|Traded as||KRX: 005930, KRX: 005935, LSE: SMSN, LSE: SMSD|
|Founded||1969 (Samsung Electric Industries)
1988 (Samsung Electronics)
|Headquarters||Suwon, South Korea|
|Key people||Lee Kun-hee
(Vice chairman and CEO)
|Products||See products listing|
|Revenue||₩201.103 trillion (2012)|
|Operating income||₩29.049 trillion (2012)|
|Profit||₩23.845 trillion (2012)|
|Total assets||₩181.071 trillion (2012)|
|Total equity||₩121.480 trillion (2012)|
Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (Korean: 삼성전자) is a South Korean multinational electronics company headquartered in Suwon, South Korea. It is the flagship subsidiary of the Samsung Group and has been the world's largest information technology company by revenues since 2009. Samsung Electronics has assembly plants and sales networks in 88 countries and employs around 370,000 people.
Samsung has previously been known for its position as a manufacturer of components such as lithium-ion batteries, semiconductors, chips, flash memory and hard drive devices for clients such as Apple, Sony, HTC and Nokia.  In recent years, Samsung Electronics has actively expanded in consumer markets moving away from its manufacturing roots - marked by new products and increasing revenue.
Since 2010 Samsung has been one of the largest vendors in the mobile phone and smartphone markets, including its Samsung Galaxy line of devices. The company is also one of the largest vendors in the tablet computer market, with the release of the Android-powered Samsung Galaxy Tab and Note 10.1.
Samsung has been the world's largest maker of LCD panels since 2002, the world's largest television manufacturer since 2006, and world's largest manufacturer of mobile phones since 2011. Samsung Electronics displaced Apple Inc. as the world largest technology company in 2011 and has been a major part of the Miracle on the Han River - accounting for 17% of the South Korean economy.
Samsung Electric Industries was established as a subsidiary of Samsung Group in 1969 in Suwon, South Korea. Its early products were electronic and electrical appliances including televisions, calculators, refrigerators, air conditioners and washing machines. In 1970, Samsung Group established another subsidiary, Samsung-NEC, jointly with Japan's NEC Corporation to manufacture home appliances and audiovisual devices. In 1974, the group expanded into the semiconductor business by acquiring Korea Semiconductor, one of the first chip-making facilities in the country at the time. The acquisition of Korea Telecommunications, an electronic switching system producer, was completed at the start of the next decade in 1980.
By 1981, Samsung Electric Industries had manufactured over 10 million black-and-white televisions. In February 1983, Samsung's founder, Lee Byung-chull, made an announcement later dubbed the "Tokyo declaration," in which he declared that Samsung intended to become a DRAM (dynamic random access memory) vendor. One year later, Samsung became the third company in the world to develop a 64kb DRAM. In 1988, Samsung Electric Industries merged with Samsung Semiconductor & Communications to form Samsung Electronics.
Samsung Electronics launched its first mobile phone in 1988, 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.
Samsung Electronics acquired a 40 percent stake in AST Research, a United States-based personal computer maker, for US$378 million in February 1995.
It was decided that by Lee Hun Kee 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. It was hoped in this way Samsung would gain an understanding of how products are made and give a technological lead sometime in the future. This patient vertical integration strategy of manufacturing components has born fruit for Samsung in the late-2000s.
As Samsung shifted away from consumer markets, the company devised a plan to sponsor major sporting events to remain in the public eye. 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 DRAM in 1994, 1Gb DRAM in 1996. In 2004, Samsung developed the world's first 8Gb NAND Memory chip and a manufacturing was struck with Apple in 2005. A deal to supply Apple for memory chips was struck in 2005 and Samsung remains a key supplier of Apple components. However the Samsung-Apple relationship has soured following Samsung's emergence in the consumer market.
For four consecutive years, 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 2007, Samsung Electronics became the world's second-largest mobile-phone maker, overtaking Motorola for the first time. In 2009, Samsung achieved total revenues of US$117.4 billion, overtaking Hewlett-Packard to become the world's largest technology company measured by sales.
In 2009 and 2010, the US and EU fined the company, together with eight other memory chip makers, for its part in a price-fixing scheme that occurred between 1999 and 2002. Other companies fined included Infineon Technologies, Elpida Memory and Micron Technology. In December 2010, the EU granted immunity to Samsung Electronics for acting as an informant during the investigation (LG Display, AU Optronics, Chimei InnoLux, Chunghwa Picture Tubes and HannStar Display were implicated as result of the company's intelligence).
