Samsung Electronics

Samsung Electronics
Samsung Electronics
Type Public
Korean: 삼성전자
Traded as KRX: 005930 KRX: 005935 LSESMSN LSESMSD
Industry Consumer electronics
Genre Electronics
Founded 1969
Headquarters Samsung Town, Seoul, South Korea[1][2]
Area served Worldwide
Key people CEO: Choi Gee-Sung
Chairman: Lee Kun-hee
Products See products listing
Revenue US$ 133.78 billion (2010)[3]
Profit US$ 13.67 billion (2010)
Total assets US$ 118.35 billion (2010)
Owner(s) Lee Kun-hee & Affiliates 17.57%, Treasury Stocks of Samsung Electronics 13.07%, National Pension Service 5.90% (as of September 31, 2009)[4]
Employees 187,800 (2009)
Parent Samsung Group

Samsung Electronics (SEC, Korean: 삼성전자, KRX: 005930, KRX: 005935, LSESMSN, LSESMSD) is a South Korean multinational electronics and information technology company headquartered in Samsung Town, Seoul.[1][2] It is the flagship subsidiary of the Samsung Group. With assembly plants and sales networks in 61 countries across the world, Samsung has approximately 160,000 employees.[5]

In 2009, the company took the position of the world’s biggest IT maker by surpassing the previous leader Hewlett-Packard.[6] Its sales revenue in the areas of LCD and LED displays and memory chips is number one in the world.[7]

In the TV segment, Samsung’s market position is dominant. For the four years since 2006, the company has been in the top spot in terms of the number of TVs sold, which is expected to continue in 2010 and beyond. In the global LCD panel market, the company has kept the leading position for eight years in a row.[8]

With the Galaxy S model mobile phone, Samsung’s smartphone lineup has retained the second-best slot in the world market for some time.[9] In competition to Apple's iPad tablet, Samsung released the Android powered Samsung Galaxy Tablet[10].



Samsung Group headquarters at Samsung Town, Seoul.

Samsung Electronics was founded in 1969[11] in Daegu, South Korea as Samsung Electric Industries, originally manufacturing electronic appliances such as TVs, calculators, refrigerators, air conditioners and washers. By 1981, the company had manufactured over 10 million black and white TVs. In 1988, it merged with Samsung Semiconductor & Communications.

It is noteworthy that Samsung Electronics has grown in leaps and bounds in a business notorious for cyclical fluctuations. Founded in 1938 as a food processing and textile purveyor, the parent group entered the electronic business as late as in 1969 when it created under its wings an electronic component subsidiary. It was a decision made after considering the fast-growing domestic demand for electronic goods.

Just one year after its founding, the Samsung Group established in 1970 another subsidiary Samsung-NEC jointly with Japan’s NEC Corp. to manufacture electric home appliances and audio-visual devices. In 1974, it expanded into the semiconductor business by acquiring Korea Semiconductor, one of the first chip-making facilities in the country at the time. It was soon followed by the 1980 acquisition of Korea Telecommunications, an electronic switching system producer.

In February 1983, Samsung’s founder Lee Byung-chull made an epoch-making announcement, dubbed the “Tokyo declaration,” that his company would enter the DRAM (dynamic random access memory) business. And only one year after the declaration did Samsung became the third company in the world that developed the 64k DRAM after the United States and Japanese predecessors. The march from then onward as the pioneer in the memory chip-making industry has continued to this day for almost three decades.

Although Samsung Electronics was already one of the biggest companies in Korea as early as the 1990s, it now is by far the most important company with unrivaled influence on the economy through a large network of supplier and partner companies as well as through its own revenue-generating power. Since the onset of the 1997 Asian financial crisis, the company has become more powerful: While most other high-tech companies were hit by cash-flow problems after the crisis, Samsung could avoid financial difficulties by broad-based structural reforms.

