updated 10:14 am EDT, Wed March 26, 2014
Current character set limited by Unicode standard, Apple says
Apple is working with the Unicode Consortium on expanding the racial diversity of emoji characters in iOS, and by extension other platforms, according to a statement provided to MTV. "Our emoji characters are based on the Unicode standard, which is necessary for them to be displayed properly across many platforms," Apple says. "There needs to be more diversity in the emoji character set, and we have been working closely with the Unicode Consortium in an effort to update the standard."
Emoji support is a relatively recent addition to iOS, having only been introduced in iOS 5. Some people -- including celebrities like Miley Cyrus and Tahj Mowry -- have complained that there aren't many non-Caucasian emoji, despite the fact that the standard originated in Japan on non-Apple devices. It's now on every major mobile platform.