SWOT Analysis of Samsung (6 Key Strengths in 2021)

This Samsung SWOT analysis reveals how the second largest technology company used its competitive advantages to become a leader in consumer electronics, home appliances and semiconductors industries.

It identifies all the key strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats that affect the company the most. If you want to find out more about the SWOT of Samsung, you’re in the right place.

For more information on how to do a SWOT analysis please refer to our article.

Keep reading.

Company Background

Key Facts
NameSamsung Electronics Co., Ltd.
FoundedJanuary 13, 1969
LogoSamsung swot analysis logo
Industries servedConsumer electronics
Telecoms equipment
Semiconductors
Home appliances
Geographic areas servedWorldwide (79 countries)
HeadquartersSuwon, Gyeonggi Province, South Korea
Current CEOKinam Kim (Device Solutions)
Hyunsuk Kim (Consumer Electronics)
Dongjin Koh (IT and Mobile Communications)
Revenue (US$)211.812 billion (2017) 18.7% increase over 178.473 billion (2016)
Profit (US$)37.298 billion (2017) 85.6% increase over 20.092 billion (2016)
Employees308,745 (2017)
ParentSamsung Group
Main CompetitorsApple Inc., Nokia OYJ, Intel Corporation, LG Display and LG Electronics, Sony Corporation, Texas Instruments Inc., Lenovo Group Limited, Hewlett-Packard Company, Sanyo Electric Co., Ltd., Toshiba Corporation, SK Hynix Inc., Western Digital Corporation and many other consumer electronics, telecommunications equipment, semiconductor and home appliance companies.

Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (further Samsung), a part of the Samsung Group, is the world’s second largest technology company by revenue. The company produces consumer electronics, telecommunications equipment, semiconductors and home appliances. Samsung operates three business divisions:

  • Consumer electronics – Visual Display Business, Digital Appliances Business, Printing Solutions Business and Health & Medical Equipment Business.
  • IT and Mobile communications – Mobile Communications Business and Networks Business.
  • Device solutions – Memory Business, System LSI Business and LED Business.

The company is the world’s largest mobile phone and smartphone vendor. It is also the largest memory chip and TV manufacturer. Samsung operates in 79 countries, where it sells a range of more than 100 products.

You can find more information about the business in Samsung Electronic’s official website or Wikipedia’s article.

Samsung SWOT analysis

Strengths

1. Very high research and development (R&D) expenditure resulting in one of the strongest patent portfolios among technology companies.

Innovation is crucial to succeeding in the technology sector. Usually, the more a business invests in R&D, the more innovations it creates.

Samsung operates 34 R&D centers across the world. The company has spent US$14.857 billion on R&D in 2017, which was the 2nd largest amount spent in the world.[1] R&D spending strongly correlates with a company’s revenue growth and expansion into the new product markets.

Figure 1. R&D spending by Samsung and its largest competitors (in US$ billions and percentages)

Company2016As a % of revenues2017As a % of revenues
Samsung Electronics13.0797.314.8577
Apple10.0454.711.5815.1
Microsoft11.98914.113.03714.5
Intel12.12821.913.09820.7
Amazon.com12.54011.722.62012.7
LG Electronics2.1834.52.1103.9

Source: Companies’ respective financial reports[1][2][3][4][5][6]

In 2017, Samsung’s investment in R&D was the 2nd largest among technology companies only behind Amazon.com. Samsung’s R&D budget was also used efficiently as the company spent only 7.3% and 7% of its total revenues on R&D in 2016 and 2017, respectively.

Samsung’s high R&D spending has resulted in it developing the largest patent portfolio among its key rivals. The following table shows the number of patents granted for each company in the U.S. during 2014-2016.

Figure 2. Utility patents granted in the U.S.

Company201420152016Total
Samsung Electronics4,9365,0595,50415,499
Apple2,0031,9372,1016,041
Microsoft2,8292,4082,3987,635
Intel1,5732,0462,7796,398
Amazon.com7411,1361,6623,539
LG Electronics2,1192,2412,4266,786

Source: U.S. Patent and Trademark Office [7][8][9]

The more patents a company has, the better position it is in to defend its innovations from being copied by rivals. Currently, Samsung’s patents portfolio is one of the strongest in the technology industry.

