Even in a country like North Korea, smartphones are built on purpose to meet people’s needs while still meeting the country’s requirements for privacy.
The first domestic phone model was called the Arirang 171 and was praised by Kim Jong-un for its pixels and advanced technology. According to a Danish software developer who owned a device in 2018, the Arirang comes with Bluetooth connectivity, 3G, a camera and a microSD slot. However, it doesn’t have internet or Wi-Fi.
Nevertheless, there are many games available to compensate. At the time, the phone had five different versions of the classic Angry Birds game, as well as Super Mario and Plants VS Zombies.
However, there is another interesting aspect to this phone. Though it is a simple Android smartphone, it comes with a special software which greatly limits its connectivity. The product can establish a connection with the computer via Bluetooth but cannot share any information. And when a strange SIM card is inserted, this smartphone turns off.
In addition, Arirang 171 comes with a promotional video which has a capacity of 500MB. Notably, that single video took up about 25% of the device’s available space, meaning the phone only gave users 2GB of space to store content.
Ever since the Arirang 171 was launched, other smartphones in North Korea have also been launched with improved functions, including facial recognition, better cameras, and even augmented reality (AR) functions.) They also have a hole in the screen instead of a notch integrated with the encrypted message exchange system, although in practice the encryption technology is not as secure as in the world, as the content exchanged can be seen by others associated with the North Korean authorities. . ,
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