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iPhone 4S reportedly getting camera-removal mod from Singapore carriers

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The iPhone 4S may soon be going on sale in Singapore with its cameras removed, in an attempt to sell the device to military personnel unable to carry a smartphone with a built-in camera due to security concerns.

iPhone 4S camera
iPhone 4S camera

The camera of the iPhone 4S is usually touted as a highlight feature, but Singapore's carriers may soon be offering Apple's flagship phone with both shooters removed — thanks to some aftermarket modding. CNET Asia reports that telco M1 featured a camera-free iPhone 4S on its site this past Thursday — the 32GB model came in at S$679 with a 2-year contract — only to pull the item several hours later. This isn't an official SKU from Cupertino, however. It's said to be part of an initiative from Apple's three carrier partners in Singapore, who hope to sell the iPhone to military personnel prohibited from carrying phones with cameras due to security concerns (RIM has provided camera-free BlackBerry devices in the past for similar reasons).

According to the Jakarta Globe, Singapore's Defense Ministry, Mindef, recently issued guidelines on the use of smartphones after an in-house trial. It will allow the devices as long as soldiers can provide a certificate proving their phone has been rendered camera-free by their carrier. It's not without real drawbacks, however. Along with the missing functionality, M1's modified 32GB device cost S$49 more than the standard iPhone, and this sort of tinkering will of course void the phone's warranty. There's no word yet on what Apple thinks of the move, and while M1's listing seems to indicate the modded phones will be available sooner rather than later, Singapore's carriers haven't confirmed their camera-free plans at this time.