For a real iPad killer, get the Samjiyon.
That’s right—sources familiar with North Korea and defectors tell the Dong-A Ilbo that North Korea has recently begun distribution of an independently branded tablet PC, the Samjiyon. It can’t access the Internet, unfortunately, but it does have an encyclopedia, games, eBooks and a map service. We don’t know if its made in North Korea from imported parts or made in China with the software installed in the North.
Interestingly, at least for North Korea, the names for all the software are in English. A defector told the Dong-A that in North Korea, almost all the IT terminology is in English. In fact, he found it strange when he came to the South and found that the pro sector software was in Korean.
Last month, Martyn Williams at North Korea Tech posted about a North Korean tablet shown off at the Pyongyang International Trade Fair.
The Dong-A also got a hold of some IT-related photos from North Korea, including a computer shop with American and Taiwanese-made computers and a university classroom with South Korean-made LG monitors. In North Korea, an HP computer costs about a century’s worth of wages for the average worker, but over half of Pyongyang reportedly can afford them. The North has reportedly adopted electronic payment cards, too.
Marmot’s Note: The name Samjiyon comes from a forested highland area with a lovely lake on the lower slopes of Mt. Baekdusan. When unification does come, I’m sure it’ll be a fantastic place to visit. Heck, even the South Koreans put it on a stamp.