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Samsung: A Brief History of Korea's Most Successful Business

The beginning of the Samsung Corporation can be traced back to 1938 when a small trading business of just 40 employees worked under the name 'Samsung Sanghoe' and was led by a young entrepreneur named Lee Byung-chull; but far from being the electronics giant it is today, this early company specialized in cooking and selling noodles. A highly successful business, its popularity was assured when it moved to a new headquarters in the South Korean capital of Seoul in 1947.

Byung-Chull expanded his business prospects across a range of industries including the insurance, security, and retail sectors. After experiencing brief unsurprising difficulties during the Korean war of 1950-53, the Samsung Trading Corporation emerged as one of the most valuable companies in Korea. Samsung Group made its first steps into the electronics industry in the late 1960s, when they produced their first electronic product, the black and white television. By the early 1980s, Samsung had evolved so much that they now had the technology to build their first personal computer.

Another great moment for Samsung came in 1980 when they acquired the company, Hanguk Jeonja Tongsin, giving them the capabilities necessary to begin competing in the telecommunications hardware industry. Now they could produce switchboard technology before manufacturing the telephone and fax systems which would eventually led to Samsung creating mobile phones. Another business strategy that benefited the company during the 1980s was Samsung's investments in international business, such as their building of television assembly plants in major world cities like New York, Tokyo, and Austin, Texas; the latter of which has seen Samsung's financial involvement escalate to $13 billion US dollars, making it the site of Samsung's largest foreign investment. Even greater business ventures occurred in the 1990s, such as Samsung's construction branch being contracted to build one of the Petronas towers in Malaysia.

Samsung endured the 1997 Asian financial crisis with little hindrance when compared to other Korean businesses, even though a considerable percentage of their lucrative Samsung Motor was sold to Renault. The Samsung enterprise expanded even further into manufacturing aircraft which resulted in the 1999 founding of the Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI). In early 2012, Samsung had the prestigious honour of becoming the largest mobile phone maker by unit sales in the world, replacing Nokia's long dominance in this field with sales totalling over 800 million.

However, Samsung's control of the mobile phone has not all been easy. In August 2012, after a much publicised court case with Apple over similarities between the Samsung Galaxy smartphone and the Apple iPhone, an American jury ruled that Samsung had to pay Apple $1.05 billion dollars in damages for having technological designs too close to that of an iPhone. Samsung protested the decision, but it has prevented Apple from trying to prohibit Samsung from selling their smartphones in the United Sates. This will include stopping sales of many of the most popular Samsung mobiles, including the Galaxy S 4G, Galaxy S2 AT&T, Galaxy S2 Skyrocket and the Galaxy S2 T-Mobile. This move might be in retaliation to Samsung's recent counter-claim that the Apple iPhone 5 infringes on its own patented mobile technology.

Despite these recent setbacks, Samsung is currently the fastest growing electronics company in the world, particularly in the communications sector. Whatever opposition Samsung faces, it can be guaranteed that they will continue to place their business and merchandise at the forefront of mobile phone innovation.

Whether you use a Samsung, iPhone or Blackberry, Roaming Expert can provide you with data roaming advice to help reduce costs to your business.

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