Mobile operators in Singapore may soon begin selling camera-less iPhone 4S models, offering a dedicated service for military personnel in the country that are unable to take camera-toting smartphones into their camps, the Jakarta Globe reports.
Singapore carrier M1 pushed live webpages offering the new iPhone 4S models but later removed them whilst they made ‘some adjustments to this service’, offering a 64-gigabyte model for more than $900 with a new two-year contract — increasing the cost over its normal iPhone 4S models as it would incur costs for removing the camera.
Unfortunately for anyone that buys one of these models, they lose the 1-year Apple warranty on the smartphone as the carrier has to physically remove the camera, thus voiding the vendor guarantee.
The two other operators in Singapore – SingTel and StarHub – did not comment on whether they would sell the phones but say they were talks with the Defense Ministry (Mindef) to sell phones that did not have cameras.
Singapore’s Defense Ministry recently issued guidelines to military personnel about the use of smartphones, reportedly asking those that owned camera-enabled smartphones to show a certificate to prove that their devices had been approved by a carrier.
This would mean that potential buyers would need to find a carrier that sold or amended smartphones to remove the camera, instead of doing it themselves. It also explains why operators in the country are reportedly looking to sell modified Apple smartphones, which are said to be used by more than half the country’s smartphone owners.
Cnet Asia managed to find a copy of the website listing before it was pulled, demonstrating the camera-less iPhone:
Some servicemen buy two smartphones for use, one when they are in camp and another for when they aren’t working. Removing the camera from an iPhone 4S might mean they don’t have to do this, but it does mean they lose out on one of the most impressive features in Apple’s latest handset.