Timeline of Samsung

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This is a timeline of Samsung, a South Korean multinational conglomerate headquartered in Samsung Town, Seoul. The history of Samsung spans for at least eighty years. Currently, Samsung Electronics is the flagship company of the Samsung Group.

Sample questions

The following are some interesting questions that can be answered by reading this timeline:

  • What were important events in the early development of Samsung?
  • How did Samsung specialization evolve in terms of product?
  • What companies were acquired by Samsung and what was the purpose of their acquisition?
  • Who were the key people throughout the history of Samsung?

Big picture

Time period Development summary
1938 – 1960s Samsung evolves from the first grocers towards Electronics. Sugar refining, textiles, banking and insurance enterprises flourish among Samsung ventures in the 1940s and 1950s.[1]
1960s Samsung Electronics is born as a branch. From there, the company would start acquiring and creating different business establishments including a hospital, paper manufacturing plant, life insurance company, department stores and many others.[2][2] Despite a political coup in 1961, charges against Lee of illegal profiteering and a family scandal of smuggling, Samsung keeps growing by diversifying business.[3]
1970s Samsung Electronics starts catering to the international market upon the acquisition of half of Korea Semiconductor which makes it the leading electronics manufacturer in the country.[2] Under government policy of rapid industrialization, Samsung launches a number of enterprises in ship building, petrochemicals and aircraft engines.[3][1]
1980s Samsung enters the global marketplace.[1] Samsung electronics merges with Samsung Semiconductors and Telecommunications. This would pave the way towards a stronger hold on the international market with high-tech products.[2] Samsung begins exporting electronics under its own name.[3]
1990s Samsung turns into a global conglomerate, and becomes a top competitor in the changing tech world.[4][1][5]
Recent Years Samsung is today the largest South Korean conglomerate.[6]

