Daily NK recently obtained an instruction manual for the Jindallae 7 smartphone that alerts all users of the mobile phones they can receive a “free” year of after-sales service.

In the past, North Korean smartphones required consumers to pay a fee and sign up for insurance to receive after-sales service or exchange their product. The Jindallae 7 comes with just an instruction manual and does not include an insurance certificate as customary in the past.  

The explosive popularity of smartphones in North Korea has led to the release of a host of new products as manufacturers compete to win over consumers. While most manufacturers have focused on improving smartphone functionality, the manufacturer of the Jindallae 7, the Mangyongdae Information Technology Company, appears to be attempting to attract customers by providing an unprecedented level of service.

The Jindallae 7’s manual states that the free year of after-sales service will be provided to fix issues that come up during “system use” and various “failures” on the device. 

“System use” most likely refers to errors surrounding the use of the operating system and the installation of software. “Failures” probably refers to issues surrounding the phone’s hardware. 

The manual also states that customers will enjoy a 50% discount off screen, motherboard and phone exterior replacements for one year.  

This image, taken by a Daily NK source, shows part of the Jindallae 7’s manual dealing with the offer for one year after-sales service and the phone’s three-month warranty period.  / Image: Daily NK

The manual goes on to say that during the phone’s three-month warranty period users can receive free replacement of defective parts at “insurance outlets” located in Pyongyang and the seats of government in each province. It notes that users have to register their phones if they want to take advantage of the warranty. 

The warranty offered by the company is so short that consumers may not be properly protected from defective products. South Korea’s Fair Trade Commission, in contrast, requires phone manufacturers to provide a warranty period of two years to consumers. 

Given that the replacement of defective parts under the three-month warranty period takes place at insurance outlets suggests two possibilities: 1) The phone manufacturer signed up for free insurance that it then passes on to the consumer; or, 2) the cost of insurance is included in the phone’s price.

Please direct any comments or questions about this article to dailynkenglish@uni-media.net.

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Mun Dong Hui is one of Daily NK's full-time journalists. Please direct any questions about his articles to dailynkenglish@uni-media.net.