updated 01:55 pm EDT, Mon May 5, 2008
iPhone 2.0 CN, JPN support
The latest developer version of the iPhone 2.0 firmware adds dramatically different non-Phoenician language support, accounts say. Most notable in v5A258f may be new support for simplified Chinese, and in particular handwriting support, a feature that may prove crucial if and when the iPhone is adopted in China. Chinese is a more complex language than English, making it difficult to type out quickly; as a result, companies such as Motorola have developed phones whose primary focus is on easing Chinese writing.
Also present is Japanese, though it is not clear if handwriting support is available. Apple is said to be heavy negotiations with local carrier NTT DoCoMo for the iPhone, but has not confirmed any plans. The Chinese situation remains cold meanwhile, as no negotiations are known to be ongoing, and carriers may even be resistant to Apple as the company has traditionally insisted on revenue sharing -- something contradictory to local practices.