JIN-237 -- Our Report from Seoul Sees Samsung Soaring

J@pan Inc Magazine Presents:

T H E J @ P A N I N C N E W S L E T T E R

Commentary on the Week's Business and Technology News

Issue No. 237
Wednesday, July 30, 2003


++ Viewpoint: Our Report from Seoul Sees Samsung Soaring

The Entrepreneur Association of Tokyo- Our August Seminar features one of
Japan's top entrepreneurs, LINC Media's CEO and President Terrie Lloyd.
Terrie who has 20 years of experience in establishing businesses
ranging from PC imports, system integration, outsourcing,
business-technology magazines (Japan Inc), online recruiting, online
exchanges and marketplaces to web development, will be speaking about,
"How to Survive and Succeed in Japan."

Date: Monday August 4th, City Club of Tokyo (Canadian Embassy Complex)
Language - English www.ea-tokyo.com E-mail: info@ea-tokyo.com

++ Viewpoint: Our Report from Seoul Sees Samsung Soaring

We took a trip over to Seoul earlier this week, and it gave us
some serious food for thought. Of course we realized long ago
just how dynamic the elite Korean companies can be. But Samsung
has now leapt into a different league.

As we chatted to the company about their ambitions and strategies,
what emerged was a portrait of a firm that everyone should be
watching -- especially the likes of Sony, Matsushita and
the other Japanese electronics giants.

When Samsung first entered consumers' consciousness outside
Korea, the analysts quietly predicted the death of Japan's
"technology cushion" -- that state of R&D advance that has always
given its companies a market edge over rivals from around the
world. The demise of the cushion has been pretty slow, but
the final death-rattle is now clearly audible.

We learned two things that brought us to this conclusion. The
first is that Samsung has now properly infiltrated the minds of
the electronics-buying public. Interbrand, the world's leading
brand consultant, has ranked Samsung's brand the "fastest growing"
in the world for the second year in a row. In only three years,
SAMSUNG's brand value has more than doubled from $5.2 billion in
2001 to its current $10.8 billion. Interbrand's annual survey of
the top 100 global brands ranks Samsung as the world's 25th largest
brand, up from 34th place in 2002 and from 42nd place in 2001.

A lot of that has to do with its big-ticket innovations: Samsung
has pioneered TV-enabled mobile phones and built the world's
fastest mobile CPU.

But the real danger posed by Samsung is in flat-screen TVs.
To understand the market, you have to think of the flat-screen
revolution as being something akin to the color TV revolution
in the early 80s. People in developed countries were, en masse,
chucking out their old wooden boxes and buying up the new
plastic-encased marvels from Japan.

It was time for a change, and Sony was there to make sure it was
the new brand everyone turned to.

Sony and the others now are just like Magnavox was back then:
Sure Magnavox could make the new machines, but the public was
ready to change brands as well as technology. This is where
Samsung has positioned itself so brilliantly.

In the next few years, most in the developed world are going
to move over to LCD TVs -- indeed, many have already started with
their PC monitors. Sony, Fujitsu, Toshiba and the others make these,
but Samsung is poised to beat them all to the mass market.

This is where the second fact we learned comes in. Samsung has
just built a colossal plant near the North Korean border which
will be devoted to churning out LDC screens. Look for the deals,
the bargains and the flashy new brand.

That was what Sony had with the Trinitron; that is what Samsung
has now.

-- The Editors

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Written and edited by J@pan Inc staff (editors@japaninc.com)


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