Despite consistent growth, Samsung, along with its chairman Lee Kun-hee, has developed a reputation for insecurity regarding its financial stability and the potential for future crises to arise. After returning from a temporary retirement period in March 2010, Kun-hee stated that "Samsung Electronics' future is not guaranteed because most of our flagship products will be obsolete in 10 years from now."
Samsung has emphasized innovation in its management strategy since the early 2000s and it again highlighted innovation as part of core strategies when it announced the Vision 2020 in which the company set an ambitious goal of reaching $400 billion in annual revenues within ten years. In order to cement its leadership in the areas of memory chip and television production, the company has invested aggressively in research and development. The company has 24 research-and-development centers around the world.
In April 2011, Samsung Electronics sold its HDD commercial operations to Seagate Technology for approximately US$1.4 billion. The payment was composed of 45.2 million Seagate shares (9.6 percent of shares), worth US$687.5 million, and a cash sum for the remainder.
In the first quarter of 2012, the company became the highest-selling mobile phone company when it overtook Nokia, selling 93.5 million units compared to Nokia's 82.7 million units. Samsung also became the largest smartphone vendor as a result of strong sales of its Galaxy SII and Galaxy Note devices.
In May 2013, Samsung announced that it had finally managed to test speed-enhanced fifth generation(5G) technology successfully. 
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The digital-media business area covers computer devices such as laptop computers and laser printers; digital displays such as televisions and computer monitors; and consumer entertainment devices such as DVD players, MP3 players and digital camcorders; and home appliances such as refrigerators, air conditioners, air purifiers, washers, microwave ovens, and vacuum cleaners.
The semiconductor-business area includes semiconductor chips such as SDRAM, SRAM, NAND flash memory; smart cards; mobile application processors; mobile TV receivers; RF transceivers; CMOS Image sensors, Smart Card IC, MP3 IC, DVD/Blu-ray Disc/HD DVD Player SOC and multi-chip package (MCP); and storage devices such as optical disc drives and formerly hard disk drives.
The telecommunication-network-business area includes multi-service DSLAMs and fax machines; cellular devices such as mobile phones, PDA phones, and hybrid devices called mobile intelligent terminals (MITs); and satellite receivers.
By 2004 Samsung was the world's-largest manufacturer of OLEDs, with a 40 percent market share worldwide, and as of 2010 has a 98% share of the global AMOLED market. The company generated $100.2 million out of the total $475 million revenues in the global OLED market in 2006. As of 2006, it held more than 600 American patents and more than 2,800 international patents, making it the largest owner of AMOLED technology patents.
Samsung's current AMOLED smartphones use its Super AMOLED trademark, with the Samsung Wave S8500 and Samsung i9000 Galaxy S being launched in June 2010. In January 2011, it announced its Super AMOLED Plus displays – which offer several advances over the older Super AMOLED displays – real stripe matrix (50 percent more sub pixels), thinner form factor, brighter image and an 18 percent reduction in energy consumption.
In October 2007, Samsung introducing a ten-millimeter thick, 40-inch LCD television panel, followed in October 2008 by the world's first 7.9-mm panel. Samsung developed panels for 24-inch LCD monitors (3.5 mm) and 12.1-inch laptops (1.64 mm). In 2009, Samsung succeeded in developing a panel for forty-inch LED televisions, with a thickness of 3.9 millimeters (0.15 inch). Dubbed the "Needle Slim", the panel is as thick (or thin) as two coins put together. This is about a twelfth of the conventional LCD panel whose thickness is approximately 50 millimeters (1.97 inches).
While reducing the thickness substantially, the company could maintain the performance as before, including full HD resolution, 120 Hz refresh rate, and 5000:1 contrast ratio.
Samsung's flagship mobile handset line is the Samsung Galaxy S, which many consider a direct competitor of the Apple iPhone. It was initially launched in Singapore, Malaysia and South Korea in June 2010, followed by the United States in July. It sold more than one million units within the first 45 days on sale in the United States.
The company's I9000 Galaxy S and S8500 Wave smartphones were the winners of the 2010 European EISA Awards in the smartphone and social media phone categories. The I9000 Galaxy S was recognized for its superior-quality screen and excellent connectivity while the S8500 Wave for its Bada operating system with unparalleled social networking and location-based services.
