Singapore Has Its Own Smartphone Brand. And It Is Camera-less.

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And you’ll see come to understand why there is a “need” for this.

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There are two types of people in the world: iPhone users and Samsung users. And then there are the minorities wielding smartphones by such brands as Xiaomi, Oppo, LG, HTC, Sony, Nokia, Motorola, and even Blackberry.

Now here’s the interesting part. You might be familiar with every nook and cranny of this little island, but we bet “iNO Mobile” are two words that do not appear in your dictionary. A subsidiary of Foresight Manufacture, it is Singapore’s very own contribution to the already saturated mobile phone market.

Once you acquaint yourself with what the company’s really all about, it’s not hard to imagine why it isn’t more well-known. For starters, its debut effort in 2009 was iNO CP09, a cell phone crafted specifically for the elderly that basically looked like a calculator with oversized keys.

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Old-fashioned and justifiably basic, it comes with a radio function (that can be played through the speakers), and works as a torch light as well. The genius of this unprecedented design, however, was its SOS function. Taking the form of a bright orange button at the back of the phone, it triggers an alarm once pressed, and automatically sends a message and dials the user’s emergency contacts.

Three years after this introduction, the brand unveiled iNO One – yet another attempt at wading into uncharted waters. The phone, whilst supposedly “smart”, mysteriously has no camera.

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Branded as a product “for Singaporeans by Singaporeans”, this bizarre Android creation is no doubt a world’s first. You could almost picture the faces of tech-savvy millennials, scrunched up in utter confusion. Who would want a phone that couldn’t record anything?

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As absurd as this invention sounds, it does benefit a particular group in society – military folk, that is, those who work permanently or serve temporarily in the defence industry, and thus, aren’t allowed to use security-compromising camera phones.

Of course, we can think of a few other types of people, besides the intended target market, who might be interested in the camera-less smartphone: People with a phobia of being secretly spied on by the government, people who are trying to quit Instagram, photography purists who are campaigning against second-grade smartphone snaps, and those hipsters who insist on owning things no one else has. So, perhaps this Singapore-made smartphone might not be so impractical after all.