After the crisis subsided, Samsung emerged as a global corporation. For four consecutive years from 2000 to 2003, it posted more than 5-percent net earnings when 16 large conglomerates out of 30 top companies of the nation went out of business in the wake of the unprecedented crisis.[12] [13]

On 2009 and 2010, the US and EU fined Samsung Electronics with 8 other memory chip makers for its part in a price fixing scheme from 1999 to 2002. Other companies fined included Infineon Technologies, Elpida Memory (Hitachi and NEC) and Micron Technology.[14][15][16][17][18] In December 2010, The EU granted immunity to Samsung Electronics for its part in informing on other members (LG Display, AU Optronics, Chimei InnoLux, Chunghwa Picture Tubes and HannStar Display) of a price fixing scheme.[19][20]

On April 2011, Samsung Electronics Co. have sold their HDD commercial operation to Seagate Technology for about $1.4 billion with payment of 45.2 million of (Samsung-Seagate) shares (9.6 percent of shares) with value of $687.5 million and the rest will be paid in Cash.[21]


Only ten years ago, Samsung’s only goal was to catch up with Japanese rivals. But now it is outperforming major Japanese electronics makers in many categories: in terms of global market share, Samsung is No. 1 in flat-panel TVs and memory chips; it is No. 2 in mobile handsets; it is one of the top suppliers in other home appliances.[22]

In 2005, Samsung surpassed Japanese rival Sony for the first time to become 20th world's largest and most popular consumer brand as measured by Interbrand.[23] In 2006, Business Week rated Samsung as 20th on its list of global brands, 2nd in the electronics industry.[24] Business Week also ranked Samsung as 20th in innovation.[25] In 2007, Samsung Electronics' handset division overtook American rival Motorola, making it the world's second-largest mobile phone maker.[26] In 2009, Samsung overtook Siemens of Germany and Hewlett-Packard of the USA with a revenue of $117.4 billion to take the No.1 spot as the world's largest technology company.[27]

The semiconductor division of Samsung Electronics is the world's largest memory chip and second largest semiconductor manufacturer worldwide.[28] This has been the case for DRAM and SRAM for over a decade.[citation needed]

To become the top brand in the electronics business, Samsung has spent enormous sums on marketing and branding. As part of fulfilling this strategy, the company devised in 1996 a plan to sponsor major sporting events. It succeeded in becoming an official sponsor for the 1998 Nagano Winter Olympics. Samsung today is the name that almost always appears in many big games.[29]

Despite being a giant in the global technology business with abundant growth, Samsung, along with its chairman Lee Kun-hee, is famous for fretting over its future and coming crises. Since returning from a mini retirement in March 2010, Kun-hee said, “Samsung Electronics’ future is not guaranteed because most of our flagship products will be obsolete in 10 years from now.” [30]

Global consumers’ brand recognition of Samsung Electronics has increased steadily: According to the top-100 brand list compiled by Millward Brown, the British brand consultancy, Samsung, ranked at 68th on its list, was one of the world’s most valuable brands whose growth has been most pronounced during the 2009-2010 period. Its brand value, estimated at as much as US$1.1 billion, grew by 80 percent.

In the “World’s Most Reputable Companies 2010” ranking published by Reputation Institute of the United States, Samsung was placed at 22nd, a large advancement from the previous year’s 74th. This ranking, compiled by the U.S. consulting company since 2006, reflects survey results collected from consumers in 24 different countries for global 600 large corporations in terms of annual revenue and its GDP share in respective countries. The respondents answer questions in seven categories including products and services, inventiveness, work conditions, corporate governance, social responsibility, leadership, and financial performance.

Samsung was also ranked 11th in the “50 Most Innovative Companies 2010” list put out by Business Week, a five-notch increase from the previous year’s 16th. The ranking, collated jointly by the U.S. weekly magazine and Boston Consulting Group since 2005, is based on answers to innovation-related survey questions asked to executives of global corporations. While survey answers take an 80-percent weight to the compilation of the ranking, the remaining 20 percent is accounted for by annual share appreciation (10%) and three-year average sales revenue and profit margin (5% each), respectively.

