Rodger, a listener from South China, wrote to say after he updated to iOS 7 beta 4, his iPhone 5 (the official retail model in Mainland China) was giving him the option for a T9 Chinese pinyin input keyboard. What he doesn’t know is whether this is only available as "special feature" for the Chinese market, or something that’ll be available everywhere. I can see why he might think it’s a far-east only thing, though, since I’ve not heard word one of it here, though he says it has been posted on several IT sites in China, including WeiPhone.com.
Pinyin is most easily described as “a system for writing Chinese words with the Roman alphabet,” according to a website called WiseGeek. Hard though it may be to imagine anyone trying to sell a smartphone in China without that, Rodger says, before this beta build, if a user needed T9 Chinese pinyin input keyboard, they had to go a jailbreakin’. Assuming this feature makes the leap from beta to public release, they’ll no longer be required to do that.
In other news, I love when I get email from China. Thanks for the information, Rodger. You rock.