If Google has the best apps on the iPhone and Samsung's next smartphone leaves the iPhone in the dust, then is Samsung among the great tech companies of today?
The Fifth Horsemen: Samsung
We all know the “four horsemen” of tech: Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google .... Microsoft simply no longer belongs on that list. .... there’s an omission that’s becoming a glaring one: Samsung. .... Samsung is not an American company (it’s South Korean). Nor did it start as a scrappy technology startup that set out to change the world (it started in 1938 as a local produce trading company). Nor does it operate like an American technology company (the entire company is and has been run largely by one family .... Samsung isn’t even just a technology company .... there’s a decent chance that it will end up being the most important tech company of 2013. .... Samsung is by far the most important Android partner. Not only does it dominate from a market share perspective, it’s really the only Android OEM that is actually making any money. .... posted about $155 billion in revenue in 2011. That’s almost exactly the amount of revenue that Apple posted in 2012. Samsung should come in closer to $190 billion when its fiscal 2012 comes to a close. .... $100 billion for Amazon, Facebook, and Google in 2012 ..... unlike Amazon and Facebook which make little or no profit, Samsung is hugely profitable. $12 billion in profit for 2011 should move closer to $20 billion in 2012. That’s not a ton compared to Apple ($55 billion in profit in 2012), but it should be roughly twice as much profit as Google pulls in for the year. ..... it is the most important piece of the Android ecosystem beyond Google. And it seems that the company is at least exploring the possibility of taking a step back from that ecosystem, or hedging its bet. That could be the story of 2013 ..... Samsung must be looking at how profitable Apple is as a result of its total control. .... Beyond mobile devices, the hot topic for 2013 is the future of television. .... And Samsung isn’t stopping with phones and televisions (or memory chips and flat-panel displays where it is also the global leader). Chairman Lee Kun Hee recently gave a speech to employees underscoring the need to venture into new businesses. The son of the man who started the produce trading company knows that the future of his company will be products that don’t even exist today.