2012/01/20

Camera-less iPhone 4, iPhone 4S on sale in Singapore

SINGAPORE, January 20, 2012 (AFP) - The camera is normally a big selling point, but in Singapore Apple's iPhone 4 and 4S are now available without the function -- to cater to military personnel banned from taking image-capturing devices into army camps.

Some camera enthusiasts claim the quality of the cameras built into the latest iPhone models has replaced the need to carry a compact.

But Singapore mobile operator M1 on Friday unveiled no-camera versions adapted to the requirements of the defence ministry.

Camera phones were banned in the city state's military installations in 2007 after photos of sensitive training activities were posted online.
"The phones are targeted at military personnel but anyone can buy them if they want to," an M1 spokesman said.

Prices listed on M1's website showed that adapted versions of the iPhone cost Sg$49 ($38) more.

Singapore's other two operators, SingTel and StarHub, said they were also in talks with the defence ministry on offering no-camera smartphones.

Affluent Singapore, one of Asia's most tech-savvy countries, maintains a conscript-based military and its armed forces are among the best-equipped in Asia.