By Eric Taub
OULD YOU PAY $30,000 for a 57-inch HDTV?
Ten years ago, that’s what Samsung was asking for
a television based on a virtually unknown technology called liquid crystal display (LCD).
That price was even more audacious considering who was asking. In 2004, Samsung had virtually no
name recognition in the United States. If you had asked
most consumers what products Samsung made, you would
have encountered a lot of blank looks. In 2003, the company
had sold just 150,000 TVs in the U.S., giving it an almost-invisible 0.5 percent market share.
A decade later, Samsung is the U.S. leader in television.
In the past five years alone, the company has increased its
market share by 50 percent; it now accounts for 24 percent
of all TVs sold here.
But it’s not just televisions where Samsung has taken the
lead. The company now sells 23 different categories of consumer products in North America. Its Galaxy smartphones
have become a viable option to Apple’s iPhone. The company has made strong inroads in large appliances, including
washers, dryers and refrigerators, winning praise for innovations and quality. And then there are its Blu-ray players,
speakers, microwave ovens, vacuums and LED lighting,
which are also garnering sales.