AMONG international outrages, depriving citizens of personalized maps seems far down on the list.
Still, that was the condition put on the introduction of Apple's 3G iPhone in Egypt. The government demanded that Apple disable the phone's global-positioning system, arguing that GPS is a military prerogative.
The company apparently complied, most likely taking a cue from the telecom companies that sell the phone there, said Ahmed Gabr, who runs a blog in Egypt, gadgetsarabia.com, and wrote about the iPhone's release there. "The point is that using a GPS unit you can get accurate coordinates of any place and thus military bases and so on could be easily tagged," he wrote in an e-mail message.