Samsung had 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 the $400-billion sales revenue within 10 years. In order to cement its leadership in the areas of memory chip and TV production, Samsung has invested aggressively in research and development. The company currently has 24 R&D centers around the world. In the 2010 Business Week innovation ranking, Apple Computer and Google retained the leading positions as in the 2009 list, followed by Microsoft, which gained one notch from 2009’s fourth place.

Meanwhile, Samsung took the 33rd place in the “World’s Most Valuable Brands 2010” list made public by the Forbes magazine. Forbes said that Samsung’s brand value was as much as $12.8 billion with an average sale revenue growth rate of 17 percent for the past three years.

Business areas

Samsung Electronics focuses on four areas: Digital Media, Semiconductor, Telecommunication Network, and LCD Digital Appliance.[31]

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 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/BD/HD-DVD Player SOC and multi-chip package (MCP); and storage devices such as optical disc drives and 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.

The LCD business area focuses on producing TFT-LCD and organic light-emitting diode (OLED)panels for laptops, desktop monitors, and televisions.

Samsung Print was established in 2009 as a separate entity to focus on B2B sales and has released a broad range of multifunctional devices and printers and more.


Samsung Electronics manufactures products in a number of categories:


For more than 20 years since 1993, Samsung has kept the title of the world’s largest memory chip maker. In 2009, it began a strategy of “Green Memory” by which it increased the global DRAM market share to 33 percent. It also started mass-producing 30 nm-class NAND flash memories in the same year whose world share rose as high as 42 percent.[32] 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.[33] 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.” Samsung took the top slot in the ranking, followed by Hynix, Elpida, and Micron, said Gartner.[34] Another market researcher IC Insights predicted that Samsung would become the world’s biggest semiconductor chip supplier by 2014 when it surpasses Intel. For the ten-year period from 1999 to 2009, Samsung’s compound annual growth rate (or CAGR) has been 13.5 percent, compared with that for Intel paltry 3.4 percent. Extrapolating this trend to the future, Samsung will be able to catch up with Intel by the year 2014, estimated IC Insights.[35] IC Insights also said that Intel’s 2009 sales revenue had been 52 percent higher than that for Samsung, but that differential narrowed to only 21 percent during the second quarter of 2010 [36]

Another hitherto not-well-publicized area where Samsung had significant business in for years is the foundry segment. Samsung had begun investment in the foundry business since 2006 and now positioned it as one of the strategic pillars for semiconductor growth.[37]

Slimmer panels

Galaxy Tab

Samsung Electronics’ TVs and display products have undergone a race toward ever-slimmer panels. In 2009, the company succeeded in developing the super-slim panel for 40-inch LED TVs, with the 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, Samsung could maintain the performance as before, including full HD resolution, 120 Hz refresh rate, and 5000:1 contrast ratio.[38] In October 2007, Samsung broke the 10-millimeter barrier by introducing the 10-mm thick 40-inch LCD TV panel, followed in October 2008 by the world’s first 7.9-mm panel.[39] Samsung is leading the industry by developing panels for 24-inch LCD monitors (3.5 mm) and 12.1-inch laptops (1.64 mm).[40] According to Samsung officials, the biggest factor in reducing the panel thickness was the LED backlight. They are optimistic that their company could cut TV width by 40 percent within two years from now.[41]

OLED Displays

By 2004 Samsung, South Korea's largest conglomerate, was the world's largest OLED manufacturer, producing 40% of the OLED displays made in the world,[42] and as of 2010 has a 98% share of the global AMOLED market.[43] The company is leading the world OLED industry, generating $100.2 million out of the total $475 million revenues in the global OLED market in 2006.[44] As of 2006, it held more than 600 American patents and more than 2800 international patents, making it the largest owner of AMOLED technology patents.[44]

Samsung's latest AMOLED smartphones use their Super AMOLED trademark, with the Samsung Wave S8500 and Samsung i9000 Galaxy S being launched in June 2010. In January 2011 Samsung announced their Super AMOLED Plus displays[45] - which offer several advances over the older Super AMOLED displays - real stripe matrix (50% more sub pixels), thinner form factor, brighter image and an 18% reduction in energy consumption.


