SWOT analysis of Samsung
This detailed SWOT analysis of Samsung aims to examine the internal and the external environments of Samsung. It aims to examine the strengths and the weaknesses of the company. It also aims to examine the opportunities Samsung should explore and the likely threats it should keep an eye on.
Samsung is a South Korean multinational conglomerate headquartered in Samsung Town, Seoul. It was founded by Lee Byung-Chul over 80 years ago. It has not only emerged as a dominant player in the tech world but has also impacted the entire industry with its innovative products, strategies, and fierce competitive strengths.
Strengths of Samsung
Samsung’s diverse product range
Samsung is a diversified company that has three core areas of business i.e. consumer electronics, IT & Mobile communications, and device solution. It is also one of the most innovative companies in the world.
Samsung has demonstrated its strengths and innovative capacities in the development of a number of products e.g. TV, smartphone, smartwatch, semiconductors, computer monitors, mobile payment service, and nanometre flash memory. Furthermore, it holds significant market share in most of its product categories.
Samsung’s acquisition of other companies
Samsung has taken on a number of gigantic challenges over the years and the results in most cases have been great. It has taken over a number of companies to enrich its portfolio. For instance, its list of acquired companies includes but not limited to Medison, SmartThings, YESCO, Joyent and Viva Labs, and HARMAN (Samsung, 2023).
Expert in technology
Samsung’s core competencies lie in the fact that it is a leading technology company in the world. In fact, it is the 4th largest tech company in the world. Its market value is $367.3 billion (Ponciano, 2022). It is worth mentioning that Samsung has been the top-selling global manufacturer of televisions for over last the 15 years.
One of the leaders in the smartphone market
Samsung is closely following Apple in the global smartphone market. It shipped around 258 million units globally in 2022. Its main line of smartphone products is the Galaxy series (Statista, 2023).
Samsung’s R&D activities
Samsung operates a number of research and development (R&D) centres across the world. It has established seven artificial intelligence (AI) centres in Korea, the United Kingdom, the United States, Russia, and Canada.
Samsung’s research focus is on artificial intelligence, data intelligence, intelligent machines, next-generation communications and media, Tizen, and security (Samsung, 2023). It invests heavily in research to widen the research scope to explore new and promising products and services for its customers.
Samsung’s loyal customer base
The last strength but not the least to discuss in this SWOT analysis of Samsung is the loyal customer base. One of the biggest strengths of Samsung is its incredibly loyal customer base. These loyal customers trust the brand and are willing to pay the desired amount to purchase the products.
Many of Samsung customers are often seen defending the brand on social media debates. Particularly, many users of smartphones strenuously propagate the superiority of the brand over its competitors.
Weaknesses of Samsung
The first weakness to discuss in this SWOT analysis of Samsun is the issue of controversies. Samsung found itself mired in a number of controversies over the years. For instance, several complaints were raised concerning child labour, and violations of overtime rules for adult workers in its supply chain in the past.
Samsung does not have its own operating systems unlike Apple. It uses Google Android operating system for its devices which many customers regard as inferior to Apple’s iOS. Moreover, Google’s licensing of Android may put restrictions on Samsung’s devices.
Product quality issues
Samsung has faced several high-profile quality control issues in recent years, most notably the Galaxy Note 7 debacle, in which the devices were recalled due to a risk of exploding batteries. Such incidents have tarnished its reputation and led to significant financial losses.
Likewise, Samsung recalled more than 660,000 washing machines and advised consumers to stop using them immediately after receiving a number of reports of overheating, smoking, and fire (Maruf, 2022).
Opportunities for Samsung
Market penetration opportunity
Emerging markets such as India, South Africa and others have growing demands for consumer electronics, smartphones, tablets, and other tech devices. For instance, India is the second largest smartphone market in the world after China and has over 748 million smartphone users. Over 1.5 billion users are expected to own smartphone in India by 2040 (Statista, 2023). This is certainly a massive opportunity for Samsung.
Like the Indian market, smartphones sales grew rapidly in South Africa as well where the market leader is Samsung. Samsung should be able to penetrate this market further.
