Thursday, January 28, 2010

The new iPad and it's Language Support

With the launch of the affordable and easy to use iPad by Apple, there follow many questions about the company's ability to market to China and India.  Due to it's low price and portability, it seems like a great device for the entire world.  However, when looking at the language support we have some questions.  

The iPad language support is as follows:

  • Language support for English, French, German, Japanese, Dutch, Italian, Spanish, Simplified Chinese, Russian
  • Keyboard support for English (U.S.) English (UK), French (France, Canada), German, Japanese (QWERTY), Dutch, Flemish, Spanish, Italian, Simplified Chinese (Handwriting and Pinyin), Russian
  • Dictionary support for English (U.S.), English (UK), French, French (Canadian), French (Swiss), German, Japanese, Dutch, Flemish, Spanish, Italian, Simplified Chinese (Handwriting and Pinyin), Russian
The first question that appears is why aren't the top languages in India supported?

Also, what about Traditional Chinese? and Korean?  What about Thai with over 40 million speakers.

It also seems that many European languages have not been included, like Portuguese (180 million speakers), Czech, Polish, etc.

With all the technology available these days, it seems like during the first release of the iPad, perhaps Apple is targeting it's first set of Consumers.    But in reality, by leaving out language support on the keyboard for some of the worlds largest languages may be a costly oversight.  For example, countries like Poland and Lithuania have many graphic designers and Mac users that would love a product like this if the keyboard supported their languages.  The same is true for Portugal and Brazil.   Also Taiwan is left out, and Taiwan has a strong consumer base.    Also, millions from India would love this product if keyboard support becomes available in Hindi (200 million speakers), Bengali (180 million speakers) etc.
That being said, we are hoping that the new iPad will add additional languages to it's keyboard functionality in the near future.   With the internet's content now being over 50 percent non-english, there is plenty of opportunity for Apple to compete and market this great product globally.

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