Samsung, Meet The Kings On The Electronics Throne

Samsung is one of the largest companies in the world, but did you know that there’s more to the company than smartphones and electronics?
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March 1, 1938, not the most auspicious date in history, however, this is the day that Samsung was founded by chairman Byung-Chull Lee in Taegu, Korea. With just 30 000 won, his business focused primarily on trade export, selling dried Korean fish, vegetables, and fruit to Manchuria and Beijing. In little more than a decade, Samsung-which means "three stars" in Korean-would have its own flour mills and confectionery machines, its own manufacturing and sales operations, and ultimately evolve to become the modern global corporation that still bears the same name today. Samsung entered the electronics industry in the late 1960s and the construction and shipbuilding industries in the mid-1970s; these areas all driving its future growth. Following the death of Byung-Chull Lee in 1987, Samsung was separated into four business groups – Samsung Group, Shinsegae Group, CJ Group and Hansol Group. Since the 1990s, Samsung has focused on globalising its activities and electronics, particularly mobile phones and semiconductors, which have become its most important source of income.  

Some of the highlights of  the history Samsung are:

  • 1951 - Samsung Moolsan established (now Samsung Corporation)
  • 1969 - Samsung-Sanyo Electronics established (renamed Samsung Electro-Mechanics in March 1975 and merged with Samsung Electronics in March 1977)
  • 1970 - Black-and-white TV (model: P-3202) production started by Samsung-Sanyo
  • 1972 - Began production of black-and-white televisions for domestic sale
  • 1974 - Samsung Heavy Industries incorporated
    • Samsung Petrochemical established
    • Began washing machine and refrigerator production
  • 1977 - Samsung Precision Co. established (now Samsung Techwin)
    • Started export of color televisions
    • Samsung Fine Chemicals established
    • Samsung Construction established
  • 1979 - Began mass production of microwave ovens
  • 1980 - Began producing air conditioners
  • 1981 - First microwave ovens (model: RE-705D) exported (to Canada)
    • 1 millionth color TV produced
  • 1982 - Name changed from Korea Telecommunications Corp. to Samsung Semiconductor &        Telecommunications Co.
    • Sales subsidiary (SEG) established in Germany
    • 10 millionth black-and-white TV produced
  • 1983 - Began production of personal computers (PCs)
  • 1984 - Samsung Data Systems established (Renamed Samsung SDS)
    • First VCRs exported to the US
  • 1987 - Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology opened for R&D purposes
  • 1988 - Samsung Semiconductor & Telecommunications Co merged with Samsung Electronics. Home appliances, telecommunications, and semiconductors selected as core business lines.
  • 1989 - Samsung BP Chemicals founded
    • 20 millionth color TV produced
  • 1991 - Development of mobile phone handset completed
  • 1992 - Developed mobile phone system
    • Development of 250MB hard disc drive completed
    • Development of world's first 64M DRAM completed
    • Acquired Kukje Securities Co., today is known as Samsung Securities Co., Ltd.
    • 10 millionth industrial robot produced
    • Began manufacturing in China
    • World's first 64M DRAM completed
  • 1993 - Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology (SAIT) developed first-ever digital video disk recorder (DVD-R)
    • Samsung Electronics acquired U.S. firm HMS
  • 1994 - Samsung Heavy Industries developed first Korean-built electric car (SEV-III)
    • Development of world's first 256M DRAM completed
    • 30 millionth microwave oven produced
    • Samsung Aerospace developed the world's first four-power zoom camera
  • 1995 - Samsung Entertainment Group started
    • Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology developed world's first real-time MPEG-3 technology
    • World's first 33" double-screen TV introduced
  • 1996 - Development of 1G DRAM completed
    • Developed world's fastest CPU (central processing unit), the Alpha chip
    • Began mass production of 64M DRAMs
  • 1998 - Mass production of world's first digital TV begun
    • Began mass production of the world’s first digital TV
    • Development of completely flat-screen TV completed
    • Served as Olympic Partner at Nagano Winter Olympics
    • World's first 128M SDRAM introduced
    • Developed world's first 128MB Synchronous DRAM and 128MB Flash memory
  • 1999 - Samsung Aerospace (known today as Samsung Techwin), Daewoo Heavy Industries, and Hyundai Space and Aircraft formed a single business entity, Korea Aerospace Industries
    • First in the world to mass-produce and offer a full lineup of digital TVs
    • Developed the world's first 3D TFT-LCD Monitor
    • Developed wireless Internet phone (Smartphone), a small, multi-function phone
The year 2000 onwards saw Samsung adapting the increasingly fast-paced changes in technology, advancing at a faster rate than ever before. Today, Samsung sits as one of the most recognised technology brands in the world thanks to its home electronics and mobile electronics divisions. The Galaxy smartphone series - including the Galaxy Note range - have become some of the most desired smartphones in the world, however, the company has pushed beyond that to establish itself as a front runner for future technologies. The next time you see the name Samsung, remember that there’s more to them than just smartphones, TVs or washing machines.