The leader of the Hermit Kingdom has often been spotted with an HTC phone, probably because it’s a neutral geopolitical statement.

kim-jong-un-smartphone

HTC may be struggling for customers, but it looks like it has a loyal one in Kim Jong-un.

The portly leader of North Korea was photographed in January 2013 at national security meeting with what appears to be a HTC Butterly according to a recent feature by The Guardian. Kim probably chose the phone because sporting a Western brand such as Blackberry or iPhone would be bound to cause a ruffle within the Party elite.

In 2008 Egypt’s Orascom launched a joint venture with state-owned Korea Post and Telecommunications Corporation to bring 3G to Pyongyang. Called Koryolink, its subscriber base has exploded since launch — expanding beyond the political and business elite — to two million users as of April 2013. Foreign tourists that visit North Korea can only make international, and not domestic, calls. Reportedly, 3G access for foreign tourists was cut off in the spring of 2013.

While Kim uses an HTC phone, it should be noted that North Korea produces its own brand of domestic phones — but these are likely manufactured by a Chinese ODM then rebranded by local workers.

It’s not clear if Kim sports the Hello Kitty edition of the HTC Butterfly, but that would be unlikely considering the geopolitical implications of being publicly seen with a Sanrio branded device.

Source: The Guardian