Both its R&D spending and patent portfolio are factors that indicate Samsung’s strong competitive position in the markets in which it operates.

2. Product innovation and design capabilities.

Samsung has long been viewed as an innovative company that is capable of producing well designed and ecologically friendly products. This is proven by the many awards the company has received over the years.

The prestigious Consumer Electronics Show (CES) awarded Samsung for its innovation and product design 14 years in a row. The company received 36 CES 2018 innovation awards, including 2 ‘Best of Innovation’ awards, and has received more than 400 awards over the last 14 years.[19]

Samsung's strength is innovative products. The company has won 36 CES awards in 2018.

In 2017, Samsung has also received 7 International Design Excellence Awards (IDEA) awards.[20] Since 2009, Samsung has won the most (IDEA) awards among all nominated companies”.[21]

Samsung's another strength is its design capabilities. The company has won 7 IDEA awards in 2017 alone.

The company’s commitment to producing ecologically friendly products and to decrease its greenhouse gas emissions has also been recognized.

Since 2009, Samsung has consistently been recognized for its leadership in driving eco-innovations. For the fifth consecutive year the company received the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) annual ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year – Sustained Excellence Award.

Samsung also ranked at No. 9 onto the EPA’s 2016 Green Power Partner list for Top 30 Tech and Telecom companies recognized for significant renewable energy investments.[22]

Few other companies have received as many awards for innovation and eco-friendly product design as Samsung. This enhances the company’s reputation, increasing brand awareness and sales.

Access the full analysis… more Samsung strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats

Published: January 10, 2021
Format: PDF + PowerPoint
Pages: 26
Words: 4,900
Charts/tables: 11

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Table of contents

  • Company Overview
  • SWOT Analysis
  • Strengths
  • Weaknesses
  • Opportunities
  • Threats
  • Summary
  • Sources

