Samsung is a global leader in technology, with a wide range of products and services that span everything from smartphones to home appliances. The company has a reputation for innovation, quality, and reliability, and has been at the forefront of many technological advancements in recent years. But what are the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats facing Samsung today, and how can the company leverage this information to stay ahead of the competition?
In this blog post, we will conduct a comprehensive SWOT analysis of Samsung. We will explore the company’s strengths, such as its dominance in the smartphone market and its high research and development expenditure, as well as its weaknesses, such as its declining market share in some regions. We will also examine the opportunities and threats facing the company, including changing consumer preferences and increasing competition from both domestic and international players.
By the end of this post, you will have a better understanding of the factors that are shaping Samsung’s success, as well as the challenges the company faces in the years ahead. Whether you’re a potential investor, a student of business, or simply interested in the strategies of successful companies, this SWOT analysis is sure to provide valuable insights into one of the most innovative and respected technology companies in the world. So let’s dive in and explore the SWOT analysis of Samsung.
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Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. is today the world’s second-largest technology company producing electronic devices. It is a South Korean conglomerate business. Samsung was also titled the number one consumer electronics brand worldwide and is recognized for its evolutionary advancements in digital technology.
The company produces equipment that includes telecommunications, electronics, home appliances, and semiconductors.
Samsung SWOT analysis
Initially launched as an analog-driven product line, it transitioned into a universally acclaimed pioneer in technological innovation. The tech industry is currently the world’s largest smartphone and mobile phone manufacturer. Now, it sells over a hundred products of different varieties and models. Its operational branches are present in about 79 countries.
Lee Byung-Chul founded Samsung in 1938. It started as a trading company until it gradually became an electronics manufacturer in the late 1960s. It had about 266,670 employees as of December 2022.
Its current CEOs are Koh Dong Jin, Kim Ki Nam, and Kim Hyun Suk, who assumed their positions in March 2018.
Did you know that the total resources of the Samsung Group made up about 15% of South Korea’s GDP?
SWOT analysis of Samsung
The following is the SWOT analysis of Samsung:
Samsung’s Strengths: Internal Strategic Factors
dominates the smartphone market
Samsung has dominated the smartphone market for years. According to the 2021 Gartner report, Samsung has maintained the No. 1 spot globally with a 19% market share in smartphone sales, whereas Apple is in the second spot with a 16.7% market share and Xiaomi is in the third spot with a 13.2% market share.
Research and Development
The foundation of Samsung has always been innovative research and development. Expenditure in these departments resulted in the company having a wide range of product portfolios among its competitors.
These include tablets, camcorders, mobile phones, cameras, TV/video/audio, memory cards, PCs, and other accessories. They have 16 overseas R&D centers and 7 AI centers worldwide to secure innovative technologies and enhance global R&D capacity.
Samsung’s position as a pioneer in innovation is backed by credibility. Samsung has won many awards for its products. For many years, Samsung has been awarded the CES (Consumer Electronics Show) due to its product designs and innovation.
It went on to receive 43 CES awards in 2022. Moreover, it secured 48 medals at the International Design Excellence Awards (IDEA).
Ecologically Friendly Innovations
Samsung has enhanced its brand reputation through its environmentally friendly innovations. It secured 8th position in the Top 30 Tech and Telecom Companies of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) 2022 Green Power Partner list.
It also received a rare Energy Star Corporate Commitment Award. Samsung’s product efficiency has saved approximately 270 million metric tons of CO2 emissions worldwide since 2009. Other companies do not share this achievement, which increases Samsung’s appeal across all business units.
stronghold in the Asian markets
Samsung retains a stronghold in Asian markets, particularly India and China. Both emerging economies markets, India’s and China’s, are growing substantially, so Samsung has taken advantage of the opportunity and gotten incentivized in these countries accordingly.
Samsung overtakes Intel as the biggest chip seller.
In 2021, Samsung was hailed as the largest chip seller with a global market share of 12.3% in semiconductors by revenue, getting ahead of Intel (market share of 12.2%) thanks to Samsung’s strong growth.
According to Gartner reports, the South Korean tech giant’s revenue grew 28% yearly to $73 billion in 2021. Due to the outbreak, the demand for chips in personal computers, servers, and other electronic devices increased exponentially.
Samsung has a very diversified portfolio, and it operates four divisions:
- Consumer electronics represent about 20% of total revenue. The division sells home electric appliances such as TVs, washing machines, air conditioners, monitors, and refrigerators.