For years in a row, Samsung has taken the top spot in the world TV market, with the launch of best-selling items. In 2009, it sold as many as 31 million flat-panel TVs, maintaining the top position for four consecutive years in terms of world market share.[46] In early 2010, the company had set the year’s sales goal at 39 million units (including 10-million LED TVs).[47]

According to DisplaySearch, the U.S. market research and consulting firm, Samsung is forecast to take a 27-percent share for the global TV market in the second quarter of 2010 while LG Electronics accounts for 26.2 percent of the market. The market researcher predicted that Samsung’s leadership would continue in 2011 [48]

Samsung Electronics is creating a new market by introducing the “Finger-Slim” LED TV. Launched in March 2009, the super-slim LED TV has thus far been sold as many as 2.6 million units. In 2009 alone, it was sold more than 2 million units, which brightens the future prospect.[49]

Samsung has led the flat-panel TV market for the past five years with the 2006 introduction of its “Bordeaux” line, followed by the 2007 Bordeaux model, the 2008 “Crystal Rose” line, and the “Finger-Slim” in 2009.[50] The company retained the leading position by successfully selling more than 1 million 3D TVs as of August 2010.[51]

This company is developing new LED TV models too. After expanding its TV lineups, Samsung became the industry-first 10-million-seller challenge. One of the new products to watch is the full HD 3D LED TV that was launched the first time in March 2010.[52] Combining LED features with 3D functionality, the new 3D TV is expected to lead the market for years to come. Samsung showcased the new TV in the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES 2010) held in Las Vegas early this year.[53]

In 2009, Samsung TVs were selected in major U.K. publications and retailers as the best TV of the year. For example, Samsung’s LED TV 7000 series was the winner of the “Gadget Awards 2009” by T3, U.K.’s most prestigious electronics magazine.[54]

The T3 magazine in its news article on “ten reasons why you should buy Samsung LED TV” listed as the reasons superior picture quality, slim design, energy efficiency and connectivity.[55]

3D experience

Samsung sold more than 1 million 3D TVs within six months of its launch. This is the figure close to what many market researchers forecast for the year’s worldwide 3D TV sales (1.23 million units).[56] 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 TV, 3D Blu-ray play, 3D content, and 3D glasses.[57]

The company is trying offer the 3D content streaming service on its 3D TVs. Just like iTunes store, the Samsung 3D TV aims to allow the user to connect to its own online store, Samsung Apps, and download applications on the user’s hard disk drive.

Smart TVs and apps

Samsung introduced the Internet TV in 2007, enabling the viewer to receive information from the Internet while at the same time watching conventional TV programming. Samsung later developed “Smart LED TV”, (now renamed to “Samsung Smart TV[58]) 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, Samsung started marketing the 3D TV 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.[59]

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.

SamyGO community created at 2009 for hacking Samsung B series TV firmwares, and later supported A and C series TV's also, under GPLv2 license and deployed new applications like a tool increasing subtitle size and changing its color, enabling PVR functionality of TV, enabling internal video player on low end models, supporting DTS codec on B Series TVs, work around for DLNA problems by playing movies from SAMBA and NFS shares support etc. Also placed web browser right into TV with mouse and keyboard support and many more applications... Samsung started to release restricted firmware updates starting from Feb 2010 for fixing security issues those used by SamyGO community and disabled firmware downgrade option from TV menus, which believed to disable the SamyGO project. But hackers find workarounds for those new restricted firmwares.[60]

Mobile phones

Samsung Electronics sold 235 million mobile handsets in the year 2009.[61] At the end of Q3 2010 Samsung had surpassed the 70 million unit mark in shipped phones, giving it a global marketshare of 22% trailing Nokia by 12%.[62] Overall, Samsung sold 280 million mobile phones in 2010, corresponding to a market share of 20.2%.[63]

