Samsung has evolved into one of the two key players in the global consumer electronics industry, now challenging even arch-rival Apple as the leading pace-setter. It was already South Korea's biggest and most powerful business conglomerate. During the 1980s it was one of the five dominant "chaebol", or the family-run business groups, which provided the engine for Korea's massive economic growth during that decade. Ten years later, Asia's economic crisis and intense regulatory pressure from the Korean government caused rivals such as Daewoo and Hyundai to implode. But Samsung managed an orderly restructuring of its interests, becoming stronger than ever before. Though it retains interests in many other areas, the group's main business is electronics. It now ranks as the world's biggest technology company, eclipsing longer established competitors from Japan, Europe and North America. It is the leading manufacturer of memory chips, and the biggest and still fastest-growing producer of mobile phones, televisions and other digital appliances. That business has expanded dramatically in recent years, supported by aggressive marketing campaigns in North America and Western Europe.
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|Samsung SDI||Samsung Engineering|
|Samsung Electro-Mechanics||Cheil Industries|
|Samsung Corning||Samsung Everland|
|Samsung SDS||Shilla Hotel|
|Samsung Life||Cheil Communications|
|Samsung Fire & Marine||S1|
|Samsung Card||Samsung Lions|
|Samsung Securities||Samsung Hospitals|
|Samsung Investment Trust||Samsung Corporation|
Adbrands Weekly Update 8th Nov 2018: Market watcher IDC reported a 6% decline in smartphone shipments in 3Q, the 4th consecutive year-on-year decline. The biggest loser was Samsung, which suffered a shock 13% slide in volumes to 72m devices, even though it retained a clear global lead over any other manufacturer. Just as shocking, perhaps, was a giant leap by Huawei which seized the #2 position by global volumes, with a 33% year-on-year increase to 52m units. That displaced Apple, which edged up by just 0.5% to 47m devices. It has two Chinese challengers breathing down its neck: Xiaomi was up 21% year on year to 34m units, ahead of countrymate Oppo at 30m. The top five manufacturers continued to increase their overall share at the expense of other handset makers.
Adbrands Weekly Update 1st Nov 2018: Samsung reported its highest ever quarterly profit, the equivalent of $11.5bn, well above analysts' expectations, on revenues worth $57.3bn. Yet all the gains came from the group's memory chips and displays divisions. Revenues from mobile phones sagged by 10% (to around $22bn) on flat volumes, while handset profits plunged by more than a third as a result of higher promotional spending. There were worrying signs too that the good times in memory chips may also soon come to an end as the market reaches saturation point.
Adbrands Social Media 5th Sep 2018: "No Crisis". Running out of mobile phone battery is definitely one of those First World problems. Leo Burnett's Israel office seeks to put those concerns into perspective with an entertaining musical number on behalf of Samsung. It just goes to show how egalitarian Leo Burnett's management of the Samsung account is. Far from being concentrated at a few global hubs, and then repackaged for individual markets, creative output is often made locally. As a result, even Burnett's smaller outposts get a chance to show what they're made of. If it wasn't in Hebrew, this particular spot would be fully deserving of a wider airing. Maybe they could consider remaking it in English.
Adbrands Weekly Update 8th Feb 2018: A court of appeal in South Korea released Samsung heir and de facto leader Lee Jae-yong after almost a year in prison for authorising bribes to the country's deposed former president Park. A high court in Seoul transmuted Lee's five-year jail sentence into a two year and six month sentence suspended for four years. The partial reprieve shocked some South Korean lawmakers. "Today we witnessed how Samsung is above the law once again," complained one senior member of the left-leaning Democratic Party of Korea. The case may now be referred to Korea's Supreme Court, which can decide to uphold the appeal court decision, or call for the case to be re-examined.
Adbrands Weekly Update 8th Feb 2018: Despite evidence that demand for iPhone X has proved weaker than anticipated, new figures from IDC show that Apple deposed Samsung as the global #1 in smartphones in the final quarter. For the year, though, Samsung remains the clear leader. IDC estimated shipments of 77.3m iPhones in 4Q 2017, equivalent to 19.2% market share. Samsung had volumes of 74.1m devices, or 18.4% share. For the year, Samsung had a lead of more than 100m units to take 21.6% market share, compared to 14.7% for Apple. Chinese manufacturers Huawei, Oppo and Xiaomi rounded out the Top Five.
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