One of the great companies in the mobile world, Samsung has become a veritable empire in the smartphone and electronics industry, although its story really started much earlier. How much sooner? 1938, in fact. Over these years, the company has evolved significantly, and has brought innovation in numerous markets, which goes far beyond just mobile and electronic.
1. Samsung was destined for the greatness of a day, or at least its founder thought so.
Since its founding, Lee Byung-chul believed that his new company was the beginning of something much bigger. The name chosen for the company reflected that ambition. Constructed from the Korean words sam (three) and sung (stars), the tri-star symbol (三星) is culturally said, and represents something “large, numerous and powerful.”
At its foundation, this was a rather bold statement from a company that was nothing more than a trading company, forty employees dealing with locally grown produce and noodle making. Since then, Samsung has certainly found its way to much more than just pasta, which brings us to another interesting fact.
2. Samsung is composed of about 80 companies and a staff of more than 370,000 people
While some of you may already know, Samsung is much more than just an electronics company and manufacturer of mobile phones. Samsung Group has 59 unlisted and 19 listed companies. These companies range from financial services, shipbuilding, and even medical. As mentioned above, the combined efforts of the company employ more than 370,000 people in 80 different countries, including Korea.
Another interesting fact, Samsung’s construction division has built the Burj Khalifa (pictured above), which is the tallest building in the world.
3. Samsung ‘s ambitions in electronics began in 1970 with a black and white TV, cell phone started in 1986 with a car phone.
The first electronic product produced by Samsung was a black and white TV in 1970. The company expanded greatly in the following decades, and in 1986 entered the game in the mobile area with a car phone. While Samsung’s early TV efforts were very well received, the company’s first car phone was barely received and had terrible sales as a result.
4. Since the founding of Samsung Electronics, the company logo has changed only three times.
5. Samsung Electronics, as we know it, actually started with a major change philosophy in 1993.
Samsung was involved with electronics and furniture industry for many decades, but it was in 1993 that Samsung’s president Lee Kun Hee (seen above) pushed the company forward with a new management philosophy, which encouraged product quality as one of its fundamental principles. In fact, he encouraged his team to “change everything but his family,” and in order to further promote this idea, the Samsung Human Resources Development Center has created new training and development courses to help with this growth professional.
In 1995, Kun-hee Lee reportedly found himself frustrated with the quality of his products and the lack of change in this regard. To improve this, numerous phones were stacked and supported by televisions, fax machines and other equipment. Lee and his board then began to destroy all these products by going so far as to break the hooves and screens using heavy hammers.
Lee brought about 2000 employees to witness this. That day, the hardware worth of over $ 50 million was destroyed, and a new Samsung was finally born. After that, the era of “new management” would really begin and was marked by rapid growth and global success, something that has only continued to gain momentum in the decades to come.
So, Samsung fans can thank Lee, his advice, and his willingness to perform.
6. First CDMA cell phone
The Samsung SCH-100 was launched in 1996, becoming the first phone to use CDMA technology. In retrospect, being the first to use a standard that many see as restrictive and inferior to GSM is probably not much of a compliment these days, but back then, CDMA was a new technology and – before the fast 4G / LTE technologies – really had some real advantages over GSM.
This may no longer be the case, but Samsung still deserves some recognition for its willingness to try out a new standard.
7. First Clock Phone
This innovation was called the Samsung SPH-WP10 in 1999.
This watch phone was unique, not only could tell the time, it could also make phone calls of up to 90 minutes. After that, the battery would be depleted. The screen was monochromatic with a backlit LCD, and there were physical buttons around the MNU. There were also voice commands to dial into your contacts.
Not surprisingly, the device found no commercial success, but it is interesting to know that Samsung’s smart watch originated long before the Gear family.
8. The Key to Success
The key to a winning product? Quality, right? Well, that certainly helps, but in reality, marketing is often as – if not more – important. You may have the best product of all time, but if no one ever knows about it, it does not really matter. In order to keep the company on the radar of the public, Samsung spends tons of money.
How much are we talking about? By 2013, it was about $ 4 billion for advertising. That’s in addition to another $ 5 billion spent on ‘marketing in general’.