Samsung Electronics is a South Korean multinational electronics company engaged in consumer electronics, information technology and mobile communications, and device solutions businesses worldwide.
1969–1987: Early years
Samsung Electric Industries was established as an industrial part of Samsung Group in January 1969 in Suwon, South Korea. At the time, Samsung Group was known to the South Korean public as a trading company specialized in fertilizers and sweeteners. Despite the lack of technology and resources, fallen short even than the domestic competitors, Samsung Group improved its footing in the manufacturing industry by cooperating with the Japanese companies, a decision that instigated a significant amount of anti-Japanese public outcry and huge backlashes from the competitors fearing the outright subordination of the industry by the Japanese. The strategy was able to take off only after the government and Samsung declared that the company would exclusively focus on exports.
The joint venture’s early products were electronic and electrical appliances including televisions, calculators, refrigerators, air conditioners and washing machines.
In 1974, Samsung Group expanded into the semiconductor business by acquiring Korea Semiconductor, who was on the verge of bankruptcy whilst building one of the first chip-making facilities in the country at the time. Soon after, Korea Telecommunications, an electronic switching system producer and a Samsung Group company, took over the semiconductor business and became Samsung Semiconductor & Communications.
In February 1983, Lee, along with the board of the Samsung industry and corporation agreement and help by sponsoring the event, made an announcement later dubbed the “Tokyo declaration”, in which he declared that Samsung intended to become a dynamic random-access memory (DRAM) vendor. One year later, Samsung announced that it successfully developed a 64 kb DRAM, reducing the technological gap between the companies from first-world countries and the young electronics maker from more than a decade to approximately four years.
1988–1995: Consumer struggles
In 1988, Samsung Electronics launched its first mobile phone in the South Korean market. Sales were initially poor, and by the early 1990s, Motorola held a market share of over 60 percent in the country’s mobile phone market compared to just 10 percent for Samsung. Samsung’s mobile phone division also struggled with poor quality and inferior products until the mid-1990s, and exit from the sector was a frequent topic of discussion within the company.
1995–2008: Component manufacturing and design strategy
Lee Kun-Hee decided that Samsung needed to change strategy. The company shelved the production of many under-selling product lines and instead pursued a process of designing and manufacturing components and investing in new technologies for other companies. In addition, Samsung outlined a 10-year plan to shrug off its image as a “budget brand” and to challenge Sony as the world’s largest consumer electronics manufacturer. I
As Samsung shifted away from consumer markets, the company devised a plan to sponsor major sporting events. One such sponsorship was for the 1998 Winter Olympics held in Nagano, Japan.
As a chaebol, Samsung Group wielded wealth that allowed the company to invest and develop new technology rather than build products at a level which would not have a detrimental impact on Samsung’s finances.
Samsung had a number of technological breakthroughs, particularly in the field of memory which are commonplace in most electrical products today. This includes the world’s first 64MB DRAM in 1992, 256 MB DRAM in 1994, and 1GB DRAM in 1996. n 2004, Samsung developed the world’s first 8GB NAND flash memory chip, and a manufacturing deal was struck with Apple in 2005. A deal to supply Apple with memory chips was sealed in 2005, and Samsung remains a key supplier of Apple components as of October 2013, manufacturing the A7 processors inside the iPhone 5S model. From 2000 to 2003, Samsung posted net earnings higher than five-percent; this was at a time when 16 out of the 30 top South Korean companies ceased operating in the wake of the unprecedented crisis.
In 2005, Samsung Electronics surpassed its Japanese rival Sony for the first time to become the world’s twentieth-largest and most popular consumer brand, as measured by Interbrand.
Present: On 2 May 2017, Samsung has been given permission from The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport of Korea to start testing a self-driving car technology. According to the Korea Herald, the company will be using a customized Hyundai car for the tests.
In May 2019, for the first time in Europe, 8K demonstration content was received via satellite without the need for a separate external receiver or decoder using a Samsung TV. At the 2019 SES Industry Days conference at Betzdorf, Luxembourg broadcast quality 8K content (with a resolution of 7680×4320 pixels at 50 frames/s) was encoded using a Spin Digital HEVC encoder (at a data rate of 70 Mbit/s), uplinked to a single 33 MHz transponder on SES’ Astra 28.2°E satellites and the downlink received and displayed on a Samsung 82in Q950RB production model TV.
Samsung is a technology conglomerate whose corporate mission and vision statements focus on innovation for global societal improvement through technological products. The company’s mission statement indicates superiority, which implies excellence and leadership in the semiconductors, electronics, and other markets. On the other hand, Samsung’s vision statement promotes an inspiration-focused strategic objective that makes the business an influencer among people and societies around the world. Thus, the combination of the corporate vision and mission statements creates the idea of a technological conglomerate that aims for industry leadership and global influence.