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North Korea unveils 'native' Android smartphone

Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
August 12, 2013
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North Korea likes to say that it's on the cutting edge, even if it usually isn't -- and that now includes a locally-built smartphone, the AS1201 Arirang. We don't know much about the Android handset, but state media claims that it's made in Pyongyang and ships with a domestically produced app. As you'd imagine, many outside of North Korea are skeptical of the AS1201's supposed roots. While it's difficult to verify North Korea Tech's suspicions that a Chinese firm makes the device on North Korea's behalf, the hardware is using stock Android -- you know, the OS designed by those "capitalist American pig-dogs" at Google. There's also the question of the device's real-world usefulness. As long as North Korea bans mobile internet use, the Ariang won't be much more capable than your typical feature phone.

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