Cherokee has become the first native American language to be supported by the iPhone.

The Associated Press reports that Cherokee is spoken by around 8,000 people today, though there are thought to be about 290,000 members of the Cherokee tribe.

Most of those who speak the language, which was converted into written form some 200 years ago by a blacksmith named Sequoyah, are over 50 but it is hoped that iPhone support could convince younger tribe members to start using Cherokee again.

Tribe leaders first approached Apple three years ago, it is reported, to ask for iPhone support and the company has now obliged. The language has been supported by Mac OS since 2003.

However, Apple has not revealed any plans to offer support for other American Indian languages.