Following the success of its “Anycall” brand mobile phones in Korea, the company introduced numerous mobile handset models including premium phones, full-touch screen phones, and environmentally friendly phones. Samsung’s flagship mobile handset line is the Galaxy S, which many consider a direct competitor of Apple's popular iPhone.[64] It was initially launched in Singapore, Malaysia and South Korea in June 2010 [65][66][67] followed by US variants called Vibrant and Captivate in July and Epic and Fascinate in August and September. It sold more than 1 million units within the first 45 days of in the US alone [68]

Samsung’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.[69]

Samsung’s 2010 smartphone shares worldwide are rising rapidly. The share in the United States has doubled in the second quarter of the year from the previous quarter. In the second quarter the company shipped as many as 3 million smartphones, a 173-percent increase from the same period last year.[70]

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.[71]

The company set the sales goal of the 2010 yearend at 20 million units.[72]

Samsung faces challenges in the phone market. An alliance of Chinese low wage and Taiwanese technology is catching up closely. Smartphone makers such as Apple, RIM, and HTC are busy coming up with new models, and Samsung is working to maintain its top position.

Partially owing to strong sales of Samsung's Galaxy range of smartphones, Samsung overtook Apple in smartphone sales during Q3 2011, with a total market share of 23.8%, compared to Apple's 14.6%.[73]

Home appliances

In 2009, the year of worldwide recession due to the 2008 global credit crisis, Samsung’s sales revenue rose 27 percent from the previous year, the biggest increase in the industry. In the home market, Samsung held the leading position thanks to strong sales of its flagship items, Zipel-brand side-by-side and kimchi refrigerators. In the North American, European, and Russian markets, it solidified its image as a premier home appliance maker by selling so many refrigerators, washing machines, air-conditioners, as well as new steam microwave ovens and “robot” vacuum cleaners.

In a market clearly split into two extremes of upmarket and budget categories, Samsung employs a two-pronged strategy to emphasize its premium image for affluent consumers while marketing lower-end items with fewer bells and whistles for emerging economies consumers.

In 2009, Samsung introduced a host of new products including a premium mini-laptop computer N310 and slim-sized laptop X420. The N310 and the X420 are the third-generation laptops with all the advanced features as well as portability and connectivity. Thanks to these new market entrants, Samsung could sell as many as 6 million laptops for the year.

In the printer business division, one of the next-generation strategic areas, Samsung launched mono-laser printer, multifunction printer, and enterprise-use high-speed digital multifunction printer models. Samsung was ranked second in the world in the area of letter-size (A4) laser printers. In other segments such as mono-laser printers, multifunction printers, and color laser printers, Samsung was first or second place in the world. In the laser multifunction printer segment, it became No. 1 the first time in its history, all of which indicates that Samsung is growing fast in the printer business despite under the condition of severe economic recession.

In 2010, Samsung introduced many new products boasting energy efficiency and eco-friendliness, including the premium laptop R580, netbook N210, the world’s smallest mono-laser printer ML-1660, and color laser multifunction printer CLX-3185.

In the area of wireless networking, the mobile telecom protocols such as Mobile WiMax and WiBro, the protocols developed by Samsung and adopted in 2007 as international standards, are in wide commercial use in many overseas markets. Since mobile telecom service providers in the United States, Japan, and Russia began deploying the standards, more and more providers (as many as 139 providers in 75 countries) are readying to take it up.

Digital cameras and camcorders are the areas Samsung cannot overlook. The company has introduced several models in these areas such as the WB550 (the premium camera), the ST550 (the dual-LCD-mounted camera), and the HMX-H106 (64GB SSD-mounted full HD camcorder). Samsung in 2009 took the third place in the compact camera segment. Since then, the company has focused more on high-priced items. In 2010, the company launched the NX10, the next-generation interchangeable lens camera, thereby commencing the race toward the new category of camera market.

