North Korea claims an Android phone is made in Pyongyang

August 12, 2013
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The Arirang device, said to be made in North Korea

The Arirang device, said to be made in North Korea

North Korea is touting a home-grown smartphone, the AS1201 Arirang. While we have no news to offer in regard to specs, it’s interesting that North Korea is claiming to have a smartphone built in Pyongyang, capital of North Korea.

While many are skeptical of the device’s origins, what is known is that its using Android. Much like the tablet we showed you a few weeks ago, this device is pretty locked down. It comes with an app “produced in Korean style”, and is said to have a touch screen and “high pixels”. Like the tablet, it restricts web usage to the North Korean Intranet.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un paid a visit to the May 11 factory that “makes” the devices, but some are skeptical of the pictures being released. In the factory, workers are shown with their dear leader and finished devices, but no actual images of the phones being produced were shared. It’s believed that the devices are produced in China, and shipped to May 11 for final inspection.

Most believe this was a show of patriotism for North Korea. Of course, if the devices aren’t actually made in the DPRK, all that patriotism is for naught. Then again, it may be the first step towards a more open North Korea. For the sake of the people that reside there, we hope that’s the case.

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