NTT DoCoMo has announced that their Nanimail application, which facilitates Japanese character recognition, will be compatible with the BlackBerry 8300, 8800, 8820, and 8830 on November 1st, with 8100 and 7100 software coming out December 1st. Oddly, this app was developed by DoCoMo’s American branch; you’d think that when it comes to writing Japanese, you’d want to keep operations at home. In any case, this character input software complements the Japanese language support update to the BlackBerry OS back in July, and should offer our buddies across the pond a full-bodied BlackBerry experience.
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UAE carrier Etisalat recently announced a new BlackBerry 8700 featuring full-blown Arabic language support, primarily through a new keypad which enables new text input, but Arabic web browsing is also supported. Language support is huge in getting RIM access to new markets – hopefully other folks in the Middle East will be seeing this device within their borders soon enough.
We just caught a story on BlackBerry’s poor penetration into China, even in light of the go-ahead given in July. Viable language support is still an issue, and a tough nut to crack for RIM. China Mobile is offering group plans for anyone who smuggles the devices in from Hong Kong or elsewhere, but they’re still unavailable for sale locally. There’s upwards of 600 million mobile users in China, and needless to say, RIM wants to get through the logistics so they can get in on the action.
For any of our United Arab Emiratian readers, we’ve got some news that the BlackBerry 8300 will be headed your way soon, complete with Arabic language support. Given the pace of new device releases these days, it’s impressive that Etisalat is just one short step behind the folks at the other end of the globe, like with the BlackBerry 8800, and it probably won’t take much before Etisalat starts carrying a few of the newer incremental upgrades. For anyone in the neighbourhood, the BlackBerry Curve will be discounted until Wednesday at retail outlets across the UAE.
If you tuned in to our WES podcasts, you might remember the name SpinVox, purveyors of some fine voice-to-text software. Today, Rogers announced that SpinVox’s services would be available to subscribers, notably transcribing inbound voicemail into SMS messages. Part of the reason for Rogers’ support of SpinVox in particular is the multilingual support. Here in Ottawa, it’s bilingual central and easy to see how including French language support is a good business move.