Growing middle class
Middle class is rapidly growing in many developing as well as poor countries. This rapid development will certainly increase demands for consumer electronics, smartphones, and other tech devices which offer Samsung opportunities for growth. As it is a digital time and age now, the demands for new tech products and services is certainly out there.
Samsung has been investing in the automotive sector, particularly in the development of electric vehicles and autonomous driving technologies. It has acquired Harman, a leading provider of connected car solutions, and has also invested in various automotive startups.
Artificial Intelligence and Robotics
Samsung has been making significant investments in artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics, with the aim of integrating these technologies into its existing products and services, as well as developing new solutions for various industries.
Samsung is at the forefront of 5G technology development, with its products and infrastructure solutions playing a crucial role in the global rollout of 5G networks. As 5G becomes more widespread, it is expected to drive demand for new devices and services, creating new growth opportunities for Samsung.
Threats to Samsung
Threat is the last element to address in the SWOT analysis of Samsung. The key threats have been listed below:
Competitors of Samsung
Samsung faces a number of powerful competitors in many of its global markets. For instance, its main competitors in the smartphone market are Apple, Huawei, Xiaomi, OPPO, LG, Lenovo, ZTE, Vivo, Sony, RIM, HTC, & Nokia.
The main competitors of Samsung in global consumer electronics market are HP Inc., Apple Inc., Sony Corporation, LG Electronics Inc., Panasonic Corporation, Hitachi Ltd., and Toshiba Corporation.
Legal challenges and fines
Samsung has been involved in numerous legal disputes. These legal battles can be costly and damaging to its image. It was accused of price fixing and indeed fined 35.1 million euros by the European Commission for fixing prices of chips used in smartphones. Likewise, it was ordered by an Australian judge to pay $9.8 for misleading advertising over how water-resistant some models of its smartphones are (McGUIRK, 2022).
Summary of SWOT analysis of Samsung
Samsung company has undoubtedly played a significant role in shaping the tech industry over the past decades. Its relentless pursuit of innovation and its commitment to research and development have allowed it to stay ahead of competition and bring ground-breaking products to the global market. Despite facing challenges and intense competition, it continues to be a force to be reckoned with in the global tech landscape.
With its ongoing investments in emerging technologies and its expansion into new industries, Samsung is well-positioned to continue influencing the tech industry for years to come. Its success serves as a testament to the power of innovation, determination, and strategic thinking in the ever-evolving world of technology.
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Last update: 05 April 2023
Samsung (2023), About us, available at: https://www.samsung.com/uk/about-us/business-area/ (accessed 05 April 2023)
Maruf, R. (2022) Samsung recalls more than 660,000 washing machines after fire hazard reports, available at: https://edition.cnn.com/2022/12/23/business/samsung-washing-machine-recall-fire-hazard/index.html (accessed 05 April 2023)
McGUIRK, R. (2022) Samsung fined $9.8M for misleading Australian phone ads, available at: https://apnews.com/article/technology-australia-866cfd035079c1081cc2217936518ab0 (accessed 04 April 2023)
Ponciano, J. (2022) The World’s Largest Tech Companies In 2022:, available at: https://www.forbes.com/sites/jonathanponciano/2022/05/12/the-worlds-largest-technology-companies-in-2022-apple-still-dominates-as-brutal-market-selloff-wipes-trillions-in-market-value/?sh=766c8b4a3448 (accessed 02 April 2023)
Statista (2023) Global market share held by leading smartphone vendors, available at: https://www.statista.com/statistics/271496/global-market-share-held-by-smartphone-vendors-since-4th-quarter-2009/ (accessed 05 April 2023)
Author: M Rahman
M Rahman writes extensively online and offline with an emphasis on business management, marketing, and tourism. He is a lecturer in Management and Marketing. He holds an MSc in Tourism & Hospitality from the University of Sunderland. Also, graduated from Leeds Metropolitan University with a BA in Business & Management Studies and completed a DTLLS (Diploma in Teaching in the Life-Long Learning Sector) from London South Bank University.