Arabic-friendly iPhone primed for launch

Saudi software developer over half-way through Arabic support for Apple phone.

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By  Talal Malik Published  September 27, 2007

Although Apple's iconic iPhone is not yet available outside the US officially, a Saudi software developer has said he is more than half way done with a project that would give Arabic-language support to the hyped phone.

Yusuf Omar, a network consultant in Jeddah, told Arab News he and his team have nearly completed 60% of a project which would provide Arabic-language support.

"We are not hackers, we are developers," the newspaper quoted Omar as saying. He added that the project also allows the iPhone to use Unicode and Windows' own language support for Arabic script.

People in the Middle East have found many ways to unlock iPhones that they have managed to obtain either in the local market at a premium price, or by having them shipped from the US.

Young Saudi citizen Bandar Abouras had an iPhone shipped to the kingdom, and spent hours surfing Asian websites and translating instructions in order to make the phone operate in Saudi. He finally was able to use it with Mobily, one of the kingdom's telecom providers, Arab News said.

Apple has not launched the phone into the marketplace worldwide, but the phone has been appearing in different countries outside the US advertised as compatible with local telecom providers.

The iPhone is officially available to function with AT&T inside the US and is about to be released to the European market. If the phone is used outside of the US, the signal will roam until it resolves with AT&T.

However, unlocking software has been released online by a number of individual developers, allowing anyone in the world who has bought a locked iPhone to install the software and unlock the phone in less than four minutes.

The iPhone soon appeared on re-sale in Saudi Arabia after its official launch in the US. It can currently be bought for 4,000 Saudi riyals ($1,066) for a locked phone and 6,000 riyals ($1,600) for an unlocked one.

Recently Apple in the US announced a $200 price reduction, making the recommended retail price of the product $399 in the US.

3710 days ago

taking in consideration how long it took him to unlock it .. then i hardly believe he will be able to make it support Arabic... i got the phone in Version 1.1.2 and updated it and unlocked it and install everything i need in 15 minutes -_- including the download time. and i have no idea about programing languages.

3864 days ago

Open source guys already developed a program to read Arabic sms

3866 days ago

Hi all, Yes it is closed OS, but it is not hard to make it supports Arabic. No need to reverse engineer the OS at the moment. Prove of what I said in this site: Best regards,

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