HTC launches phones with Burmese language fonts

Burmese keyboard There is no international standard for Burmese language symbols

Related Stories

Taiwanese smartphone company HTC has become the latest to enter the largely untapped Burmese market, as the country opens up to foreign firms.

HTC launched its smartphones in Burma, which is also known as Myanmar, on Monday.

The phones will come with a Burmese language on-screen keyboard, which the company says is the most advanced available.

Burma has one of the lowest mobile phone ownership levels in the world.

The country has become one of the hottest frontier markets after its government started implementing reforms to open up the economy, ending decades of military rule.

However, Burma's telecommunications sector remains underdeveloped, with only two carriers in the country.

The government has been cutting the high price of Sim cards, but they remain unaffordable for most of the population.

The World Bank estimated that in 2011, only 3% of the population had a mobile phone.

No agreement on symbols

HTC is not the first smartphone maker to try to tap into the Burmese market. Samsung and Huawei lead the market with their low-cost devices.

However, HTC is hoping to attract consumers with what it calls one of the most advanced Burmese language keyboards in the country.

"My aspiration is to design innovative smartphones that offer full compatibility with the Myanmar language, so that people in Myanmar can enjoy enhanced communications simply and easily," said Mr Chou, who was born and raised in Burma.

Unlike other South East Asian languages, no international standard for language symbols has been agreed upon, making it difficult to integrate into software.

HTC says that its keyboard will be one of the first to offer predictive text capability and smart search functionality in the Burmese language.

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

More Business stories

RSS

Features & Analysis

Elsewhere on the BBC

  • UnderwaterHidden depths

    How do you explore the bottom of the ocean? BBC Future finds out

Programmes

  • A model with a projection mapped onto her faceClick Watch

    Face hacking - how to use a computer to turn your face into a work of digital art

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.