Apple says it is taking “a deeper look” at how it handles disputed borders.
Ukraine criticised the tech giant for showing Crimea as part of Russia’s territory on its Maps and Weather apps.
An Apple spokeswoman says the company follows international and domestic laws and the change, which is only for users in Russia, had been made because of new legislation there.
Russia’s annexation of Crimea from Ukraine in 2014 was condemned by much of the international community.
In a statement, Apple stressed “we have not made any changes to Apple Maps regarding Crimea outside of Russia.
“We review international law as well as relevant US and other domestic laws before making a determination in labelling on our Maps and make changes if required by law.”
Apple added it as a result of its review of how disputed borders are handled, it might make more changes in the future.
“Our intention is to make sure our customers can enjoy using Maps and other Apple services, everywhere in the world.”
The changes to Apple’s Crimea map for users in Russia were announced earlier in the week by the State Duma, Russian parliament’s lower house, in a statement, which described the former boundaries as an “inaccuracy”.
“Crimea and Sevastopol now appear on Apple devices as Russian territory,” the statement read.
Russia treats the naval port city of Sevastopol as a separate region.
Apple has been in talks with Russia for several months and had hoped to keep Crimea as an undefined territory, part of neither Russia nor Ukraine.
Google, which produces its own popular map app, also shows Crimea as belonging to Russia when viewed from the country. That change happened in March.
Apple’s move brought sharp condemnation from Ukraine.
Ukrainian foreign minister Vadym Prystaiko tweeted: “Apple, please stick to hi-tech and entertainment. Global politics is not your strong side.”
“We guess Ukrainians not giving any thanks to @Apple this #Thanksgiving. So let’s all remind Apple that #CrimeaIsUkraine and it is under Russian occupation – not its sovereignty,” it tweeted.
Russian ex-world chess champion Garry Kasparov added his voice, calling the decision “unacceptable appeasement”.
He added: “Software is soft power. American tech companies should stand up for the values of innovation that made their success possible, not bow down to dictators for a little extra cash they don’t even need.”