updated 03:15 pm EST, Wed February 8, 2012
Could coincide with iPad refresh
A Chinese version of Siri will launch next month, claims DoNews. The website quotes an Apple engineer said to be working on the project, who adds that the technology is already in internal testing, and will moreover be able to process information and navigation requests, something only US Siri users currently enjoy. General language support has so far been restricted to three different English accents, as well as French and German.
The DoNews report also indicates that only standard Mandarin Chinese will initially be supported, excluding Cantonese and a Taiwanese dialect. Japanese and Russian are expected to join the roster of supported languages in March as well, but no additional details have been leaked.
In the past, Apple has publicly stated that support for Chinese, Italian, Japanese, Korean, and Spanish is coming in 2012. It has not given a precise target, but March may be likely, since the timing would coincide with when the iPad 3 is expected to launch. Apple often launches major iOS updates to support new hardware, wrapping in features for existing customers at the same time.