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It turns out that North Korea’s ‘homegrown’ smartphone is made in China

It turns out that North Korea's homegrown smartphone is made in China

Remember in August last year when North Korean leader Kim Jong-un toured a factory that claimed to be producing the nation’s first ever homegrown smartphone? At that time, we were suspicious about the ill-equipped facility and speculated that the North Korean workers were simply boxing up an imported, no-name Chinese phone. And it turns out that’s exactly what’s happening.

A Japanese blog has got its hands on the North Korean Arirang AS1201 (hat-tip to AndroidCentral for spotting this). Putting it next to a China-made Uniscope U1201 (both pictured above) shows that the two phones are clearly separated at birth. The two models have mostly the same specs, including a 960 by 540-pixel screen, 1GHz Spreadtrum processor, 4GB of storage, and 8 megapixel and 2 megapixel cameras front and rear.

While the made-for-China Uniscope U1201 has an Android skin (that looks a lot like Samsung’s TouchWiz UI), the made-for-PROK Arirang AS1201 seems to have a version of stock Android. Here’s the rear of both phones:

It turns out that North Korea's homegrown smartphone is made in China

And here’s a photo collage of Kim Jong-un from last summer touring the plant that supposedly makes the Arirang phone:

North Korea Arirang smartphone, photos

(Source: Blog of Mobile; via AndroidCentral)

Editing by Josh Horwitz

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