In the area of storage media, Samsung in 2009 succeeded in grabbing more than 10 percent of the world market share by introducing a new hard disk drive capable of storing 250Gb per 2.5-inch disk.[74] In 2010, the company started marketing the 320Gb-per-disk HDD, the largest in the industry. In addition, it is focusing more on selling external hard disk drives.

In the MP3 player segment, Samsung is doing quite well. It is launching a host of new products including the M1, the premium MP3 player model, and the world’s smallest DivX MP3 player R1.[75]

Market share

Product Samsung's
global M/S
Competitors M/S Year Source
DRAM 40.4% Hynix 19.8% Q3 2010 [76]
NAND Flash 40.4% Toshiba 33.1% Q2 2010 [77]
Large-size LCD Panel
26.0% LG Display 25.9% Q3 2010 [78]
Active-Matrix OLED 97% LG Display, AUO 1~3% 2010 [79]
Lithium-ion battery 18.7% Sanyo 19.4% Q1 2010 [80]
LCD Monitor 18.0% Dell 12.8% 2009 [81]
Hard disk drive 9% Seagate
31% Q4 2009 [82]
Television sets
17.2% LG Electronics 14.8% Q3 2009 [83]
Mobile phone 21.0% Nokia 23.4% Q3 2010 [84]
Digital camera 11.8% Sony 17.4% 2010 [85]


Behind Samsung’s rapid rise there lies design power. In the early 1990s, the firm began emphasizing the importance of design in its products. In its high-rise headquarters in Kangnam, south of Seoul, it locates the corporate design center in which more than 900 full-time designers are housed. In the beginning, there were only two designers in the whole company, whose number rose to 510 in 2005.

Samsung overhauls its design in every two years. For the first year, it scrutinizes all the design trends of the world, followed by product strategies. It then maps out new design plans during the second year.

Samsung’s effort to improve design paid off: since 2006, it has won as many as 210 awards from internationally prestigious design institutions. For example, 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.

There is compelling reason for Samsung’s rise as a design powerhouse. Korea had for so long been considered a backwater for design excellence, especially compared to the Japanese counterparts famous for churning out eye-catching gadgets. Samsung established as many as seven design centers in the world’s major cities including Milan and London, as well as in Seoul. The professional designers working in these centers constantly monitor latest design trends in their cities while scanning cultural and lifestyle changes.

In the 2010 iF Material Awards, Samsung 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, one of the world’s most prestigious design awards 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.[86]

Environmental record

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).[87]

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.[88]. 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.[88]

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.[89] Greenpeace activists protested at the company's Benelux headquarters in March 2010 for what Greenpeace calls Samsung's broken promises.[90]

Samsung Electronics has been taking the lead in industry efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the company has been awarded as one of global top 10 companies in the Carbon Disclosure Leadership Index (CDLI). Samsung Electronics was the only Asian company among top 10 companies. As well, Samsung is listed in Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI). [91]

Samsung’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%). As of the first half of 2010, Samsung earned the Global Ecolabel for its 2,134 models, thereby becoming the world’s No. 1 company in terms of the number of products meeting Global Ecolabel standards.[91]

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. [92]

For its recycling effort, Samsung was in 2008 praised by the U.S. advocacy group Electronics Take Back Coalition as the “best eco-friendly recycling program.” [93]

Samsung Electronics’ corporate name “Samsung” comes from the word “three stars” that shine brightly. The hanja character “sam” has the double meaning of three and strong while “sung” connotes “star” and “bright” (or “shining”). The corporate name has auspicious meaning in it, meaning that it foretells success.

Samsung’s logo design emphasizes flexibility and simplicity while conveying a dynamic and innovative image through the ellipse, the symbol of the universe and the world stage. The openings on both ends of the ellipse where the letters “S” and “G” are located are intended to illustrate the company’s open-mindedness and the desire to communicate with the world. The English rendering is a visual expression of its core corporate vision, excellence in customer service through technology.

