Aug 12 AT 1:00 PM Dima Aryeh 8 Comments

North Korea builds smartphone with “indigenous technology,” runs Android


North Korea has many problems, including poverty and restricted Internet access. The North Korean government has worked hard to keep smartphone technology out of the hands of its people; North Koreans have had to illegally import technology from China if they wished to own a smartphone. Now, North Korea will release its own smartphone, created for the North Korean people. This smartphone called the AS1201 Arirang, after a folk song, is designed to be more accessible, because of both affordability and government approval.

Though the device is claimed to have been built with “indigenous technology,” the photos clearly show it running a stock build of Android. That’s American technology at its finest, so we don’t know what they’re talking about. It also looks like their reports that the device is being built inside a North Korean factory may be false, as the factory Kim Jong Un visited showed no signs of manufacturing. It is speculated that the devices come from China and are just packaged in that factory.

The Korean Central News Agency (which is state run) reports that the device will be in high demand, but a press release with specifications has not been released. We’ll report back when we know what kind of sick processor this beast uses. Would you feel safe using a North Korean phone?

Via: Android Central

Source: North Korea Tech

Dima Aryeh is a Russian obsessed with all things tech. He does photography, is an avid phone modder (who uses an AT&T Galaxy Note II), a heavy gamer (both PC and 360), and an aspiring home mechanic. He is also an avid fan of music, especially power metal.

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  • Vance

    Comes pre-installed with North Korean bloatware such as “launch your own nuke”, “record every sound you make in the presence of your device”, and a proprietary twitter app that only let’s you follow “the great leader”.

  • pekosROB

    A bit ironic it runs an open OS.

  • CErikM

    There will soon be a revolution in North Korea and Android will be deemed the root cause of it. Time to flip on the korean news channel. It’ll be interesting to see how the “Dear Leader” is justifying allowing Android into the country. Which I think would be safe to say is based on the most free spirited ideology on the planet.

    Not surprising that they picked Android though. They’ll probably mod the hell out of it to put all sorts of censorship apps and blocks on there. Can you imagine a North Korean Android Rom? Now that will be an interesting one.

  • ibap

    “Would you feel safe using a North Korean phone?”

    I’d safely assume they’re monitoring everything I did. LIke the NSA, only even more completely. How else do you keep everybody employed after they’ve hand-swept all the roads?

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  • pjamies

    As no one actually has any money, this will have to be given out as Christmas presents .. or
    bonuses .. lol
    I wonder if North Korenan’s are smart enough to understand what the governments plans are for these phones??

  • Hannu Leinonen

    No matter what, someone’s going to track your traffic, so why no Kim Jong Un then? Also, this would be the ultimate hipster gadget to go with the Kim Jong Il sunglasses.

  • donger

    Wow strange event.