First global smartphone with Māori language operating systems unveiled

By Mānia Clarke-Mamanu

The world's first smartphone with a te reo Māori language operating system has been unveiled. The Huawei latest P Series smartphone offers te reo Māori as a standardised language option.

The Huawei P10 and Huawei P10 Plus are the new trail blazing global reo Māori smartphones. They are Huawei's latest flagship smartphone that offers 32,000 te reo Māori phrases and words.

Huawei Public Affairs Director Andrew Bowater says, “Previously we'd done work with 2 Degrees on offering a predictive text service which picked up te Reo language and we wanted to be able to I guess take that a step further.”

Māori Language Consultant Scotty Morrison told Te Kāea, “This is a teaching resource to restore the language that can be used by the person in their everyday life because we know that the mobile phone is for the majority of us, our closest friend.”

The new technology has been one year in the making, with translations by proof reader Advisor Wiremu Tipuna. There are plans to further develop reo features.

Bowater says, “When you change the language on your phone of the menus, the andriod system will all be in te Reo Māori so that's a massive jump forward. Beyond that we could look to do voice predictive and all sorts of stuff down the line?”

Priced at $1000 or $1200 for the P10 Plus, the user can choose whether to use their device entirely in Te Reo Māori, or utilise a dual English and Te Reo Māori keyboard.

Morrison says, “The Māori language has status alongside other languages of the world from his new mobile. The company has decided yes the language has authority we should support the language.”

The phones will be available to the public next Wednesday. The world's first smartphone with a te reo Māori language operating system has been unveiled. The Huawei latest P Series smartphone offers te reo Māori as a standardised language option.