Two countries that only speak to each other through gritted teeth both had mobile phone related news items this week. Both very different, but both equally entertaining.
Mobile phone company LG set up a promo for their newest handset offering, the G2. Their crowd pulling idea was to hide vouchers for a free phone, worth £550, in helium filled balloons. The organisers obviously thought this would be a bit of light hearted fun until people started arriving with BB guns and knives on sticks.
20 were injured, seven of which were hospitalised. LG apologised, cancelled the rest of the planned events and promised to pay medical bills. Idiots. My cynical and battered brain wonders whether there’s an LG PR executive somewhere laughing his socks off having known full well there would be a mass brawl that hit the news around the world. But like I say, I’m a cynic.
Everyone’s favourite porky despot turned up at the factory where the first North Korean mobile phone has (allegedly) been made this week. The “hand phone” or the Arirang as North Korean media are calling it was probably made in China. They tried a similar stunt with a tablet last year, and it was debunked as Chinese. Tech experts say the same is probably true here, it’s probably shipped from China into the warehouse then repackaged and sold on.
North Korea does have a mobile phone network but it is highly restricted, you can only call within the country and it’s monitored like a hawk as you would imagine.
As ever Mr Kim was on hand to give some dazzling commentary, he said about the new phone, which will probably be used for brain washing propaganda, that it is “educational significance in making people love Korean things”. He also advised workers should “select and produce shapes and colours that users like” – good one fatty.