From its early roots of dealing with dried fruits and vegetables, Samsung--literally meaning "three stars" in Korean--has come a long way. Today, it has subsidiary companies dealing in different areas ranging from chemicals to machinery and electronics.
Samsung Electronics, the flagship unit of the group of companies, has made waves across the globe as a maker of a wide range of cutting-edge electronic devices. Formed in 1969, it consists of five business units--digital media, semiconductors, telecommunication Network, digital appliance and LCD businesses.
Innovation is still Samsung's motto, and the company continues to push the technology envelope. For one, it is making headway in the flash memory market, having recently unveiled a 16-gigabit density NAND memory device. It is also riding on the MP3 wave created by Apple Computer's iPod Nano as the supplier of the gadget's flash memory. Samsung, together with Microsoft, recently showed off a prototype hard drive that can record data while idling, hence reducing power consumption significantly.
In other corners, Samsung continues to compete for a slice of the global computing hardware market, where it launched printers and Wi-Fi-embedded laptops in 2005. It has also gained itself a following with its sexy and sleek mobile handsets, with Gartner ranking it third in the first quarter of 2005 in terms of global market share, behind stalwarts Nokia and Motorola.