Samsung and Apple challenged to create Māori Language smartphone

By Mānia Clarke

The first global reo Māori smartphone went on sale today and makers Huawei are challenging other phone giants such as Samsung and Apple to follow suit.  The call is being supported by language consultant Te Mihinga Komene. 

KJ Chen is stoked about purchasing his new Huawei P10 plus. 

"Because New Zealand is a diversity of countries, it haves English and Māoris. So Huawei used a positive language into it, I feel it's great," said Chen.

The Huawei P10 and H10 plus reo Māori OS smartphones priced at $1000 and $1,200 respectively, hit store shelves around the country today.  

Huawei Public Affairs Director, Andrew Bowater said, "We think we've set the benchmark here in terms of localising te reo Māori and involving that in the phone, absolutely we'd love to see others step up to the challenge and embrace te reo Māori as well."

In a statement, Samsung told Te Kāea, "At this stage, Samsung does not have plans to incorporate te Reo Māori in its mobile devices, however, we will certainly listen to market feedback and look to include as an option if there is demand. Samsung does currently have products with te Reo interfaces. Our Samsung A3 Printer released last year, enables users to interact entirely in Māori."

"It's right that all computer and technology companies should follow suit, to keep our language alive throughout Aotearoa and to really validate the language also," said Māori language consultant Te Mihinga Komene.

The Huawei P10 Lite smartphone priced at $500 also went on sale today.

"That's amazing to hear that the price is lower because I'm going to Europe with Te Panekiretanga soon, and that's better than nothing," said Komene.

Te Kāea contacted Apple for comment, but have not yet received a response.