The basic color in the logo is blue, the color that Samsung has had used in its logos for years. The blue color symbolizes stability and reliability, which are precisely what the company wishes to accomplish with its customers. It also stands for social responsibility as a corporate citizen, a company official explained.[94]

Audio branding was produced by Musikvergnuegen and written by Walter Werzowa using the notes; Eb Ab Db Eb .[95][96]

Management and board of directors

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 President, and Lee Jae-Yong, Chief Operating Operator and President. The team was credited as being younger both in age and in outlook, and in keeping with the new focus on youthfulness in spirit, some executives have even dyed their hair black.[97] 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.

Samsung 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.

Samsung 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. Samsung'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 strong results.

  • Chief Executive Officer, Vice Chairman: Choi Gee-Sung
  • Chief Financial Officer: President Yoon Ju-hwa
  • Chief Operating Officer, President: Lee Jae-Yong

Division heads

  • Semiconductor Division: President Kwon Oh-hyun
  • LCD Division: President Jang Won-ki
  • Visual Display Division: President Yoon Boo-keun
  • Mobile Communications Business: President Shin Jong-kyun
  • Telecommunication System Business: Executive vice President Kim Young-ki(newly appointed)
  • IT Solutions Business: Executive vice President Nam Seong-woo
  • Digital Appliances Business: Executive vice president Hong Chang-wan
  • Digital Imaging Business: Executive vice President Chung Hyun-ho(newly appointed)

Regional directors

  • North America: Executive vice President Kim Yangkyu (appointed)
  • Central and South America: Executive vice President Yoo Doo-yeong
  • Europe: Executive Director Kim Seok (newly appointed) (former Middle East supervisor, Director Kim Jin-an)
  • CIS: Executive Director Seo Chi-won
  • Middle East: Executive Director Bae Gyeong-Tae
  • Africa: Executive Director Park Gwang-gi
  • Southeast Asia: Executive vice President Lee Jong-Seok
  • Southwest Asia: Executive Director Shin Jeong-soo
  • China: Executive Director Kim Yeong-Ha (newly appointed)
  • Korea: Executive Director Park Jae-Soon

The following are the names of board of directors members:[98]

Gee-Sung Choi Vice Chairman, President & CEO
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 Univ.)
In-Ho Lee Independent Director (Advisor, Shinhan Bank)
Oh-Soo Park Independent Director (Professor of Business Administration, Seoul National Univ.)

Sports Clubs


From 1999 to 2002, Samsung conspired with Hynix Semiconductor, Infineon Technologies, Elpida Memory (Hitachi and NEC) and Micron Technology to fix the prices of DRAM chips sold to American computer makers. In 2005 Samsung agreed to plead guilty and to pay a $300 million fine, the second-largest criminal antitrust fine in US history.[99][100][101][102]

In May 2010 the EU antitrust watchdog levied a €145.73 million fine against Samsung for the same DRAM cartel.[103]

In December 2010 the European Commission fined six LCD panel producers including Samsung a total of €648.925 million for operating a cartel. Samsung received a full reduction of the potential fine for being the first firm to cooperate with the EU anti-trust authorities.[104]

In April 2011 Apple Inc. announced that they were suing Samsung over the design of their Galaxy range of mobile phones. The lawsuit was filed on 15 April 2011 and alleges that Samsung violated Apple's trademarks and patents and "slavishly" copied the iPhone and iPad.[105] Of the lawsuit, Apple said "This kind of blatant copying is wrong." Samsung issued a statement saying "Samsung's development of core technologies and strengthening our intellectual property portfolio are keys to our continued success" before announcing that they would contest the allegations.[105] A few days later, Samsung issued a counterclaim against Apple claiming patent infringement.[11] 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.[106] 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.[107]

As part of the ongoing conflict between Samsung and Apple Inc., Samsung filed a claim with the Federal Court of Australia on September 16, 2011, accusing Apple of patent infringement by Apple’s iPhone and iPad on seven patents.[105]

See also

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