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North Korea’s “Arirang” smartphone is indeed a copy of a cheap Chinese brand

Posted: , by Maxwell R.

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North Korea’s “Arirang” smartphone is indeed a copy of a cheap Chinese brand
It is one thing to make a cheap knock-off of an established brand, but making a copy of an ultra-low-end device just does not make sense, unless you are North Korea. Last summer, we shared the good word about North Korea’s Arirang AS1201 smartphone, a “home grown” triumph of the technological prowess of the DPRK.

The device is indeed a copy of the Chinese branded Uniscope U1201. Both are Android powered handsets. The Chinese brand costs about $100 in Beijing which may seem like a deal, even for a low end device, but after you see the specs you will still probably think otherwise.

The Uniscope U1201 is a dual-SIM, 3G device with 4GB of expandable storage, 768MB of RAM, a 540x960 “4.1-4.9-inches” display (we will say 4.3-inches), 8MP camera and a 1600mAh battery. The CPU is a dual-core, Spreadtrum chip at “1.2-1.4GHz.”

It is a safe bet that the North Korean counterpart has similar, or even lesser specifications than the Uniscope. There is still speculation that the device is made in China and reboxed in North Korea. Then again, we assume nothing.  We will not even assert that the AS1201 has cellular connectivity, it is North Korea after all. We shared information about a tablet offered up in the DPRK that did not even have Wi-Fi connectivity, because, who needs the internet when you got the dear leader?

Speaking of which, the AS1201 is certainly featuring a vast array of approved apps and media from the dear leader.  No doubt Google Play is no where to be found, but it is not out of the realm of possibility there is some type of basketball app featuring Dennis Rodman included with the device.


source: GSM Insider

21 Comments
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posted on 06 Apr 2014, 16:04 12

1. Tizen007 (Posts: 516; Member since: 07 Jan 2014)


They're allowed internet access?? Didn't know that..
Seems like Android dominated North Korea lol...

posted on 06 Apr 2014, 16:06 21

2. fzacek (Posts: 1639; Member since: 26 Jan 2014)


Wait, what? People can have phones in North Korea?

posted on 06 Apr 2014, 16:28 1

3. TheNeighbor (Posts: 89; Member since: 15 Nov 2013)


Yes, they do have cellphones, but you allowed to use only yours. They have heavy punishments for violating rules. 80 people got executed for watching South Korean TV shows.

posted on 06 Apr 2014, 16:56 5

4. fzacek (Posts: 1639; Member since: 26 Jan 2014)


Yeah, North Korea is MESSED UP!!!

posted on 06 Apr 2014, 17:15 1

5. GreekGeek (Posts: 773; Member since: 22 Mar 2014)


Been watching a lot of NK history on YouTube lately and boy.....can't believe these people are brainwashed from birth and literally programmed to hate the West........NK is the worst place on earth...

but...What's that browser for????

posted on 06 Apr 2014, 17:20

6. GreekGeek (Posts: 773; Member since: 22 Mar 2014)


They don't make these phones. The only import 'em from their one and only ally,,CHINA.. it's NOT a copy...but a REBADGED one, verry common practice in Asia,,,.....Economic development is NEVER their focus, it's all Military Power and Nuc Programs...
Kim Jong Un is living a life full of bluffs and lies.

posted on 06 Apr 2014, 17:58 1

7. Totse2k15 (Posts: 250; Member since: 11 Feb 2014)


Nice specs and design...NOT!

posted on 06 Apr 2014, 18:11

8. Eclectech (Posts: 68; Member since: 01 May 2013)


Just awful ...that also goes for the phone.

posted on 06 Apr 2014, 18:34

9. WinC76 (Posts: 55; Member since: 31 Oct 2011)


Copyception.

posted on 06 Apr 2014, 18:41

10. AfterShock (Posts: 2800; Member since: 02 Nov 2012)


Who you gonna call?
Now the leader can watch closer over his flocks.

Kind of a sad joke compared to what is manufactured by their neighbor.

posted on 06 Apr 2014, 18:48

11. Lt.Green (Posts: 371; Member since: 13 Mar 2014)


No internet and no Playstore? Heck, you're better of with a feature phone.

posted on 06 Apr 2014, 18:49

12. Lt.Green (Posts: 371; Member since: 13 Mar 2014)


No internet and no Playstore? Heck, you're better of with a feature phone.

posted on 06 Apr 2014, 19:12

13. GreekGeek (Posts: 773; Member since: 22 Mar 2014)


I'm surprised they didn't put Kim Il Sung's photo on that wallpaper....the Eternal Ruler.
I heard this phone's pre-loaded with propaganda videos as well and that ever-important *How To* prepare for the worst during thermonuclear armaggeddon :-)

posted on 06 Apr 2014, 19:33

14. kaikuheadhunterz (Posts: 713; Member since: 18 Jul 2013)


Those specs are still really good for that price, actually

posted on 06 Apr 2014, 21:23

15. express77 (unregistered)


i wish that this country along with many other countries improve soon. even many developing countries have more freedom than north Korea. people should rise and protest against these corrupted people who think their public as slaves.

posted on 06 Apr 2014, 23:43 1

16. StraightEdgeNexus (Posts: 3202; Member since: 14 Feb 2014)


Look at the difference between SK and NK

posted on 07 Apr 2014, 06:39

20. greenlife (Posts: 21; Member since: 26 Mar 2014)


yes, everyone can see the difference.

posted on 06 Apr 2014, 23:58 1

17. edelxander (Posts: 31; Member since: 01 Oct 2013)


North Korea is so F**ked up.

posted on 07 Apr 2014, 03:37

18. marlboro (Posts: 94; Member since: 27 Mar 2014)


watch out! incoming NUKES from above!!

posted on 07 Apr 2014, 04:30

19. seanwhat (Posts: 106; Member since: 11 Jul 2013)


N. Korea, the joke country of the world, never fails to disappoint.

posted on 07 Apr 2014, 06:40

21. greenlife (Posts: 21; Member since: 26 Mar 2014)


N. Korea, haha

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