Samsung: The History of a Global Electronics Giant


What comes to mind when we hear Samsung? Televisions, mobile phone… those who have entered the history and situation of the company will know that Samsung is beyond those two. Samsung is The Giant of South Korea. 

In Korea, Samsung has hospitals, hotels, and cities. He works for education, for defense and even for the aerospace sector. Samsung has become a whole and started exporting vegetables!

In 1938,  Lee Byung-Chul of Gyeongsang Province created an export company and called it Samsung (which in Korean means three stars, hence its initial logo). At first, his company was mainly engaged in commercial exports, specifically, the sale of dried Korean fish, vegetables and fruit to Manchuria and Beijing. However, in little more than a decade, Samsung would have its own flour mills, its own manufacturing machines and its own manufacturing and sales establishments, to finally become the modern global corporation that still has the same first name.

Who is Samsung?

Lee Byung-Chul was born into a wealthy family who could send him to Waseda University in Tokyo. But he did not finish his studies and after the early death of his father, he used part of his inheritance to open a rice plant in his hometown. The rice plant did not give him much money at first so he opened a truck transport company in Daegu in 1938, which he called Samsung Trading and which had the initial three Samsung stars in its logo. This was the first stone of the empire. A company, which despite the deep problems between Japan and Korea relations, managed to flourish without stopping exports at any time.

Lee Byung-Chul (Founder of Samsung)

In 1953, Lee Byung-Chul founded Cheil Sugar (now called CJ Cheil Jedal) and it is a food industry that gave Byung enough money to continue founding companies that sold products in a wide variety of sectors, from the textile, the automobile and, of course, the electronic consumption. In 1961 General Park, he took control of the company and Byung stayed in Japan and did not return to South Korea.

In this period Samsung founded and bought companies of all kinds, from the Ankuk Fire & Marine Insurance (1958), which was renamed Samsung Fire & Marine Insurance in October 1993, to the founding of Joong-Ang Development which was renamed Samsung Everland and is one of the company’s multiple Holdings, to differentiate itself, it also has an amusement park.

Focused on improving electronic consumption

Samsung is no doubt known for its products dedicated to electronic consumption and this is an area in which the company has deepened enough and looking to become the global leader it is now.

Its path began in 1969 since its merger with Sanyo becoming  Samsung-Sanyo Electronics, which was later renamed Samsung Electro-Mechanics in March 1975 and merged with Samsung Electronics in March 1977. Sanyo also had a peculiar origin, since the Japanese company began building lamps for bicycles. With them, Samsung manufactured the first black and white televisions.

From here everything was growth for Samsung. They started manufacturing microwaves, refrigerators, washing machines and air conditioning. In the meantime, they continued to found subsidiaries dedicated to the manufacture and research and development of circuits and machinery, such as Samsung Techwin and Samsung Fine Chemicals. Since the founding of Samsung Aerospace Industries (currently Samsung Techwin) in February 1987, Samsung has been developing its capabilities in the aerospace sector at unprecedented speed.

Samsung’s growing interest in technology led to the creation of the company’s two research and development (R&D) institutes, which helped to further expand its reach in the fields of electronics, semiconductors, chemical products based on high polymers, genetic engineering, fiber optic telecommunication systems and aerospace engineering, as well as in new fields of technological innovation, from nanotechnology to advanced network architectures.

In 1987, after the death of Samsung‘s founding president, his son Kun-Hee Lee succeeded him as the new president. During this period, Samsung set itself the challenge of restructuring its old activities and accessing new sectors, with the aim of becoming one of the five most important electronics industry companies in the world.

History of Samsung Phones

It was in 1992 that Samsung began to develop the first mobile phone system of the company that would become the first smartphone of 1999. It was claimed that these mobiles were expected to be launched in 1995, but could not work as they should. When Kun-Hee Lee discovered the fault that occurred in his factories in China, he ordered the entire inventory burned.

At this time Samsung not only advanced in the mobile phone sector, but it also became strong in all the fields in which it was present. In 1998, Samsung manufactured the first largest market share of TFT LCD screens and a year later they develop the first 3D TV.

Now the company dominates the mobile phone market thanks to its Galaxy range and its commitment to Android. They have put their horizon in the change of the technological mentality, they want to change the way of thinking and doing things and now their motto is: Inspire the world, create the future.  

First Samsung Phone

While the electronics division of Samsung has been on the go since 1969, the SGH-100 is the very first phone ever manufactured by the tech company. It was released in Korea, in 1988.

Samsung SH-100

Samsung First Android Phone

The Samsung GT-I7500 Galaxy is a mobile phone manufactured by Samsung that uses the open-source Android operating system. It was announced on 27 April 2009 and was released on 29 June 2009 as the first Android-powered device from Samsung Mobile, and the first in what would become the long Galaxy series.

Samsung GT-I7500

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