The video, dubbed Soldiers Must Endure, shows a row of uniformed naval cadets with their Apple iPhones on the ground, each one beside a concrete block.
"You just bought this, right? Expensive, eh?" says the voice of a commanding officer who asks each trainee to state the make of his phone and then orders them to bend down and -- "Smash it!"
The video has been viewed hundreds of thousands of times on Facebook, YouTube and popular Thai social-media forums in the past few days, drawing mostly criticism that the punishment doesn't fit the crime.
We agree. Disobeying orders and bringing an iPhone into a secure defense establishment should be punishable by flogging or hanging.
But the Tame Apple Press claims it is a form of torture and should be outlawed by the Geneva Convention. Wednesday's Bangkok Post ran a commentary suggesting the video clip highlighted a larger problem of the
Thai military's need to modernise its thinking. It is very important apparently for soldiers to carry iPhones and ignore orders.
"That a military school focusing on communications and information technology does not view mobile phones as learning tools, but obstacles that must be banned, says a lot about how much the military has to do to catch up with the world," the commentary said.
It was not clear who took the video, which was filmed vertically, apparently using a phone.
The navy issued a statement to "clarify" what happened at its Communications and Information Technology School, which has a rule forbidding students from carrying mobile phones on school grounds, but which is frequently violated.
Apparently it is not just iPhones that were smashed, but the Tame Apple Press forgot to mention that– after all there is only one type of phone.
Teachers at the school came up with an "honour system" whereby those who break the rule "destroy their phones voluntarily," said the statement posted on the website of the navy's radio station, Voice of Navy.