Friday, August 16, 2013

North Korea's Arirang smartphone appears to be a Chinese knockoff

The announcement by North Korea that it had manufactured its own smartphone, named the Arirang, received a great deal of press attention over the past several days.  The phone is pictured in the accompanying graphic (click to see a full-size version).  However, I was not surprised to see a follow-up report in today's Chosun Ilbo indicating that, according to the Hong Kong daily Ta Kung Bao, the phone is actually a Chinese knockoff with a North Korean label.
According to The Chosun Ilbo report, The BBC last Tuesday also quoted experts as suggesting that the Arirang smartphone is a Chinese product. Steven Millward, an editor of Singaporean IT website Tech In Asia said, "Possibly, the whole smartphone is made in China and only the final boxing is done in the rather sparse plant that Kim Jong-un toured."  The BBC and the Hong Kong newspaper appear to be onto something here.

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