While many other handset makers tend to focus on supporting one (or at most two) operating system, Samsung has kept supporting a wide range of operating systems in the market. Although the Galaxy S adopts Google Android as the primary operating system, it also supports other competing operating systems such as Symbian, Microsoft Windows Phone, Linux-based LiMo, and Samsung's proprietary Bada.
Samsung sold 235 million mobile handsets in the year 2009. At the end of the third quarter of 2010, the company had surpassed the 70 million unit mark in shipped phones, giving it a global marketshare of 22 percent, trailing Nokia by 12 percent. Overall, the company sold 280 million mobile phones in 2010, corresponding to a market share of 20.2 percent. Partially owing to strong sales of the Samsung Galaxy range of smartphones, the company overtook Apple in worldwide smartphone sales during the third quarter 2011, with a total market share of 23.8 percent, compared to Apple's 14.6-percent share. Samsung became the world's largest cellphone maker in 2012, with the sales of 95 million smart phones in the first quarter.
Samsung Electronics has been the world's-largest memory chip maker since 1993. In 2009 it started mass-producing 30 nm-class NAND flash memories. It succeeded in 2010 in mass-producing 30 nm-class DRAMs and 20 nm-class NAND flashes, both of which were the first time in the world.
According to market-research firm Gartner, during the second quarter of 2010 Samsung Electronics took the top position in the DRAM segment due to brisk sales of the item on the world market. Gartner analysts said in their report, "Samsung cemented its leading position by taking a 35-percent market share. All the other suppliers had minimal change in their shares." The company took the top slot in the ranking, followed by Hynix, Elpida, and Micron, said Gartner.
Another hitherto not-well-publicized area where the company had significant business in for years is the foundry segment. It had begun investment in the foundry business since 2006 and now positioned it as one of the strategic pillars for semiconductor growth.
In 2010, market researcher IC Insights predicted that Samsung would become the world's-biggest semiconductor chip supplier by 2014, surpassing Intel. For the ten-year period from 1999 to 2009, Samsung's compound annual growth rate in semiconductor revenues has been 13.5 percent, compared with 3.4 percent for Intel.
In 2009, Samsung sold around 31 million flat-panel televisions, enabling to it to maintain the world's largest market share for a fourth consecutive year.
Samsung sold more than one million 3D televisions within six months of its launch. This is the figure close to what many market researchers forecast for the year's worldwide 3D television sales (1.23 million units). It also debuted the 3D Home Theater (HT-C6950W) that allows the user to enjoy 3D image and surround sound at the same time. With the launch of 3D Home Theater, Samsung became the first company in the industry to have the full line of 3D offerings, including 3D television, 3D Blu-ray player, 3D content, and 3D glasses.
In 2007, Samsung introduced the Internet TV, enabling the viewer to receive information from the Internet while at the same time watching conventional television programming. Samsung later developed "Smart LED TV" (now renamed to "Samsung Smart TV"), which additionally supports downloaded apps. In 2008, the company launched the Power Infolink service, followed in 2009 by a whole new Internet@TV. In 2010, it started marketing the 3D television while unveiling the upgraded Internet@TV 2010, which offers free (or for-fee) download of applications from its Samsung Apps store, in addition to existing services such as news, weather, stock market, YouTube videos, and movies.
Samsung Apps offers for-fee premium services in a few countries including Korea and the United States. The services will be custom-tailored for each region. Samsung plans to offer family-oriented applications such as health care programs and digital picture frames as well as games. Samsung's range of Smart TVs include the apps ITV Player and motion controlled Angry Birds.
Samsung produces printers for both consumers and business use, including mono-laser printers, color laser printers, multifunction printers, and enterprise-use high-speed digital multifunction printer models.
In 2010, the company introduced a number of energy efficient products, including the laptop R580, netbook N210, the world's-smallest mono-laser printer ML-1660, and color laser multifunction printer CLX-3185.
Samsung has introduced several models of digital cameras and camcorders including the WB550 camera, the ST550 dual-LCD-mounted camera, and the HMX-H106 (64GB SSD-mounted full HD camcorder). In 2009, the company took the third place in the compact camera segment. Since then, the company has focused more on higher-priced items. In 2010, the company launched the NX10, the next-generation interchangeable lens camera.
