Scepticism as NKorea shows smartphone

2013-08-16 12:30
(Mark Lennihan, AP)

(Mark Lennihan, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Seoul – North Korea's announcement that it is mass producing a home-grown smartphone has been met with skepticism in the tech industry in South Korea and abroad.

The North's state media last week showed leader Kim Jong Un inspecting "Arirang" phones at a Pyongyang factory.

The Korean Central News Agency's report on 10 August said the factory began producing smartphones "a few days ago" and they are already in high demand.

Workers in the KCNA's pictures are inspecting and testing finished products but no manufacturing process is shown, said tech expert Martyn Williams on the northkoreatech.org blog.

"Despite KCNA's reporting that the handsets are made at the factory, they are probably made to order by a Chinese manufacturer," said Williams, who writes for PC World and other publications.

North Korea has promoted the development of science and technology as a means to improve its moribund economy. It says it developed a tablet computer last year.

South Korean computer experts say North Korea is strong enough in software technology to have launched cyber attacks that disrupted banking and government websites in South Korea but lacks hardware capabilities.

The country has mobile phones and an Intranet but they are walled off from the outside world.

Kim Mun-gu, a manager at a South Korean mobile phone company, said the Arirang smartphone appears to be running on the Android operating system.

He said the photos aren't convincing as proof the North is manufacturing the phones.

"It looks too clean for a factory. If it's a factory, there should be components. There seemed to be machines but I can't tell whether they are operating or not," he said.

- AP
Read more on:    south korea  |  north korea  |  mobile
NEXT ON NEWS24X

SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
5 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24

 
/News
Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You are very sensitive to the energies of the people around you. If you are in service you may find that you are able to really...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.