Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. is a South Korean multinational electronics and information technology company headquartered in Suwon, South Korea. It is the flagship subsidiary of the Samsung Group and has been the world's-largest IT company by revenues since 2009. Samsung Electronics has assembly plants and sales networks in 61 countries and employs around 221,000 people.
Samsung Electronics is the world's largest mobile phone maker and world's second-largest semiconductor chip maker (after Intel Corporation). It has been the world's largest television manufacturer since 2006 and the world's largest maker of LCD panels for eight consecutive years. It has the largest marketshare worldwide in memory chips. With the introduction of the Samsung Galaxy S mobile phone, the company's smartphone lineup was first place in terms of global sales figures for 2011. Samsung has also established a prominent position in the tablet computer market, with the release of the Android-powered Samsung Galaxy Tab to compete with the iPad from Apple.
Samsung's flagship mobile handset line is the Samsung Galaxy S, which many consider a direct competitor of the Apple iPhone. It was initially launched in Singapore, Malaysia and South Korea in June 2010, followed by the United States in July. It sold more than one million units within the first 45 days on sale in the United States.
The company's I9000 Galaxy S and S8500 Wave smartphones were the winners of the 2010 European EISA Awards in the smartphone and social media phone categories. The I9000 Galaxy S was recognized for its superior-quality screen and excellent connectivity while the S8500 Wave for its Bada operating system with unparalleled social networking and location-based services.
While many other handset makers tend to focus on supporting one (or at most two) operating system, Samsung has kept supporting a wide range of operating systems in the market. Although the Galaxy S adopts Google Android as the primary operating system, it also supports other competing operating systems such as Symbian, Microsoft Windows Phone, Linux-based LiMo, and Samsung's proprietary Bada.
Samsung sold 235 million mobile handsets in the year 2009. At the end of the third quarter of 2010, the company had surpassed the 70 million unit mark in shipped phones, giving it a global marketshare of 22 percent, trailing Nokia by 12 percent. Overall, the company sold 280 million mobile phones in 2010, corresponding to a market share of 20.2 percent. Partially owing to strong sales of the Samsung Galaxy range of smartphones, the company overtook Apple in worldwide smartphone sales during the third quarter 2011, with a total market share of 23.8 percent, compared to Apple's 14.6-percent share. Samsung became the world's largest cellphone maker in 2012, with the sales of 45 million smart phones in the first quarter.