Naver partners with domestic firm to create S. Korean version of Google's Chromebook

Park Sae-jin Reporter() | Posted : April 7, 2021, 15:03 | Updated : April 7, 2021, 15:03

[Courtesy of Naver]

SEOUL -- Naver, a top web portal service operator and IT company in South Korea, will create a laptop ideal for educational purposes in cooperation with Lucoms, a domestic personal computer maker, benchmarking Chromebook powered by Google's Chrome OS.

Chromebook, released in 2012 as an affordable laptop, attracted schools with performances optimized for educational activities such as online classes and e-learning, which involves digital textbooks and other digital content. Chromebooks overtook Apple's Mac computers in 2020 to garner 8.4 percent of America's PC market, according to IDC, an international market research company.

Naver said in a statement on April 7 that the company would work with Lucoms to develop and distribute smart devices including a laptop based on Naver's Whale web browser. The laptop called "Whale Book" will be released in 2021 to support services interlinked with Naver's web service as well as other applications.

Naver will develop Whale software optimized for budget laptops. Lucoms will develop hardware. "Whale Book is a device optimized for education," said Naver's Whale division head Kim Hyo. The laptop will reflect the needs of the education sector, he said, predicting Whale Book would create synergy between educational platforms and e-learning devices.

Naver has showcased "Whale Space", a Whale Browser-based integrated education platform that allows teachers and students to manage classes including remote study programs. When the first wave of a COVID-19 hit South Korea in February 2020, the government postponed the opening of the first semester until April, prompting schools to engage in online classes that triggered a spike in PC and laptop sales.
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