Full timeline

Year Month and date Event type Details
1938 March 1 Creation Samsung ("three starts" in Korean) is founded with 30,000 Won by Lee Byung-chul as a trading company in Su-dong, near Daegu, Korea. With forty employees, the company's major business is production and distribution of groceries within the city.[4][2][7] At the start, the business focuses primarily on trade export, selling dried Korean fish, vegetables, and fruit to Manchuria and Beijing.[5]
1947 Expansion As the company begins to grow, Lee establishes Samsung's office in Seoul. A sugar refinery would be started soon and would succeed in a very short span of time.[2]
1951 Organization Samsung Moolsan is established (later Samsung Corporation).[1]
1953 Expansion After the Korean War, Lee launches profitable Cheil Sugar, followed by textile, banking and insurance enterprises.[7]
1954 Sub-Organization Cheil Industries is founded as an affiliate of Samsung.[1]
1954 Lee builds the largest woollen mill in Korea, located in the suburbs of Daegu city.[2]
1958 Acquisition Samsung acquires Ankuk Fire % Marine Insurance.[1]
1963 Acquisition Samsung acquires DongBang Life Insurance.[1]
1966 Legal Lee family is accused of smuggling.[7]
1966 Sub-Organization Joong-Ang Development (today known as Samsung Everland) is established.[1]
1969 Partnership Samsung-Sanyo Electronics is established. The partnership would lead to the production of inexpensive TVs, microwave ovens and other consumer products for Western companies such as Sears and General Electric.[4][2][1]
1970 Expansion Samsung-Sanyo starts the production of Black-and-white TV (model P-3202).[1] In the same year, Samsung expands the business in ship building, petrochemicals and aircraft engines.[5]
1972 Facility Samsung completes a table calculator factory and a TV factory.[8]
1973 Product Samsung develops transistor black and white TVs.[8]
1974 February Product Samsung launches Korea’s first frost-free refrigerator.[8]
1974 April Product Samsung begins production of electric desk calculators for the first time in Korea.[8]
1974 May Product Samsung launches first air conditioners.[8]
1974 August 5 Organization Samsung Heavy Industries is founded.[9]
1975 Product Throughout the year, Samsung introduces 5 additional types of refrigerators.[10]
1975 March Organization Samsung-Sanyo Electronics is renamed Samsung Electro-Mechanics.[1]
1976 Product Samsung releases the energy-efficient ‘High Cold’ refrigerator, with 20% higher energy efficiency and has longer lifespan.[10]
1977 March Organization Samsung Electro-Mechanics merges with Samsung Electronics.[1]
1978 July Organization Samsung Electronics America (SEA) is established.[11]
1978 December Production Samsung Electronics reaches the landmark production of 5 million TVs.[11]
1979 Facility Samsung establishes Suwon R&D Center, which opens in April 1980.[12]
1980 Acquisition Samsung acquires telecommunications giant Hanguk Jeonja Tongsin. This would be followed by the production of telephones, fax machines, and switchboards with great success, thus creating the base for their large-scale productions in the following years.[2]
1981 March 26 Organization Samsung's partnership program is organized.[13]
1981 December 3 Samsung opens a General Exibition center at Suwon, South Korea.[13]
1982 June 23 International expansion Samsung opens sales subsidiary in Germany.[13]
1982 Sub-Organization Samsung Printing Solutions is founded, with the purpose of exploring and delivering digital revolution to the printing industry with solutions.[14]
1982 International expansion (facility) Samsung builds a television assembly plant in Portugal.[5]
1983 Expansion Samsung begins the production of personal computers.[7]
1984 International expansion (facility) Samsung builds a television assembly plant in New York.[5]
1984 March 31 Production Samsung's production of color TVs reaches over 5 million units.[15]
1984 October 1 Technology Samsung Semiconductor Telecommunications develops a long wavelength single mode optical fiber, a first in South Korea.[15]
1984 December 4 Facility Samsung opens complex in the United States.[15]
1984 December 19 Facility Samsung establishes a microwave complex capable of manufacturing over 2 million units.[15]
1984 December 31 Revenue Samsung sales reach one trillion Won.[15]
1985 Sub-Organization Samsung SDS is established as a subsidiary of Samsung group. It provides information technology services.[16]
1985 Sub-Organization Samsung Medison is founded. An affiliate of Samsung Electronics, it manufactures medical equipment.[17]
1985 International expansion (facility) Samsung builds a television assembly plant in Tokyo.[5]
1985 April Technology Samsung develops 64 K SRAM.[15]
1985 July Samsung begins massive production of 256K DRAM. This would position the company as a leader in semiconductor manufacturing.[15]
1985 August 29 Samsung is appointed as the official sponsor of the 1986 Asian Games and 1988 Olympic Games.[15]
1985 September Technology Samsung develops integrated circuit for sound multiplex TV.[15]
1985 October Samsung's production of CDP (CD-100) begins.[15]
1985 November 12 Samsung produces its first millionth videocassette recorder.[15]
1987 International expansion (facility) Samsung builds facilities in the United Kingdom.[5]
1987 Personnel Lee Byung-chul passes away.[5] Control of Samsung is assumed by Lee's son, Lee Kun-hee.[7]