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Sources

  1. Samsung Electronics (2018). Annual Report. Available at: http://images.samsung.com/is/content/samsung/p5/global/ir/docs/2017_con_quarter04_all.pdf Accessed January 10, 2019
  2. Apple, Inc. (2017). Form 10-K for the Fiscal Year Ended September 30, 2017. Available at: http://files.shareholder.com/downloads/AAPL/2456063358x8143945x913905/66363059-7FB6-4710-B4A5-7ABFA14CF5E6/10-K_2016_9.24.2016_-_as_filed.pdf Accessed January 10, 2019
  3. Microsoft (2018). 2017 Annual Report. Available at: https://www.microsoft.com/investor/reports/ar17/index.html Accessed January 10, 2019
  4. Intel (2018). Annual Report 2017. Available at: http://s22.q4cdn.com/548661872/files/doc_downloads/Intel_Annual_Report_Final-3.20.pdf Accessed January 10, 2019
  5. Amazon.com (2018). Form 10-K for the Fiscal Year Ended December 31, 2017. Available at: http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=97664&p=irol-sec Accessed January 10, 2019
  6. LG Electronics (2018). Consolidated Financial Statements December 31, 2017 and 2016. Available at: http://www.lg.com/global/investor-relations/reports Accessed January 10, 2019
  7. U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (2015). Patenting by Organizations 2014. Available at: http://www.uspto.gov/web/offices/ac/ido/oeip/taf/topo_14.htm Accessed January 10, 2019
  8. U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (2016). Patenting by Organizations 2015. Available at: http://www.uspto.gov/web/offices/ac/ido/oeip/taf/topo_15.htm Accessed January 10, 2019
  9. U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (2017). Patenting by Organizations 2016. Available at: http://www.uspto.gov/web/offices/ac/ido/oeip/taf/topo_16.htm Accessed January 10, 2019
  10. Statista (2018). Global market share held by LCD TV manufacturers from 2008 to 2017. Available at: http://www.statista.com/statistics/267095/global-market-share-of-lcd-tv-manufacturers/ Accessed January 10, 2019
  11. Statista (2018). Global market share held by NAND Flash memory manufacturers worldwide from 2010 to 2017. Available at: http://www.statista.com/statistics/275886/market-share-held-by-leading-nand-flash-memory-manufacturers-worldwide Accessed January 10, 2019
  12. IDC (2018). Apple Passes Samsung to Capture the Top Position in the Worldwide Smartphone Market While Overall Shipments Decline 6.3% in the Fourth Quarter, According to IDC. Available at: https://www.idc.com/getdoc.jsp?containerId=prUS43548018 Accessed January 10, 2019
  13. Interbrand (2018). Best Global Brands 2017. Available at: http://interbrand.com/best-brands/best-global-brands/2017/ranking/ Accessed January 10, 2019
  14. Forbes (2018). The World’s Most Valuable Brands. Available at: https://www.forbes.com/powerful-brands/list Accessed January 10, 2019
  15. Interbrand (2001). Best Global Brands 2000. Available at: http://interbrand.com/best-brands/best-global-brands/2000/ranking/ Accessed January 10, 2019
  16. Interbrand (2006). Best Global Brands 2005. Available at: http://interbrand.com/best-brands/best-global-brands/2005/ranking/ Accessed January 10, 2019
  17. Interbrand (2011). Best Global Brands 2010. Available at: http://interbrand.com/best-brands/best-global-brands/2010/ranking/ Accessed January 10, 2019
  18. Interbrand (2016). Best Global Brands 2015. Available at: http://interbrand.com/best-brands/best-global-brands/2015/ranking/ Accessed January 10, 2019
  19. Samsung (2017). Samsung Honored for Outstanding Design and Engineering with 36 CES 2018 Innovation Awards. Available at: https://news.samsung.com/global/samsung-honored-for-outstanding-design-and-engineering-with-36-ces-2018-innovation-awards Accessed January 10, 2019
  20. Samsung (2017). IDEA Design Awards 2017. Available at: http://design.samsung.com/global/contents/news/index.jsp?id=16 Accessed January 10, 2019
  21. IDSA (2018). IDEA Gallery. Available at: http://www.idsa.org/awards/idea/gallery Accessed January 10, 2019
  22. Samsung (2018). Samsung Recognized for EPA Green Power Leadership. Available at: https://news.samsung.com/us/2018-samsung-epa-green-power-leadership/ Accessed January 10, 2019
  23. Ogura, K. (2016). Samsung’s leaner, faster approach to smartphones pays off. Available at: http://asia.nikkei.com/magazine/20160505-DEMOCRACY-DEFERRED/Business/Samsung-s-leaner-faster-approach-to-smartphones-pays-off Accessed January 10, 2019
  24. GSM Arena (2018). Samsung Phones. Available at: http://www.gsmarena.com/samsung-phones-9.php Accessed January 10, 2019
  25. IDC (2018). Smartphone Vendor. Available at: https://www.idc.com/promo/smartphone-market-share/vendor Accessed January 10, 2019
  26. Gartner (2018). Internet of Things. Available at: http://www.gartner.com/it-glossary/internet-of-things/ Accessed January 10, 2019
  27. Statista (2018). Internet of Things (IoT) connected devices installed base worldwide from 2015 to 2025 (in billions). Available at: https://www.statista.com/statistics/471264/iot-number-of-connected-devices-worldwide/ Accessed January 10, 2019
  28. Markets and Markets (2017). Internet of Things (IoT) Market by Software Solution, Service, Platform, Application Area, and Region – Global Forecast to 2022. Available at: http://www.marketsandmarkets.com/Market-Reports/internet-of-things-market-573.html Accessed January 10, 2019
  29. Technavio (2017). Global Wireless Chipset Market 2017-2021. Available at: https://www.technavio.com/report/global-semiconductor-equipment-global-wireless-chipset-market Accessed January 10, 2019
  30. Markets and Markets (2017). Wi-Fi Chipset Market by IEEE Standards, Band, MIMO Configuration, Product Category, and Geography – Global Forecast to 2022. Available at: http://www.marketsandmarkets.com/Market-Reports/wi-fi-chipset-market-42186393.html Accessed January 10, 2019
  31. Research and Markets (2018). Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality Market by Offering, Device Type, Application, and Geography – Global Forecast to 2023. Available at: https://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/dm5djr/augmented_reality?w=4 Accessed January 10, 2019
  32. Markets and Markets (2017). Intelligent Virtual Assistant Market – Global Forecast to 2023. Available at: https://www.marketsandmarkets.com/Market-Reports/intelligent-virtual-assistant-market-184337393.html Accessed January 10, 2019
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