The Samsung Group is a Korean-based conglomerate that is among the world's largest and most successful companies. Samsung had sales of $174 billion dollars worldwide in 2007, despite a sharp downtown in the Asian markets. The Samsung Electronics Group has continually taken a leading role in developing new technologies for the television industry, resulting in improved viewing experiences for consumers throughout the world. By the end of 2008, Samsung had been the world's number one TV producer for 9 consecutive quarters.
The Earliest Years of Television
The earliest television sets were produced in the 1930s, and featured primitive technology and tiny screens. Broadcasts were extremely limited, and during the earliest years of television viewing, shows could only be seen in the US and parts of Europe and Russia. Around the same time, an entrepreneur in Taegu, Korea, began to explore various business opportunities. On March 1, 1938, he founded an export company called Samsung. During the 1930s and 40s, Samsung focused on exporting fish and grains to China. At the same time, scientists and inventors around the world worked to perfect television technology.
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Samsung Turns to the Television Industry
By the end of WWII, television sets were commonly found in many US homes, and would explode in popularity across Europe over the next decade. By the mid-1960s, color television had begun to replace black and white technology. In Korea, as well as many other parts of Asia, television was still widely unknown. As US and European manufacturers sought to sell TVs in Korea, the government stepped in to help with Korean television production. In order to sell TVs in the country, international companies would have to share the technology for this new product with Korean manufacturers. Many agreed to do so, and Samsung was one of the companies that benefited from this agreement.
The Samsung Television
Though the first broadcasts in Korea took place in 1963, reliable and frequent television programs weren't available until the early 1970s. In 1970, Samsung branched out from its main export trading and created the Samsung Electronics Group. That same year, the company developed its first television, a black and white model known as the P-3202. Sales were brisk as Korean consumers embraced this new technology, and by 1976, the company had produced over one million black and white units for sale in Korea.
Color TV and Company Growth
In 1977, Samsung began to manufacture and export color televisions throughout Asia. By 1978, the company had produced more than 4 million black and white TVs, more than any other company in the world. By 1982, Samsung had produced over a million color TVs and 10 million black and white units for sale throughout the world. Though black and white technology was considered outdated in North America and Europe during this time, there was still a huge demand for TVs of any kind in many developing parts of Asia and South America.
Samsung Becomes an Industry Leader
In 1987, the company created the Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology to increase its focus on research and new product development. As international trade laws were relaxed throughout the 1990s, Samsung continued to export TVs throughout the world. The company partnered with Sony during the period to create Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) screens, which provided clearer and sharper viewing experiences for consumers. Throughout the late 1990s, Samsung was credited with developing the world's largest LCD TV screens, measuring 30 inches. In 1998, the company began to produce flat screen models, as well the first line of digital TV's in the world. Throughout the early 21st century, Samsung has continued to lead the television industry, with inventions like the world's thinnest TV in 2002 and he first double-sided LCD screen in 2006.