Pleco may be bringing a full-featured Chinese dictionary to iPhone

Inventor of increasingly ubiquitous Pleco Chinese-English dictionary software for mobile devices says it's "very seriously considering developing" an iPhone version.

The inventor of the increasingly ubiquitous Pleco Chinese-English dictionary software for Palm and Windows Mobile devices said the company is "very seriously considering developing" an iPhone version.

In an interview in April's China International Business (not yet online), Michael Love tells of developing the 6-year-old product and how it's getting popular enough that many foreigners in China are buying PDAs or PDA phones just to use Pleco.

I, for one, would not have bought my Windows Mobile-running HTC Touch if not for this program, and untold dozens of my Beijing friends and acquaintances are carrying around Treos for the same reason. (Love said he switches between a Treo 680 and an HTC Touch, himself.)

Here's what Love had to say about the iPhone prospects:

We're not thrilled about Apple locking down distribution and charging developers a 30 percent commission to sell iPhone software , but we really like the platform and think it has enough potential to be worth the hefty fees.

The iPod Touch is actually more exciting to us, in some respects, than the iPhone, since it doesn't force you to change your cell phone carrier and can be found almost anywhere.

It's next to impossible to buy a cell phone-less Palm or Windows Mobile handheld in many parts of the world nowadays, but the iPod Touch is all over the place, so for those people who are willing to buy a handheld just to run Pleco, it would be a better option than they've had in quite a while.

About the author

    Formerly a journalist and consultant in Beijing, Graham Webster is a graduate student studying East Asia at Harvard University. At Sinobyte, he follows the effects of technology on Chinese politics, the environment, and global affairs. He is a member of the CNET Blog Network, and is not an employee of CNET. Disclosure.

     

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