As it seems Apple’s new mobile operating system IOS6 will soon be released to millions and millions of iPhones and iPads on this planet, many of those residing in the country of China, and many of those will then soon be able to operate Siri with Mandarin and Cantonese (Finally many will say!). However China doesnt particular like that, here is why!
The Problems with Chinese Languages
Chinese Languages (with the focus on Mandarin and Cantonese) are particular difficult to learn fro Westerners, and even if you speak to locals in a certain dialect that’s not close to their own they will have issues understanding each other. Let’s just say, they are both horrible tough to learn and understand languages. And that’s for humans.
So now you can imagine how hard it would be to make software understand the little nuances and changes in tone that very much identify them and make the big difference. Exactly, its tricky!
Voice Operation in China is a Billion Dollar Business
So since years we have a group of Chinese companies (incl. for example Lenovo, Huawei, China Mobile, China Unicom, China Telecom and Anhui USTC iFlyte) that are working on getting things right with speech recognition and Chinese languages. And let’s say they are close. And it’s big business, because the software will be pre-installed on a lot(we are speaking of China here) of Android devices. That includes licensing fees, development, etc etc.
Now Apple comes along, and already holding the biggest share of mobile phones and tablets, announces their new version of Siri will be finally able to understand Cantonese and mandarin. Well, I would be scared as one of the above mentioned companies.. so here you go, they form a huge alliance, backed by the government and state owned companies, and the war begins!