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Posts Tagged ‘Hanwang’

Update – June 16, 2009:

Snow Leopard allows Chinese characters to be drawn freehand on the trackpad. (Credit: Apple)

Snow Leopard allows Chinese characters to be drawn freehand on the trackpad. (Credit: Apple)

The Chinese character recognition technology discussed in the post below was developed by the very same Chinese firm (Hangwang) that has staked a claim to the “iPhone” name. Was it just a coincidence that Apple demoed their technology at WWDC? Don’t think so. Use of Hanwang technology in future Apple products could be part of a quid pro quo between Apple and Hanwang. This iPhone trademark dispute may very well be worked out amicably.

CNET is now following iPhonAsia’s lead by calling attention to the Chinese character input methods demoed at WWDC ’09. CNET suggests that this is but one of several Snow Leopard tidbits that point to the existence of the rumored Apple iTablet. iPhonAsia agrees …

Below is an excerpt from CNET’s article – Snow Leopard features hint at Apple tablet posted today (June 16, 2009): “Freehand Drawing > And then there’s the addition of freehanding via the touchpad. Apple said Snow Leopard will allow users to draw Chinese characters freehand onto a Mac notebook track pad, and the OS will predict characters for faster writing. This feature could clearly transfer from trackpad input to direct onscreen input if Apple engineers wanted. They already have a similar feature in the iPhone for Chinese characters based on the technology from Hanwang.

> Read more

iPhonAsia post June 9, 2009:

Quoting Scott Forstall from the WWDC 2009 Keynote:

Picture 12“We ship a single operating system [iPhone 3.0] around the world localized into every language we support. That means that a bi-lingual customer writing in English can just tap on this globe button and dynamically and in real time switch to a different language. That’s one of the advantages of our soft keyboard.

Now we’re adding support for even more languages with iPhone 3.0 … We now support over 30 different languages with iPhone 3.0 and every one of these languages has a portrait keyboard and dynamically a landscape keyboard.”

Asian languages supported in iPhone 3.0 include: Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Indonesian, Thai, and Malaysian.

Earlier in the Keynote, Bernard Serlet demoed Chinese character input methods. Quoting Serlet:

Picture 16“It can be cumbersome to input certain Chinese characters with a keyboard … but you’ve got a track pad [on a Mac] why not use it?!  With Snow Leopard you can draw with your finger and the computer predicts the character and even predicts the next character to come.”

This same character recognition and predictive capability already exists on iPhone apps for both Chinese and Japanese languages. Read and see more > Apple acquires Chinese and Japanese character recognition app for iPhone

Picture 13

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trademark… would not be a trademark issue. But there is a small problem to resolve to China. Despite Apple filing for the “iPhone” trademark in China in October 2002, the registration application specified “computer software” and “computer hardware” but it did not cover phones. So here comes Hanwang Technologies in May of 2004 … Yep, they grabed the iPhone name and filed the trademark for handsets. Hoping this can be resolved soon (could already be) and that it won’t cost Apple too many Yuan.

2545_hwrPicture 16Apple and Hanwang can play nice together and they already have. We had previously heard that Apple was working on Chinese handwriting recognition for iPhone 3.0. Last year (May 2008) we learned that Apple bought rights to the technology for a specialized iPhone character recognition application from Hanwang. Maybe it was just a coincidence, but this technology was demoed during the 2009 WWDC Keynote, albeit for Macs. But we’re confident it will be available on the soon to be official iPhone in China.

More on Hanwang and Apple > HERE

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iPhone in China deal FUD 

NOTE: Lead buried at post’s end – Beijing Apple iPhone job posting

iphone-china-unicom-111I’ve been picking up some rather annoying buzz about a story on China’s NBD.com (use Google translate). The NBD.com post states that Apple and China Unicom “are not making progress in negotiations” and iPhone is “now less important in China Unicom’s strategy.”  This story and several other regurgitated articles — Marbridge Consulting, Trading Markets, etc. — are being read by institutions and hedge funds that trade in Apple (AAPL) shares. These institutions are being spoon-fed pure FUD (Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt).

My research suggests that the deal is still a “go” and will be announced before end of July. The official launch of iPhone in China will likely be later this summer. wifi-music-store-headerThe only wildcard that could delay launch is Apple’s possible inclusion of China’s WAPI encryption layered over WiFi. There has been no good visibility on Apple’s WAPI plans, so my guess is as good as the flip of a coin – WAPI/WiFi yes or no?  WAPI/WiFi would require a special production run* of iPhone for China.

I believe the current “deal stalled” stories are coming as a result of China Unicom’s recently announced plans to develop UniPlus, their own mobile operating system (an Android recode) and UPhone, a customized Android-based handset. I first wrote about this in April and more recently here > China Unicom and China Mobile unveil operating systems.

China Unicom’s UniPlus/UPhone have been in the works for many months. This move mirrors and matches China Mobile’s Android OPhones and their proprietary OPhone mobile operating system (MOS) which is still under intense development. China Unicom had to respond in kind. In late March, I engaged in a lengthy public debate with Dr. Cheng Dejie, a senior telecom analyst in China, about the carriers’ move to develop their own MOS and proprietary handsets > read Apple’s iPhone in China Negotiations

china-unicom-to-offer-iphone-and-g1-in-chinaThe recent media reports seem to infer that UniPlus/UPhone will leave no shelf-space for iPhone as China’s carriers are now attempting to Appleize** their own wireless platforms. In the case of China Mobile, that may well be true (at least in 2009). In the case of China Unicom? Well, yes, they’re also Appleizing** but they are smart enough to know that “me too” UPhones may not be compelling enough to grab market share away from China Mobile. Hence, they will partner with Apple to offer an official iPhone in China. UPhones and iPhones can exist side-by-side in China Unicom’s Vsens.com inventory. The Chinese consumer will ultimately pick the winners.

iphone-south-koreaNow that I’ve buried the lead, hear it is … Today’s (June 10, 2009) Apple Job Posting – Program Manager, Beijing China. Duties: Responsible for supporting and managing iPhone Training Program across Asia. Responsibilities will include working with all carrier partners that sell iPhone to implement and design training programs. Individual will work with the Apple Sales Teams on planning and training retail channel partner personnel on selling iPhone.

Still believe the iPhone in China deal is in jeopardy? Smart money says it’s coming soon!

2545_hwr* iPhonAsia has long theorized that China would have a special production run of iPhone that might include several pre-loaded apps for China (e.g. Youku vs Youtube). The new model iPhone 3GS unveiled at WWDC already supports (w touch of globe icon) 30 different languages, including both simplified and traditional Chinese. Apple’s iPhone in China will also support Chinese character recognition whereby users draw Chinese characters with predictive capability.               

Read > Apple buys rights to HWPen from Hanwang************

 

**Appleizing = Carriers attempt to offer cool customized smartphones with a proprietary mobile operating system (MOS) designed to promote their own wireless value added services – WVAS.

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Apple buys rights to HWPen from Hanwang

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We had previously heard that Apple was working on Chinese handwriting recognition for iPhone 2.0.  Now we learn that Apple bought (rights to) the technology for this specialized iPhone character recognition application from Hanwang.  
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Gee … do ya think Apple might be ready to roll in China and Japan? Besides Chinese, the HWPen iPhone ap also provides support for the Japanese character set. More > HERE
See also previous iPhonAsia posts on topic > HERE
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