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?