In 2009, the year of worldwide recession due to the 2008 global credit crisis, Samsung’s sales revenue rose 27 percent from the previous year, the biggest increase in the industry. In the home market, Samsung held the leading position thanks to strong sales of its flagship items, Zipel-brand side-by-side and kimchi refrigerators. In the North American, European, and Russian markets, it solidified its image as a premier home appliance maker by selling so many refrigerators, washing machines, air-conditioners, as well as new steam microwave ovens and “robot” vacuum cleaners.
In a market clearly split into two extremes of upmarket and budget categories, Samsung employs a two-pronged strategy to emphasize its premium image for affluent consumers while marketing lower-end items with fewer bells and whistles for emerging economies consumers.
In 2009, Samsung introduced a host of new products including a premium mini-laptop computer N310 and slim-sized laptop X420. The N310 and the X420 are the third-generation laptops with all the advanced features as well as portability and connectivity. Thanks to these new market entrants, Samsung could sell as many as 6 million laptops for the year.
In the printer business division, one of the next-generation strategic areas, Samsung launched mono-laser printer, multifunction printer, and enterprise-use high-speed digital multifunction printer models. Samsung was ranked second in the world in the area of letter-size (A4) laser printers. In other segments such as mono-laser printers, multifunction printers, and color laser printers, Samsung was first or second place in the world. In the laser multifunction printer segment, it became No. 1 the first time in its history, all of which indicates that Samsung is growing fast in the printer business despite under the condition of severe economic recession.
In 2010, Samsung introduced many new products boasting energy efficiency and eco-friendliness, including the premium laptop R580, netbook N210, the world’s smallest mono-laser printer ML-1660, and color laser multifunction printer CLX-3185.
In the area of wireless networking, the mobile telecom protocols such as Mobile WiMax and WiBro, the protocols developed by Samsung and adopted in 2007 as international standards, are in wide commercial use in many overseas markets. Since mobile telecom service providers in the United States, Japan, and Russia began deploying the standards, more and more providers (as many as 139 providers in 75 countries) are readying to take it up.
Digital cameras and camcorders are the areas Samsung cannot overlook. The company has introduced several models in these areas such as the WB550 (the premium camera), the ST550 (the dual-LCD-mounted camera), and the HMX-H106 (64GB SSD-mounted full HD camcorder). Samsung in 2009 took the third place in the compact camera segment. Since then, the company has focused more on high-priced items. In 2010, the company launched the NX10, the next-generation interchangeable lens camera, thereby commencing the race toward the new category of camera market.
In the area of storage media, Samsung in 2009 succeeded in grabbing more than 10 percent of the world market share by introducing a new hard disk drive capable of storing 250Gb per 2.5-inch disk. In 2010, the company started marketing the 320Gb-per-disk HDD, the largest in the industry. In addition, it was focusing more on selling external hard disk drives. Following financial losses, the hard disk division was sold to Seagate in 2011.
In the MP3 player segment, Samsung is doing quite well. It is launching a host of new products including the M1, the premium MP3 player model, and the world’s smallest DivX MP3 player R1.