1988 Organization Samsung Semiconductor and Telecommunications merges with Samsung Electronics, with its core business focusing on home appliances, telecommunications and semiconductors.[5][7]
1989 July Organization DongBang Life Insurance is renamed Samsung Life Insurance.[1]
1990 Achievement Samsung attains world leadership in chip production.[7]
1993 Expansion Samsung ventures into the LCD industry.
1993 October Ankuk Fire % Marine Insurance is renamed Samsung Fire % Marine Insurance.[1]
1994 Sub-Organization Samsung Motors is formed.[7]
1996 International expansion (facility) Samsung builds facilities in the Austin, Texas.[5]
1996 Crisis Lee Kun-hee is involved in a corruption scandal, getting a suspended sentence for bribery.[7][5]
1998 Technology Samsung completes the development of flat-screen televisions and starts the first mass production of digital TVs. The same year, Samsung Motors delivers its first cars.[7]
1999 October 8 Sub-organization Samsung Ventures is founded. Headquartered in Seoul, it invests in startup companies focused on semiconductors, IT, software, internet services, biotechnology, and more.[18]
2001 October Product Samsung SPH-1300 is released as an early prototype of touch-screen slab-phone, with finger-centric interface. At the time, reviewer Bruce Brown comments "The disadvantage of using a touch screen as a phone dialer is that you can't dial by feeling the buttons".[19]
2005 Technology The first speech-recognition phone is developed by Samsung.[7]
2006 November Product Samsung SGH-i607 BlackJack is released, with a BlackBerry-inspired design.[19]
2007 August 9 Acquisition Samsung acquires Israel-based Genoa Color Technologies, which develops color-based technologies for televisions, monitors, projectors, and display devices.[20][21][22][23]
2008 March Acquisition Samsung acquires IP assets of Clairvoyante, Inc., an IP licensing company responsible for the development of PenTile subpixel rendering display technology and associated gamut mapping algorithms.[24][25][26]
2008 June Product Samsung Instinct is released.[19]
2008 December Samsung Omnia SCH-i910 is released. It contains the TouchWiz, Samsung's custom smartphone user interface. With its rounded-slab design and TouchWiz interface, some consider the Omnia to be the first real ancestor of the Galaxy S4.[19]
2008 Legal Lee Kun-hee becomes involved again in corruption and bribery scandal with influential peosecutors, judges, and political figures in South Korea. Initially denying the allegations against him, Kun-Hee would later plead guilty, being fined 110 billion Won and sentenced to three years in prison.[5]
2010 July Product Samsung Vibrant is released.[19]
2010 October Product Samsung Focus is released.[19]
2011 January 19 Acquisition Samsung acquires Liquavista, which offers a type of electronic display technology called electrowetting used in e-readers, mobile phones and media players and consumes just 10 percent of the battery power of existing display technologies.[23][27][28][29][30]
2011 May Product Samsung Galaxy S II is released.[19]
2011 December Product Samsung Galaxy Nexus is released.[19]
2011 August 1 Acquisition Samsung acquires spin-transfer torque random access memory (STT-RAM) vendor Grandis Inc. The acquired company is expected to merge into Samsung R&D operations focused on developing next-generation memory, where new semiconductor materials and structures are reviewed for their long-term commercial value.[23][31][32][33][34]
2011 November 15 Acquisition Samsung acquires diagnostics company Nexus Dx Inc., with the purpose of expanding into the market of medical equipment.[23][35][36][37][38]
2011 December Acquisition Samsung acquires ZigZag Software, a collaborative whiteboard for iPad and the web.[23]
2012 Samsung Electronics becomes the world's largest mobile phone maker by unit sales, overtakink Nokia.[7]
2012 February Product Samsung Galaxy Note is released.[19]
2012 May 9 Acquisition Samsung acquires Palo Alto mobile entertainment and music streaming startup mSpot, which lets users stream movies to their phones and store music online in the cloud. The acquisition is expected to provide a cloud entertainment experience of music, video and radio services for users of Samsung devices.[23][39][40][41][42]
2012 June 1 Acquisition Samsung acquires Swedish wireless chip company Nanoradio, which develops ultra low power Wireless LAN chipsets for high-speed wireless access in mobile phones.[23][43][44][45][46]
2012 July Samsung Galaxy S III is released. It would become one of the world's most popular smartphones. The omnipresent blue posters would make "Galaxy" synonymous with "Android smartphone" for millions.[19]
2012 August 1 Sub-Organization The Samsung Strategy and Innovation Center SSIC is founded as a global organization within Samsung's Device Solutions division focused on identifying and nurturing new technologies.[47]
2012 December 15 Acquisition Samsung acquires Santa Clara, California-based storage solutions firm NVELO, which develops next-generation SSD storage solutions, and works to manage and optimize the use of solid state drives within subsystems.[48][49][50][51][52][23]
2013 January 29 Acquisition Samsung acquires Danvers, Massachusetts-based medical imaging company NeuroLogica, as a conglomerate’s plans to expand into the medical technology business. NeuroLogica is known for its portable computed tomography (CT) scanners, including BodyTom and CereTom.[53][54][55][56][23]
