The Success Story of Samsung Electronics: How It All Began

We’ve shared with you, here on Samsung Village, how Samsung started out as a small trading company in 1938, selling noodles and dried seafood. From that humble beginning Samsung has evolved into a brand that resonates with global leadership in various industries including IT, shipbuilding and engineering, just to name a few.

Of numerous success stories, that of our Samsung Electronics affiliate is truly an amazing one. Samsung Electronics’ English blog Samsung Tomorrow is running a series on the company’s more than 40 years of history and we’d like to walk you through some of the highlights of the company’s milestone achievements.


The Birth of Samsung Electronics



On Dec. 30, 1968, Samsung’s founding Chairman Byung-chull Lee and other executives gathered for a meeting where a crucial decision to enter the electronics business was made. Thus on Jan. 13, 1969, Samsung Electronics was born.

By November 1970, Samsung succeed in producing 12-inch black-and-white TVs, and just two months after the production it exported the TV sets to Panama.


Mass Production Begins



In 1972, Samsung set up a Braun-tube bulb factory and after extensive investment and expansion of production lines, it also established two black-and-white TV lines with a capacity to produce 480 thousand TVs a year.


Line of Products



As Samsung established its own production system and accumulated technology, it pushed to produce its own TV model. And in April 1973, the first Samsung-developed TV product was born: the 19-inch transistor black-and-white Maha 506.

Following the success of the Maha 506 TV, Samsung expanded into other electronics categories such as refrigerators, air conditioners, washing machines, fans, electric stoves and more.

Samsung reached the 5 million milestone in the number of TVs produced in December 1978. In May of the same year, Samsung had already expanded its black-and-white TV lines to become the world’s No. 1 manufacturer. Also in December 1978, Samsung’s overall exports reached 100 million dollars.


Semiconductor Business



Samsung Electronics merged Samsung Semiconductor in January 1980 in a combination that helped create synergies in production of both electronics and semiconductor parts. The merger set the foundation for Samsung to become a global leader that it is today in semiconductors.


Global Expansion



Samsung Electronics America was established in July 1978 as Samsung Electronics’ wholly-owned subsidiary and set up its own service system in the country.

Samsung Electronics’ first overseas manufacturing subsidiary was set up in Portugal in 1982. The global manufacturing network expanded to include the U.S. in 1984, the U.K. in 1987 and Mexico in 1988.


Semiconductor Breakthrough



In October 1984, Samsung introduced the industry’s first 256K DRAM, just three months after it successfully developed the 64K DRAM. Production of the 256K DRAM – a technological breakthrough only a handful of companies globally were able to muster – marked a defining moment for Samsung in its growth as a leading semiconductor manufacturer.


You can find more details by clicking the following links. More of Samsung Electronics’ success stories are to come, so please visit us or the Samsung Tomorrow blog again soon!

Paving a New Path (1968~1970)

Diversification and Expansion (1971~1974)

Meeting Demands for Energy Efficiency (1975~1976)

Innovation and Efficiency Combine for Record-Beating Production and Export Boom (1977~1978)

Suwon R&D Center Expands Knowledge Base; Samsung Semiconductor Expands Production Base (1979~1980)

Entering the Global Marketplace (1981~1983)

Semiconductor Breakthroughs and High-Profile Sponsoring (1984~1985)