Samsung has built literally everything from a family car to a butt robot. It’s a crazy company, so here are my top 30 things about it.
1. Samsung Digital City
Samsung has a huge office park in Korea all to itself, called Samsung Digital City. It’s quite possibly the company’s most important bunch of buildings. It’s where their galaxy smartphones are designed, and even where some of the first curved TVs were conceptualized.
And this city has a couple of interesting things about it. There’s a specialized chamber that is decked with soundproofing pads to create pin drop silence and this is actually where the audio performance of phones is tested
They even have a sound lab filled with instruments, which is where a lot of those iconic ringtones and Samsung alert sounds are actually created.
2. ‘Work Smart’ Philosophy
Plus, Samsung has a philosophy here, called the work smart. Employees can show up at work whatever time they want to, up until 6pm, this as long as they feel productive. I quite like this one.
3. Samsung’s Employees = Google’s + Apple’s + Nokia’s
Aside from this headquarters, Samsung is big and it’s actually tough to conceptualize just how big. They’ve got over 320,000 employees, and for some perspective that’s as much as Google plus Apple plus Nokia.
4. Three CEOs
To manage this vast number of employees, they’ve got not one, not two, but three CEOs.
Samsung’s revenue brings in about 17% of the whole GDP of South Korea. That is 17% of the entire value of everything produced in the country.
6. Over 2 Billion Phones
They’ve also sold over two billion galaxy phones. That doesn’t count tablets, that doesn’t count a lot of their non-smart benches, just Galaxy branded phones. That is a quarter of the number of people on this planet.
7. Up to 10 subsidiaries
Samsung has become so big that in fact, it’s had to branch out within the Samsung group. There are a whole load of sub-companies ranging from Samsung life insurance, exactly what it says on the 10, to Samsung heavy industries and Samsung Techwin.
And this is where the true depth of the company starts to become clear. Samsung heavy industries is actually one of the largest, believe it or not, ship building companies in the world.
8. Samsung Military Company
Techwin was founded as Samsung’s defense or military division. In a very little sense of the word, it developed the canine thunder and anti-infantry tank that can shoot targets up to 40 kilometers away. And this was actually used by the Korean armed forces.
9. Samsung smart gun
It gets better. Samsung have also developed a smart century gun and there’s a good chance this was the first that combines surveillance and infrared camera to pick up human activity, voice recognition and of course the ability to shoot things.
10. Samsung Motors
There is a car division, Samsung Motors. It has sold hundreds of thousands.
11. Samsung built the tallest building the world
Samsung’s construction company built the Burg Khalifa, the tallest building in the world. And you probably guessed it. I could go on for a while.
12. Helicopter engines & fighter jets
It doesn’t end there. Samsung has built helicopter engines, fighter jets and toilet seats. Samsung isn’t afraid to give something a go.
13. Legal battles
Samsung and Apple, you might already know this, they’ve been locked in a legal battle for seven years. Ever since Apple first accused Samsung of copying the design of the iPhone, things like touch to zoom and the layout, to the home screen.
Apple’s initial plan was to try and get Samsung smartphones completely blocked from sale.
After this failed they pursued two billion dollars in damages, but they only ended up walking away with about $530 million. They won but this amount of money for a company like Apple was barely worth their time in fact.
14. Legal victory
Apple also had a couple of losses during this battle. When it came to tablets they filed a public complaint saying that Samsung’s Galaxy Tab had blatantly copied the design of the iPad.
But the judge disagreed, it massively backfired to the point where Apple was told to run both newspaper and online adverts just to stage that actually Samsung hadn’t copied the iPad.
That’s a big ouch! It’s a bit strange, then, that these two companies they’re out there suing each other when actually they need each other.
15. Samsung makes iPhone’s screens
Samsung supplies about 90% of the OLED panels used in iPhones, meaning that without Samsung, Apple would be struggling for displays. And without Apple, Samsung would have lost a massive customer for its display department.
We don’t realize it because a lot of Samsung’s products are not retail products with the company’s brand name slapped on top of them. But Samsung is everywhere.
16. Makes display panels for other companies
Whilst you probably know them primarily for their phones, that’s only about 20% of their business.
Samsung makes display panels for other companies (Xiaomi, Huawei, OnePlus, e.t.c.) and their semiconductor sector, processors, storage chips, and mobile image sensors are significant too.
17. $400,000 revenue per minute
They’re doing so well across these businesses that in total Samsung owns just under four hundred thousand dollars of revenue per minute.
That said, it’s a company that likes to reinvest a lot of this back into the company.
18. World’s biggest advertiser
In 2018, Samsung became the world’s biggest advertiser. It’s a bit of a weird title, but the implications are massive. No company across any industry spend as much as Samsung did on advertising and also last year, they were the biggest file of patents in the entire United States.
19. 300,000 active patents
In fact right now, Samsung has over three hundred thousand active patents. That can’t have been cheap. Especially for a company that had such humble beginnings.
20. Samsung Noodles
Samsung has an amazing history. It initially started by selling noodles, dried fish and groceries. It was a company that before they even found their footing in electronics dip their toes in everything.
They were founded in 1938, but they didn’t make their first electrical product until 1970. That’s over 30 years later. The name has been the same throughout the entire company’s history.
21. Meaning of Samsung
What a lot of people don’t know is that it’s actually a bit of wordplay going on. ‘Sam’ means three and ‘Sung’ means stars.
