Mobile phone company HTC are introducing their new generation of smart phones into Burma as the reformist government opens the gates to foreign companies.
International trade is picking up in what was once deemed a pariah state, in a political move to boost Burma’s weak economy. Foreign companies have eagerly responded to the prospect of a new market, particularly one which, thus far, hasn’t benefitted from the major leaps in mobile technology experienced by the rest of the world.There are currently only 2 mobile phone providers in Burma, making this new marketplace an exciting new opportunity for telecommunications.
One problem which still blights the marketplace, is the extortionate price of sim cards in Burma, which are so costly that a 2011 survey revealed only 3% of the Burmese population owned a mobile phone.
However, the Taiwanese company claims its new keyboard is the most advanced in the country, offering a touch screen keyboard displaying Burmese letters, which they hope will increase their market capability.
One very large problem with the implementation of the Burmese language in technology is that there still does no exist a standardised form of Burmese language symbols, which make their interpretation and standardisation through technology controversial and financially risky.
A representative for HTC said:
“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.”
HTC also claims to offer the first Burmese language predictive text function, implemented in their new smartphones, by working with local software developer Sanmyanmar.
Six phones to be made available in Burma will be the HTC Butterfly, HTC One X+, HTC One X, HTC Desire X, HTC Desire VC and HTC Desire C.