North Korea is reporting that it has produced its first home-grown smartphone. But pundits are disputing the origin of the phone with many claiming that it might just be a Chinese knock-off. They argue that the secretive communist state has no capability to produce such an electronic device.
North Korea has had a mobile network which is closely monitored by the state since 2008. The network maintained by Egypt’s Orascom is run by the government. It once allowed mobile internet but that was not to last. The more than 2 million citizens who have the device are blocked from having contact with the outside world.
So the announcement of the Arirang mobile handset by the country’s leader Kim Jong-un during a factory tour, raises more questions than answers. North Korea announced in 2012 that it had made its first tablet. This was proved wrong as the handset was found to have been made in Hong Kong.
Clues to the North Korea’s tablet origin were uncovered by Martyn Williams who is touted as an expert on North Korean technology. Martin noted that parts of the tablet’s software code suggested links to a manufacturer in Hong Kong.
Not much is known about the phone but a video of the North Korean leader demoing the device show that it is running on the Google’s Android OS.