This was chosen because the founder saw his company being as everlasting as the stars.
22. History of Logo
These three stars were then present in every single historic Samsung logo up until about 20 years ago, when they were ditched. But the underlying space theme has remained, whilst their mobile division has changed logos.
Many of Samsung’s other sub-companies still get by this one which looks an awful lot like a Milky Way galaxy.
Something’s entire smartphones sub-brand is called galaxy and even in the way these phones have been themed there’s been clear space inspiration.
23. Samsung Logo Explained
In fact, this Milky Way logo is pretty cool. It’s supposedly has the ‘S’ and the ‘G’ on either end spilling out of the galaxy to show that Samsung is always pushing boundaries.
24. Samsung boss sets $50 million worth of product ablaze
In the 1990s, Samsung’s reputation was very much quantity over quality. They were churning out products, but they just weren’t all that great. The chairman at the time decided one day that he just wasn’t going to have any of it anymore.
He ordered over 2,000 staff to gather around a pile of 150,000 Samsung products and just watch as he set them on fire. That’s about 50 million dollars worth of product gone, just for the sake of making a statement.
You could say it’s a bit harsh but the company did turn themselves around. And it’s possible this was why more recently, having become this giant company churning out tons of products, which have been complete runaway successes.
25. Samsung’s $30,000 Doghouse
Samsung has also made a couple of questionable items. The Samsung dream doghouse is a $30,000 pad containing a pool, a treadmill, poor controlled snack dispenser, and this is the best bit, a Galaxy S tablet.
In a press release, the phone company actually said that this is for dogs who have social media profiles. What probably makes more sense is that this would be used by the owners to keep an eye on their dogs.
26. Movie Prop
You might have seen a movie called the matrix reloaded, if not, it’s a sci-fi action film. Samsung had to make a phone for Morpheus. By working closely with the matrix team, they brought it to life complete with the infamous matrix wallpaper and a spring loaded earpiece.
27. Galaxy Fold
You might have also seen that new foldable motor razor phone. Well, Samsung actually detailed this exact concept some time ago, as a way to make a phone that was a bit more manageable in size.
And their current galaxy fold which when unfolded is more of a tablet. But on the subject of foldy things, it’s almost a secret that something actually currently sells a smart flip phone it’s called the Samsung folder two it runs full on Android and it is touchscreen.
It’s just a very weird choice for anyone who’s not having severe withdrawal symptoms from 10 years ago.
28. Samsung OS
Now it’s pretty clear that Samsung has always wanted to have their own software platform just as Android was starting they tried to compete with something called border OS. Even after this failed, Samsung moved to Android, but they continued to insist on creating alternative to many apps and features Android already has.
They want to make a Samsung phone feel like a Samsung phone, not just any other Android device. It’s kind of ironic then that Samsung actually had the opportunity to buy Android and they said no back in 2004.
29. Almost owned Android
The Android team was looking for funding and so they approached Samsung but Samsung didn’t see any potential. They apparently found it almost amusing that the Android team had such lofty goals.
But they were only a group of eight people at the time. This was just two weeks before Google eventually bought Android. The entire landscape could have been different just think about it. Bixby could be your life assistant right now.
30. $18,470 Bounty
You might have heard of rooting. Rooting allows you to gain administrative permissions over your phone, enabling you to do things like block adverts and install custom software. Anyways, Samsung doesn’t really want you to root your phone because it can present additional security risks.
So over the years they made it tougher and tougher to do so. It got to the point with the Galaxy S5 where there was literally a bounty or cash reward for the first person to successfully root the phone. It started at $500 but as people kept chipping in, this bounty went all the way up to $18,470.
And now for some of my absolute favourite Samsung facts. They’ve had some pretty great social media moments.
In 2013, a man message them on Facebook. This was just after the Galaxy S3 was announced. And he said I was wondering if I could get a free Galaxy S3, must including a drawing he made of a dinosaur.
Bear in mind, this was made by a guy who is 26 years old. Anyways, Samsung saw this and somehow decided to not just gift him the phone but a one-of-a-kind custom S3 with this guy’s drawing all over the packaging and device.
Tough to tell who is trolling who in this situation. Maybe Samsung thought the drawing was so bad that it would just be funny to give him his phone with that on it.
32. Medical Centre
Samsung medical centre is a fully functioning hospital in Korea, which of course is divided into two major sections.
A is used to treat people, but B is what Samsung uses to test potential future medical technologies and some non-medical ones too.
33. Theme Park
Samsung also owns Everland, South Korea’s largest, you guessed it, you probably didn’t actually. It’s a theme park and I’m not gonna lie, it looks really good. Plus they have their own professional e-sports team, playing Starcraft and League of Legends.
34. Basketball Team
They also have a professional basketball team, the sole Samsung thunders, who till this day they play in the Korean basketball league.
35. Galaxy Butt
Finally, in the digital city mentioned earlier, Samsung got this dedicated department just for testing the quality of their smartphones. They’ll put the phones under as much strain as possible to see if they can hold up under load.
For example, by playing a game for long periods of time whilst the phone is charging or getting a butt robot to repeatedly sit on it. After the fiasco of the iPhone 6 bending this was a pretty odd way of Samsung making sure the Galaxy Note 4 didn’t follow suit.
That’s it. If you enjoyed this article, you are definitely gonna enjoy the next one on Huawei and Apple. Still then, stay tuned and safe.