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Afghanistan disappears from Planet Apple

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iPhone owners with mates in Afghanistan will have a hard time keeping track of them, as the handset doesn't admit the existence of the country in its contacts application.

A contact's country of residence is selected from a drop-down list on the iPhone and iPod Touch - unless that contact lives in Afghanistan, in which case they are forced to remain stateless.

The application lists 200 countries, expanding the arguable-but-generally-accepted 195 world countries with dependencies such as the Falkland Islands and states like the Vatican, who aren't members of the UN but are suitable locations for the mates of iPhone users.

The list is split by region, so it's possible that Afghanistan fell through the crack between "Asia (Southern)" and "Asia (Central)" within which you'll find the neighbouring countries, but we prefer a more conspiratorial explanation.

We've not been able to ascertain how long Cupertino has been denying the existence of Afghanistan, but we've asked and will let you know if we hear anything. ®

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