2013 July 3 Acquisition Samsung acquires Israeli and New York City-based streaming media and entertainment startup Boxee for US$ 30 million, with the purpose to expand Samsung's footprint in the smart TV market.[57][58][59][60][61][23]
2013 August 9 Acquisition Samsung acquires German lighting specialist Novaled for US$ 347 million, in order to help it meet the growing need for OLED displays.[23][62][63][64][65][66]
2014 June 5 Acquisition Samsung acquires social-video startup Shelby.tv, with aims at creating its own curated video service. After the acquisition, Shelby.tv is promptly shut down.[23][67][68][69][70]
2014 July 14 Acquisition Samsung acquires SmartThings, a fast-growing home automation startup, for US$ 200 million. SmartThings allows people to sync up their connected gadgets onto a single smartphone app and hardware hub.[23][71][72][73]
2014 September 2 Acquisition Samsung acquires mobile cloud printing company PrinterOn, in order to complement Samsung’s mobile ecosystem.[23][74][75]
2014 November 2 Acquisition Samsung acquires Proximal Data, a California-based pioneer of server-side caching software with I/O intelligence that work within virtualized systems.[23][76][77][78]
2015 January 30 Acquisition Samsung acquires Brazilian printing solutions company Simpress.[23][79][80]
2015 February 18 Acquisition Samsung acquires mobile payments firm LoopPay, a mobile wallet solutions provider that turns existing magnetic stripe readers into secure, contactless receivers.[23][81][82][83][84]
2015 March 17 Acquisition Samsung acquires Logan, Utah-based manufacturer of LED signs and displays YESCO Electronics, with the purpose of reinforcing Samsung's strategy of incorporating direct-view LED video display technology into its existing product mix.[23][85][86][87][88][89]
2016 May Sub-Organization C-Lab Space is founded as an in-house startup incubator program run by Samsung.[90]
2016 Sub-organization Mangoslab is founded as a spin-off company from Samsung Electronics that produces a sticky note thermal printer.[91]
2016 June 16 Acquisition Samsung acquires Canadian advertising technology vendor AdGear, which specializes in media buying and data management.[23][92][93][94][95]
2016 June 16 Acquisition Samsung acquires Joyent, a San Francisco-based public and private cloud provider. By acquiring Joyent, Samsung can gradually migrate the infrastructure and data to its own cloud platform which may offer better control and economies of scale.[23][96][97][98][99]
2016 August 10 Acquisition Samsung acquires luxury kitchen appliances brand DACOR. The acquisition is part of Samsung's home appliance portfolio expansion into luxury market.[23][100][101][102][103]
2016 October 5 Acquisition Samsung acquires next-gen artificial intelligence assistant Viv, which developed a open AI platform that gives third-party developers the power to use and build conversational assistants and integrate a natural language-based interface into renowned applications and services.[23][104][105][106][107]
2016 October 27 Acquisition Samsung acquires Virginia-based startup Tachyon, an enterprise mobile device configuration and development software provider. The acquisition is aimed at extending Samsung's enterprise mobile device management.[23][108][109][110]
2016 November 14 Acquisition Samsung acquires American Harman International Industries for US$ 8 billion. Harman designs and engineers connected products and solutions for automakers, consumers, and enterprises worldwide, including connected car systems, audio and visual products, enterprise automation solutions; and connected services[23][111][112][113]
2016 November 15 Acquisition Samsung acquires Canada-based messaging company NewNet Communication Technologies, which specializes in rich communications services (RCS) infrastructure.[23][114][115][116][117]
2016 November 23 Acquisition Samsung acquires United States-based quantum dot specialist QD Vision, in a strategic move to support the long-term vision of its display, TV and possibly other businesses.[23][118][119][120][121]
2017 February 3 Acquisition Samsung acquires home monitoring software company Perch with the purpose of strengthening their Internet of Things system. Perch is an IoT company that developed a smart home monitoring platform which enables people to use their old smartphones as security cameras.[23][122][123][124][125][126]
2017 February 15 Acquisition Samsung acquires Swedish headphone manufacturer Melaud, which develops headphones that can control the music based on the body signals while exercising.[23][127][128][129]
2017 June 16 Acquisition Samsung acquires New York-based mobile virtual reality startup VRB For US$ 5.5 million. The startup has developed several apps to capture and view 360-degree content.[23][130][131][132][133]
2017 July 10 Acquisition Samsung acquires Greek multilingual voice tech startup Innoetics, with the purpose of bolstering its Bixby voice assistant.[23][134][135][136][137]
2018 January 31 Production Within its semiconductor business called Foundry, Samsung starts mass production of bitcoin mining chips in partnership with an unidentified Chinese mining company.[138][139][140][141][142]

Meta information on the timeline

How the timeline was built

The initial version of the timeline was written by User:Sebastian.

Funding information for this timeline is available.

What the timeline is still missing

Timeline update strategy

See also

External links


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