Does this computer look familiar?
The device is built by a North Korean company called Blue Sky, but it looks really similar to an Apple iMac.
For reference, here’s the iMac:
The knock-off was spotted in a Korean Central Television (KCTV) report from the 18th Pyongyang Spring International trade fair, obtained by NK News. Some of North Korea’s tech companies laid out their newest products at the fair.
It’s not surprising to see more Apple copies in North Korea, since the third version of North Korea’s Red Star operating system was based on Apple’s OS X.
Blue Sky also had a hybrid tablet on show, which clips onto a keyboard to turn into a laptop.
“Many users are pleased with this new technology,” a Blue Sky salesman says in a KCTV video from the fair, according to a translation by NK News. “This device combines the merits of a tablet computer and a notebook computer.”
Three of North Korea’s tablets were also on display. The line-up included the 2012 “Samjiyon” tablet, and its successor, the “Myohyang,” which is supposed to have a higher resolution screen and connect to TV. A more entry-level offering was also on display, called the “Daeyang,” or Big Sea, NK News reported.
The Samjiyon came pre-loaded with foreign apps and games as well as Korean ones. NK News was unable to establish for sure whether the apps on the Big Sea tablet — including football, tower defence, and paper throwing games — were made in North Korea or abroad.
The NK News pictures show the tablets in a carry case with a keyboard, meaning that they can be used like a laptop.
Since much of North Korea’s tech is really imported from China rather than built at home, a look at import numbers for tablets and laptops are the best way to show how popular each is. North Korea has imported less than 5,000 tablets so far this year, but China has exported 23,000 laptops there in the last month.
While the tablet still isn’t huge, use has grown over the last few years. Only a few hundred were shipped to North Korea from China at the beginning of 2014, when they first started to show up on Chinese data.