A North Korean Samjiyon tablet computer sold for the impressive price of $546 on Ebay.
The tablet first appeared on the site on November 7 with an opening bid of $4.15 — a likely reference to the April 15 birthday of Kim Il Sung — and attracted 53 bids over 10 days.
The Samjiyon, which appears to be available in several versions, has been reportedly sold to tourists for between $200 and $250, so the Ebay price represents somewhere between a doubling and tripling of the selling price.
The buyer isn’t identified but the seller is listed on Ebay by his or her email address.
“Based in Canada, [email protected] has been an eBay member since Jan 25, 2002,” the site says. The listing for the Samjiyon says it will be shipped from Yanji, China, which is just over the border from North Korea.
Details on the Samjiyon first appeared in state media reports in September 2012, but it wasn’t until earlier this year that foreign experts managed to get their hands on the device.
Two detailed reviews have been published on the Samjiyon. One on this website and one on 38 North.
The winning bidder on the Ebay auction will likely find the Samjiyon a responsive, Android-based tablet useful for playing a few games. North Korean school textbooks and dictionaries are also likely stored in the memory, but it probably won’t offer Internet access. That feature appears to have been disabled by the tablet’s makers, the Korea Computer Center, before it went on sale.