- Information technology and mobile communications represent about 39% of total revenue. The division has products such as smartphones, network systems, and computers.
- Device Solutions is the largest division of Samsung and accounts for about 45% of total revenue. It comprises two sub-divisions: semiconductors (75% of divisional revenue) and display products (25% of divisional revenue). Products sold in this division include DRAM, NAND flash, mobile AP, mobile OLED panels, LCD panels, and semiconductor-related products.
- Harman was acquired by Samsung in 2017 and represents 4% of total revenue. Harman manufactures and sells digital cockpits, telematics, and speakers.
Segments FY21 Revenue (₩ trillion) Share
Information technology and mobile communications (1093%)
Total 279 100%
- Brand valuation
Samsung ranks #5 with Interbrand in 2021, with a brand value of $74.6 billion, following competitors such as:
- #1: Apple (brand value: $408.3 billion)
- #2: Amazon (brand value: $249.2 billion)
- #3: Microsoft (brand value: $210.2 billion)
- #4: Google (brand value: $196.8 billion)
- strong global presence
Although Samsung’s headquarters are based in South Korea, it has 14 regional offices and more than 228 subsidiaries worldwide. It is truly a global company.
- Its domestic market accounts for 16% of total revenue, while its largest overseas market, America, accounts for 35%.
- Europe comes in second and accounts for 18% of total revenue.
- China takes third place and accounts for 16% of total revenue.
- Other Asian countries and Africa account for 15% of total revenue.
Region FY21 Revenue (₩ trillion) % Share
Asia and Africa 4215%
Total 279 100%
- heavily dependent on American markets
It is estimated that Apple and Samsung combined sold at least 74% of smartphones in the USA market. While Samsung has diversified its resources and expanded its operations in Asia, it is still heavily dependent on the American market.
The American economy is very unpredictable, and another recession could jeopardize Samsung’s revenues and damage its operational resources. That’s why Samsung needs to involve itself in the Asian and European markets to ensure sustainability and avoid potential failures if the US economy collapses.
- The decline in smartphone sales
Samsung has been experiencing a decline in smartphone sales since 2017. A similar trend was seen in China due to the price sensitivity of the Chinese market. They dump a lot of those products on the Indian market at a lower cost, which harms Samsung’s sales. Samsung has tried to shift more focus to India, but that strategy has yet to produce substantial results.
- Product Failures
Any product that threatens consumers’ lives erodes the company’s confidence and trust. Samsung has delivered several faulty products to the market, from the exploding Samsung Galaxy A20e to a defective foldable phone.
- Dependence on low-end smartphones
A large portion of Samsung’s revenues come from low-end smartphone sales. Supply chain constraints, i.e., component shortages and longer delivery times, have impacted this segment more than the high-end smartphone segment, which played a role in Samsung’s decline from 80 million smartphone sales and 22.1% of market share in Q3 2020 to 69 million smartphones sold in Q3 2021 with 20.2% of market share (as per the Gartner Report).
- Hereditary Leadership
Since its founding, Samsung has been under the same family’s leadership for three generations. Even though keeping the administration within the family has offered Samsung immense stability, the company can stagnate due to a lack of fresh ideas. After being dogged by several scandals, Samsung heir Jay Lee has vowed to end dynastic succession.
- Bribery Scandal
In 2015, Samsung’s reputation was tainted by the revelation that the company’s president bribed the government of South Korea to facilitate a merger. He was found guilty and jailed for about one year, which eroded the trust bestowed by consumers in South Korea and the world over. In 2021, Lee Jae-Yong was released after serving 18 months in prison.
Triple Protection Proposition
Samsung is preparing to launch its new air conditioning product, Triple Protection Proposition, which incorporates cutting-edge technology and impeccable construction. The product targets a target customer base to ensure maximum customer retention.
Samsung can make impressive transformational accomplishments if it invests in its HR management. Not only would it be suitable for its sales, but it would also give it competitive leverage over its rivals. The company can utilize its brand image and hire highly qualified and skilled employees to improve employee performance and productivity.
Diversification and Acquisitions
Samsung must avoid the mistake of being limited to just one marketplace. It not only invites risks from an economic perspective but also attracts unwanted political polarization and negative media publicity.
