updated 08:40 am EDT, Fri August 2, 2013
Tablet uses Android, includes educational software, Angry Birds Rio
North Korea has allegedly created a new Android tablet, a move that effectively mimics that of companies in South Korea, such as Samsung. The seven-inch Samijyon tablet is apparently supplied without a way to create a Wi-Fi connection, though is said to be capable of connecting to the country's restricted Internet, as well as a TV tuner that can only pick up state-run broadcasts.
The device, picked up by a tourist named Michael according to a report by North Korea Tech, is being sold in the country for $200. The packaging claims it to have a 1.2GHz processor, 1GB of RAM, a 1024x768-resolution display, and options for 8GB or 16GB of storage, and though it was not benchmarked by the report, it is claimed to be as fluid as normal tablets with similar specifications.
While the tablet runs on Android Ice Cream Sandwich, it does not come supplied with Google apps such as Gmail, though the restrictive Internet access would make them unusable anyway. Despite the lack of options to enable Wi-Fi, the built-in browser has predefined links to various governmental websites. Alongside some basic apps, it also comes supplied with titles apparently repackaged by the Korea Computer Center. Educational titles are also included, suggesting that it could be used to teach children in elementary school, though it also contains a number of mobile games reworked to use the local language, such as Angry Birds Rio.
Considering the history of North Korea, it is unsurprising that it has worked on its own tablet, albeit for use only within the country itself. The addition of Angry Birds Rio, as well as the use of Android, could be a sign that it's looking to open itself up to outside influence, though the fixed channels on the TV tuner and the pre-installed teachings of Kim Il Sung suggest it is more a case of the country spreading more propaganda onto its citizens.