North Korea has launched a new iteration of its “Pyongyang” series smartphone, the Pyongyang 2428, Daily NK sources reported on Apr. 4.
The new phone follows the release of the Pyongyang 2426. Daily NK sources said they were not aware of a Pyongyang 2427 model.
The Pyongyang line of smartphones (referred to as “touch phones” among North Koreans) debuted in 2012 with the 2404 model and the series has continually been updated over the years, with the time between new releases growing shorter in recent years.
Checom Technology Joint Venture Company manufactures the Pyongyang line of phones, but North Korean authorities have never announced which country outside of North Korea is part of the joint venture.
South Korean technology experts have suggested that the joint venture involves a Chinese company.
FEW DESIGN CHANGES, BUT POSSIBLE PERFORMANCE UPDATES
Apart from the Pyongyang series, North Korea’s smartphone market boasts several brands, including the Jindallae, Arirang and Phurun Hanul. The Pyongyang series, however, is widely viewed as the “flagship” of all North Korean smartphones because of its superior design and functionality.
The Pyongyang 2425 boasted better camera quality and a more intuitive operating system than the Phurun Hanul S1. Later Pyongyang series phones, including the 2426 and 2428, likely feature even more improvements in performance and functionality.
Daily NK sources suggested that the overall design of the Pyongyang series has remained the same, despite all the performance updates. The Pyongyang 2428 is strikingly similar to its predecessor, with even its volume and power buttons in the same locations as the previous model.
The new phone may, however, boast some as-of-yet unseen features, given that the Pyongyang series has generally been first to the plate to implement cutting-edge technologies, such as full screen displays, cordless charging, facial recognition, and other features. New features included in the Pyongyang 2428 may include a bezel-less design, AI functionality, augmented reality services and a more powerful phone camera.
The Phurun Hanul S2 was released at the end of 2019 while the Jindallae 7 was released early this year. Both phones featured a waterdrop notch design, which suggests that the Pyongyang 2428 will also feature this design feature.
EDUCATION APPS TAKE OFF
North Koreans are reportedly willing to buy smartphones despite their expensive price tags. In the wake of massive demand for mobile phones in the country, North Korean authorities have even put efforts into creating their own apps for people to use.
The country recently developed an “education app” that is now being used by home-bound school children to keep up with their lessons. North Korean state media reports suggest that the app is receiving positive reviews among users.
Reportedly developed by the Kim Chaek University of Technology, the app, called “Top Student Companion,” provides students with deep dives into subjects ranging from the natural sciences to Korean history.
*Translated by Violet Kim
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