Mobile carriers in Singapore are working to launch a modified iPhone 4S with its cameras removed in an effort to market the device to military personnel who are not allowed to bring camera-equipped smartphones to army camps.
Josh Ong, writing for AppleInsider:
Rumors have swirled for some time that carriers in Singapore, which requires 24 months of military service from male citizens between the ages of 18 and 21, would release an iPhone model that stripped the handset of both its cameras. M1, one of Singapore’s three major wireless operators, confirmed work on a “Non Camera” iPhone 4S last week when it temporarily posted product pages for the modified device, as noted by CNet Asia.
According to M1’s product listing, the device would sell for S$49 ($38) more than its camera-equipped counterpart. Depending on the monthly plan chosen with a two-year contract, the no-camera iPhone 4S was listed as selling for between S$49 and S$679.
The iPhone 4S first went on sale last October as part of Apple’s international rollout of the device.
The listings were pulled, and a spokesperson for M1 responded to inquiries by saying the link had been removed while the company made “some adjustments to the service.”
Singapore’s Ministry of Defense recently ruled the servicemen can use smartphones on base, providing they have a certificate showing that a local carrier has removed any cameras from the device.
Camera-less iPhone sales to military personnel would only be a small portion of Apple’s worldwide sales, but the move could help the company entrench itself in the market. Some reports have claimed that the iPhone has reached more than 50 percent market share in Singapore.