In the area of storage media, in 2009 Samsung achieved a ten percent world market share, driven by the introduction of a new hard disk drive capable of storing 250Gb per 2.5-inch disk. In 2010, the company started marketing the 320Gb-per-disk HDD, the largest in the industry. In addition, it was focusing more on selling external hard disk drives. Following financial losses, the hard disk division was sold to Seagate in 2011.
In December 2010, Samsung switched its management system from the single CEO system of last year under Choi Gee-Sung, to a two-person management team with Choi Gee-Sung, CEO and Vice chairman, and Lee Jae-Yong, Chief Operating officer and President. In June 2012, Samsung appointed Kwon Oh-hyun as the new CEO of the company. The team was credited as being younger both in age and in outlook, and some executives dyed their hair black. Samsung also reorganized its overseas marketing bases in line with changes in the market, including a combined Britain/Continental Europe regional subsidiary, and a combined China/Taiwan regional subsidiary.
The company added a new digital imaging business division in 2010, and now consists of eight divisions, including the existing display, IT solutions, consumer electronics, wireless, networking, semiconductor, and LCD divisions.
It also reorganized its business organization to strengthen business synergies, by merging its Digital Air Solutions Team and Samsung Electronics Gwangju (consumer electronics and air conditioners, merged in 2010) under the consumer electronics business division. The set-top boxes business was merged with the Visual Display Business division.
The company's December 2010 reorganization was as follows: Among the eight divisions, the network division and the digital imaging division experienced new appointments, while the remaining divisions were maintained in accordance with their results.
The following are the names of board of directors members:
|Gee-Sung Choi||Vice chairman, President and chief executive officer|
|Ju-Hwa Yoon||Chief financial officer|
|Dong-Min Yoon||Independent director (Attorney at Law, Kim & Chang)|
|Chae-Woong Lee||Independent director (Professor of Economics, Sungkyunkwan University)|
|In-Ho Lee||Independent director (Advisor, Shinhan Bank)|
|Oh-Soo Park||Independent director (Professor of Business Administration, Seoul National University)|
world market share
|Leading competitor||Market share||Year||Source|
|DRAM||40.4%||SK Hynix||19.8%||Q3 2010|||
|NAND flash||40.4%||Toshiba||33.1%||Q2 2010|||
|Large-size LCD panels
|26.0%||LG Display||25.9%||Q3 2010|||
|Active-matrix OLEDs||97%||LG Display||1~3%||2010|||
|Lithium-ion batteries||18.7%||Sanyo||19.4%||Q1 2010|||
|Hard-disk drives||9%||Western Digital||31.3%||Q1 2010|||
(LCD, PDP, CRT, LED)
|17.2%||LG Electronics||14.8%||Q3 2009|||
|Mobile phones||25%||Nokia||23%||Q1 2012|||
|Application processors||12%||Texas Instruments||17%||Q3,4 2011|||
|Samsung's largest clients (Q1 2010)|
|Rank/company||Part description||Buying (trillion KRW)||Percent of total sales|
|1 Sony||DRAM, NAND flash, LCD panels, etc...||1.28||3.7|
|2 Apple Inc.||AP (mobile processor), DRAM, NAND flash, etc...||0.9||2.6|
|3 Dell||DRAM, flat-panels, lithium-ion batteries, etc...||0.87||2.5|
|4 Hewlett-Packard||DRAM, flat-panels, lithium-ion batteries, etc...||0.76||2.2|
|5 Verizon Communications||Handsets, etc...||0.5||1.3|
|6 AT&T Inc.||Handsets, etc...||0.5||1.3|
Despite recent litigation activity, Samsung and Apple have been described as frenemies who share a love-hate relationship. Samsung is a major supplier for Apple - first providing memory for the early iPod devices in 2005. On the other hand Samsung sell components to Apple and is a key revenue earner - thought to be in the region of $8 billion dollars in 2012. Apple CEO Tim Cook originally opposed litigation against Samsung wary of the company's critical component supply chain for Apple.
On April 2011, Apple Inc. announced that they were suing Samsung over the design of its Galaxy range of mobile phones. The lawsuit was filed on 15 April 2011 and alleges that Samsung infringed on Apple's trademarks and patents of the iPhone and iPad. Samsung issued a counterclaim against Apple of patent infringement. In August 2011, at The Regional Court of Düsseldorf, Apple were granted a preliminary injunction against the sale and marketing of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 across the whole of Europe excluding the Netherlands. The ban has been temporarily lifted in the European Union, with the exclusion of Germany, whilst it is investigated whether or not the original injunction was appropriate.
