A source has told Daily NK that a new mobile phone with smartphone-level features has become available in North Korea.
“The ‘Eumsong-patgi’ with its touchscreen is popular with cadres and young adults," a source in the city of Hyesan told the North Korean watching website. "You cannot use the Internet on it, but it has games, TV and a touch pen for writing memos and such like. It’ll probably end up quite popular with more affluent people.”
The phone is a clear improvement over the current phones available in the country, the source says, but the price ($600 per phone) means they are only being used by senior officials at present.
While the idea of North Korea using a South Korean phone with Google-software (while Eric Schmidt visits) is interesting, it seems likely that the phone is domestically produced. According to state media, a domestically produced tablet (called “Achim”) unveiled last year has been a big success.
North Korea signed up its millionth user to its limited 3G cell network in November, Reuters reported.
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