Most people today know the brand name Samsung, and they associate the brand very strongly with high quality electronic devices, namely with televisions. However, they provide more than just TVs for consumers. The company has a hand in many different areas of technology today, and they are often at the forefront of new and interesting types of electronic appliances and devices.
Before we understand where the company is today and where they are taking the brand, it is important to look to the past to see from whence they came.
Even though today Samsung is a powerhouse when it comes to electronic technology, they began as a very small company in 1938. The company founder, Byung-Chull Lee began the company in Taegu, Korea as an export business. He named the company Samsung, which means tri-star or three stars in Korean, with the three representing power and the stars representing eternity. In the early days of the company, they produced their own noodles and were heavily involved in the groceries produced in the Taegu area. After the Korean War, Lee expanded the business and created the largest wool mill in Korea. They eventually started to delve into other areas including insurance, retail, and securities.
It wasn't until the late 1960s that Samsung actually started to get into the electronics field. They formed a number of electronics divisions in their ever-growing company. Some of these divisions included:
* Samsung Electronics Devices
* Samsung Electro-Mechanics
* Samsung Corning
* Samsung Semiconductor & Telecommunications
The first electronics product the company made was a black and white television, thus helping to cement their identity as a company that makes televisions. By 1980, they became a part of the telecommunications industry and began creating switchboards. They moved forward and started to create telephones and fax systems, eventually turning into their mobile phone division. Today, their Galaxy phones are some of the most popular smartphones on the market, rivaled only by the likes of Apple's iPhone.
In the 80s, they started to become more interested in research and development, which has helped to push the electronic devices they create to the top of consumer lists in terms of features, quality, and innovation.
By 1992, they were the largest memory chip producer in the world, and the second largest maker after Intel. They worked hard on perfecting liquid crystal display technology, and are making some of the most popular and high quality LCD computer monitors and televisions on the market today. They actually had a joint venture with Sony for S-LCD, so both of the manufacturers would have a steady and quality supply of LCDs. In 2011, Samsung bought Sony share in the venture.
Samsung makes it a point to donate around $100 million annually to the Samsung Medical Center, which is a nonprofit healthcare provider that now two decades old. The center includes Samsung Seoul Hospital, Kangbook Samsung Hospital, Samsung Cancer Center, Samsung Life Sciences Research Center, and Samsung Changwon Hospital. Few people outside of Korea realize that Samsung donates and helped to create and sustain these hospitals.
The company has expanded their reach with the purchase of a variety of different types of businesses. Just as in the early days when they worked in many types of industries, their pattern of acquisition shows that they are still interested in having a very diverse company. Some of the companies Samsung acquired over the years include:
* AST Research
* Lehman Brothers Holdings
* MEDISON Co., Ltd.
* Mspot, Inc.
Today, Samsung makes a wide range of different products consumers can find on the shelves at local electronics stores, as well as the digital shelves of online sellers. The following are some of the products for which Samsung is best known.
* Televisions (LED, LCD, Plasma)
* Computers, Laptops and Desktops
One of the defining factors of the company is the quality of their products. They often rate amongst the top products in each category. The company is one of the most recognized electronics brands in the world today.