frustrating and annoying when purchasing online and the only selectable option is UK (GB) (we are not part of the UK and are therefore not subject to VAT - we have our own GST that we have to pay thank you very much!). That is why there are separate ISO country codes for JE, GG, IM, etc..

  23. graeme leggett

    Gunboat diplomacy required

    For Apple to acknowledge British territories.

    Is Apple HQ anywhere near the coast?

    Our current record is 40 minutes for sorting things out amicably

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Gunboat diplomacy required

      > Our current record

      *Your* current record?

      Or "our" current record as in, I've never personally been near a gun, but I still like to brag about things I know nothing about, and the people who've actually been there much rather forget? Just saying.

  24. david 12 Silver badge

    IOS documentation

    No indication of where they got that list from.

    1. graeme leggett

      Re: IOS documentation

      In the style of Private Eye "number crunching"

      Number of individual country codes in iOS programming guide - 57.

      Number of countries attending London Olympics - 216

  25. Stretch

    this bug is easy to fix: take your crapple products. smash them into a billion pieces.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      One could tell you're a child, or at least child-like, from your language alone. But your actions make it even clearer.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      An ealier post by Stretch: "Goooooooooooooooooo Samsung!"

      He's just a mindless fanboy.

      1. FrankAlphaXII

        Re: Nahh

        Kind of funny how both of the Apple fanboys are both anons. Unless its the same person of course.

  26. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    How hard is it ?

    You just need a checkbox for 'abroad'

  27. Stevie


    I'd laugh uproariously except that only last week I was trying to buy from a British company who will remain nameless (but who are called C*bicle 7) and their webstore wouldn't allow me to specify my New York zip code, most likely because the regex writer had specified a UK-only pattern be acceptable input (even though the space was labelled as being used for zip codes as well as post codes). At least, that's how it tested from my side of the webpage.

    This "international shipping policy/UK-only address format" issue is depressingly common on the blightside, which is why I smile when people make the (accurate) statement that Americans have a tendency to assume "the world" means "America + Toronto".

    Perhaps the iPhone app designer tried to buy something from a UK business's webstore, came across the same issue and vowed eternal vengeance?

    1. TeeCee Gold badge

      Re: Bah!

      Typical, bloody typical.

      Meanwhile in every other bleedin' country on the planet we have to deal with idiots who reckon "State" is a mandatory item in an address.

      Here's a novel idea you might wish to give a trial run to in the USA: Try fixing your own problems before trying to fix the rest of the world.

  28. SteveE

    Don't mind us, we're just upset about the War of 1812

    I don't think 200 years is too long to hold a grudge, do you? After all, you Brits did burn down Washington D.C. Seems like a perfectly acceptable reason to feign incompetence.

    Burn down Washington D.C… in some political circles in the USA, that makes the Brits heroes.

  29. sjsmoto

    Just move.

    No big deal.

  30. ElNumbre
    Black Helicopters

    Other BOSTs?

    What about St Helena, Ascension Island and Diego Garcia??

    (I don't have an iDevice to test).

  31. WestCoastGordo


    Let's not forget that tiny little former British colony somewhere to the north of Cuperberg: Siri is curiously unable to find much of anything in Canada...

This topic is closed for new posts.

Other stories you might like

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022