Upstart mobile operator 2degrees has unveiled the world's first Te Reo Māori smartphone, an IDEOS X3 that will go on sale before Christmas.
2degrees worked closely with handset manufacturer, Huawei, to translate all of the menus in its IDEOS X3 smartphone to Te Reo Māori.
The device was launched at the Te Huarahi Tika Trust annual general meeting yesterday. Also known as the Maori Spectrum Charitable Trust, it was established in 2000 to give Maori purchase rights over the 3G radio frequencies being auctioned that year.
Māori affairs minister Dr Pita Sharples took the first call on the Huawei Android handset from Te Huarahi Tika Trust chair Daphne Luke.
2degrees director and Hautaki Trust Board member Bill Osborne said making Māori available in today’s mobile technology was a vision the trust had when it helped found the company.
“Through Hautaki Trust, our primary objective was to engage Māori in the telecommunications industry,”he said.
“A further aim was to ensure that the Māori culture and language were embraced by modern information and communications technology, and the IDEOS X3 smartphone with Te Reo menu is testimony to the commitment to this goal by 2degrees and Māori.”