updated 09:30 am EDT, Wed May 28, 2008
iPhone handwriting source
The handwriting code said to be in the iPhone 2.0 firmware was bought from a third-party company, reports claim. A developer of HWPen, a Chinese application still available for jailbroken iPhones, says the software was originally produced for Hanwang to allow entering Chinese characters, but has since been acquired by Apple for the same purposes; Apple has allegedly even stripped out English support, which the unofficial app included tangentially.
The developer says he is otherwise unwilling to go into extra details, as he has signed a non-disclosure agreement. Requests are said to have been sent to forums posting pictures of HWPen, although images can still be found online in a number of locations. It is also unclear why Apple would need Chinese-language support at this stage, as it has yet to sign iPhone deals in Chinese-speaking countries. Attempts at negotiating with carriers such as China Mobile have not made any progress.