Samsung may need a genuine miracle or at least many more years of constant growth at the expense of the competition to reach the towering heights of Apple’s profitability or even the impressive market capitalization of Google parent company Alphabet.
But when it comes to smartphone sales, as well as TV volumes, display solutions for mobile devices and memory chips, there’s no beating the top chaebol. And especially as far as electronic components are concerned, you can’t have world domination without substantial R&D investments.
Otherwise put, you have to spend a lot of money to make even more, and take occasional production gambles that might or might not pay off in the long run. Case in point, Apple’s exclusive supplier of “edge-to-edge” OLED panels for this year’s anniversary edition iPhone 8 is pouring incredible amounts of cash into new factories despite not knowing what will happen next for Cupertino’s uber-popular handset family.
Credible speculation hints at a single Korea-based plant to be opened no sooner than 2018 or even 2019, but this could become the world’s biggest OLED screen manufacturing location, exceeding the capacity of the current title holder by a whopping 30 percent.
Tens of billions of dollars would be invested over the coming years in the actual construction, plus equipment and production, though no one can guarantee Samsung will continue to strike favorable deals with Apple for future iPhone generations.
Meanwhile, the Korean tech giant is also spending growing fortunes on preparing for the “fourth industrial revolution”, looking to transition from 10-nanometer to 8, 7 and eventually 4nm chip-making processes as quickly as possible.
We’re talking by 2020, reportedly, and the latest $1 billion contribution to dedicated production facilities in Austin, Texas should help improve the efficiency of world-leading R&D mechanisms. No caution, no compromise, no patience. That’s what makes Samsung the best of so many industries.