On August 31, 2012, the Tokyo District Court ruled Samsung Electronics' mobile devices did not violate an Apple Inc. patent. The case only addressed Apple's patent that allows mobile devices and personal computers to synchronize or share data with each other and is not comparable with the U.S. court case ruled on 24 August. On October 18 2012, U.K. High Court ruled that Samsung did not infringe Apple's design patents. Apple was forced to issue a court-ordered apology to Samsung on it's official U.K. website.
In the early 1990s, the firm began emphasizing the importance of design in its products. Located in the company's high-rise headquarters in Gangnam (south of Seoul) the corporate design center includes more than 900 full-time designers. In the beginning,[when?] there were only two designers in the whole company, whose number rose to 510 in 2005.
The company overhauls its design over a two-year cycle. For the first year, it scrutinizes design trends of the world, followed by product strategies. It then maps out new design plans during the second year.
Since 2006, it has won as many as 210 awards from international design institutions. It received the iF (International Forum) and IDEA design awards. Samsung was the winner in eight categories in the 2009 IDEA awards, the company that received the most awards.
In the 2010 iF Material Awards, the company won the Gold Award for five of its products including the external hard disk drive. The iF Material Awards are given by the International Forum Design GmbH of Hannover, a design award for design materials and process technologies. In 2010, the German company selected a total of 42 products in the areas of home appliance, furniture, and industrial design. Samsung won the awards in five categories including external hard disk, full-touch screen phone, "side-by-side" refrigerator, compact digital camera, and laser printer toner.
All Samsung mobile phones and MP3 players introduced on the market after April 2010 are free from polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and brominated flame retardants (BFRs).
The company is listed in Greenpeace's Guide to Greener Electronics, which rates electronics companies on policies and practices to reduce their impact on the climate, produce greener products, and make their operations more sustainable. In November 2011 Samsung was ranked 7th out of 15 leading electronics makers with a score of 4.1/10. In the newly re-launched guide Samsung moved down two places (occupying 5th position in October 2010) but scored maximum points for providing verified data and its greenhouse gas emissions and also scored well for its Sustainable Operations with the guide praising its relatively good e-waste take-back programme and information. However, the company was criticized for not setting an ambitious target to increase its use of renewable energy and for belonging to a trade association which has commented against energy efficiency standards.
In June 2004, Samsung was the first major electronics company to publicly commit to eliminate PVC and BFRs from new models of all its products. The company however failed to meet its deadlines to be PVC- and BFRs-free, and has published new phase out dates. Greenpeace activists protested at the company's Benelux headquarters in March 2010 for what Greenpeace calls Samsung's broken promises.
The company has been taking the lead in industry efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the company has been awarded as one of global top-ten companies in the Carbon Disclosure Leadership Index (CDLI). It was the only Asian company among top-ten companies. In addition, the company is listed in Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI).
The company's achievement ratio of products approaching the Global Ecolabel level ("Good Eco-Products" within the company) is 11 percentage points above the 2010 goal (80 percent). As of the first half of 2010, Samsung earned the Global Ecolabel for its 2,134 models, thereby becoming the world's number-one company in terms of the number of products meeting Global Ecolabel standards.
The company is also accelerating its effort to recover and recycle electronic wastes. The amount of wastes salvaged throughout 60 countries during 2009 was as much as 240,000 tons. The "Samsung Recycling Direct" program, the company's voluntary recycling program under way in the United States, was expanded to Canada.
In 2008, the company was praised for its recycling effort by the U.S. advocacy group Electronics Take Back Coalition as the "best eco-friendly recycling program".
On December of 2010, the European Commission fined six LCD panel producers, including Samsung, a total of €648.925 million for operating as a cartel. The company received a full reduction of the potential fine for being the first firm to assist EU anti-trust authorities.
On October 19, 2011, Samsung was fined EUR 145,727,000 for being part of a price cartel of ten companies for DRAMs which lasted from 1 July 1998 to 15 June 2002. The company received, like most of the other members of the cartel, a 10-% reduction for acknowledging the facts to investigators. Samsung had to pay 90% of their share of the settlement, but Micron avoided payment as a result of having initially revealed the case to investigators.
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