Zi Corporation, a provider of intelligent interface solutions, today announced that it has licensed its eZiText predictive text input technology to Putian Youtong, a subsidiary of the largest electronic communications company in China, China Putian Corporation.
Putian Youtong will initially embed eZiText into handsets for the rapidly expanding Chinese Personal Handyphone System (PHS) market and has the option of expanding its use of eZiText for future product introductions in other segments of the wireless handset market. Zi will receive an upfront payment and volume-based royalties. The PHS handsets with eZiText embedded, which will be sold under the China Putian brand, are expected to be launched in the second quarter of this year.
Putian Youtong licensed eZiText in simplified Chinese, traditional Chinese and English to serve its PHS market in China. Putian Youtong plans to use the technology for GPRS (General Packet Radio Service) handset platforms in the future. Quicker Qu, Vice GM of Putian Youtong said that Zi was selected because of the growing recognition of its brand and the quality and proven reliability of eZiText as well as the proven implementation compatibility of eZiText with PHS platforms and its dominant position in the PHS market.
Norson Telecom Consulting estimates that at the end of 2003, China had 35 million PHS subscribers with that figure expected to climb to more than 50 million users in 2004. The PHS market in China is a new and emerging wireless communication network created for densely populated areas and as a more cost effective alternative to traditional wireless and wireline communication networks.