That’s why a business vacuum exists in the Asian and European economies where Samsung can thrive. It needs to expand its customer base as well. It can only be achieved through diversification and acquisitions of other businesses. Samsung is a famous brand and can generate impressive revenues thanks to its financial standing.
Introduce innovative products.
The smartphone sector is highly dynamic, with the latest trends going out of style instantly. With excellent and innovative products like the foldable phone, Samsung can attain immense growth by setting the direction.
As the world moves to 5G, Samsung has the capacity and know-how to exploit this opportunity. The company is already in active commercial discussions with operators in the EU to supply 5G and 6G network equipment. Samsung is one of the top companies on the UK’s list of potential 5G providers.
Samsung Makes a Powerful Processor for Next-Gen Smartphone Gaming
The South Korean tech giant recently launched its cutting-edge Exynos 2200 processor, integrated with the Eclipse GPU from AMD.
At the forefront of groundbreaking semiconductor technology, Samsung’s new Exynos processor is the next-level mobile processor designed with multiple CPU cores for exhilarating and breathtaking mobile phone gaming graphics and performance.
The Exynos 2200 is also integrated with an updated NPU (neural processing unit) and features RT (ray tracing) technology.
Patent Infringement Controversies
Samsung has been involved in controversies that have threatened its business. Its rival Apple filed a lawsuit against Samsung for patent infringement, which underwent a heated court battle for seven long years until finally settling.
However, the company suffered consequences when a jury decided that Samsung had copied Apple and would pay $1.049 billion in damages. This suit damaged the company’s reputation and sales.
Competition from opponents, especially those within the consumer electronics, smartphone products, and computing industries, has reached a record high.
Whether it’s Xiaomi, Apple, or Huawei, all the technological competitors outmaneuver and outperform each other to become the best technology company. This only increases the pressure on Samsung in terms of both competition and finances.
Legal and regulatory threats
With the world becoming more globalized and digitally oriented, governmental authorities have begun issuing guidelines that are increasing legal and regulatory threats to companies around the globe.
Samsung is no exception to these rules. Laws differ from market to market, and these strict regulations cause a hindrance to operations. Failure to comply could even result in a complete shutdown in the respective market, which may be fatal for Samsung.
Recent events have catalyzed uncertainty in the global market and led to a decline in new smartphone sales. Financial struggles have forced many consumers to seek recycled or refurbished phones, which have increased by 24%. Samsung has already experienced a sales decline, which can drop further if uncertainty persists.
The Rise of Counterfeiting
According to numerous research studies, Samsung is the most counterfeited phone brand. Statistics from the mobile benchmarking site AnTuTu highlight that over 36% of all counterfeit smartphones are Samsung copies. Also, the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge holds the record for the most counterfeited smartphone model.
Impending court cases
Any disruption in leadership can affect performance. A South Korean court is debating whether to send Samsung’s leader and heir, Jay Lee, back to jail. New allegations of stock-price manipulation and audit rule violations have dogged the executive and threatened to throw the company into another tumultuous period without leadership.
Dissatisfied Phone Users
There’s a lot of buzz on the internet about how Samsung Galaxy S users cannot clear their cache. According to one complaint, as soon as a user deleted their entire cache and re-entered the cache setting, all the data remained.
No matter how often you delete the cache, it doesn’t go away. Samsung’s support desk asked one user whether it is like this on other social media apps like Instagram or YouTube, and the user replied that the problem only lies with the Samsung internet app.
LG’s Foldable Display Technology May Surpass Samsung
While it’s true that LG doesn’t seem to be making big waves in the smartphone industry, it’s also true that the company has several different divisions. These divisions manufacture core parts or components for other smartphones and mobile devices.
LG Chem recently introduced their new foldable display technology, asserting that it’s effortlessly greater than the current glass displays, particularly the materials used by Samsung. Unlike Samsung, LG claims that their new material is made with a specialized coating that has the consistency of hard glass yet is malleable, like plastic.
The SWOT analysis of Samsung shows that the company is still a global leader in chip manufacturing and smartphone brands. It has always sustained sufficient revenue and profits as it progressed into the future.
The primary challenge it has to face is cutting back on its overreliance on American markets and exploring the potential to operate in other markets. It needs to focus mainly on the Asian continent, which is developing at an exceedingly rapid rate.
Its limited US customer base is unrenewed to more and may limit revenue and profits. That can become a persistent issue for the company. They need to expand internationally and incorporate a new consumer demographic to thrive.