Despite Hits, Korean Industries Still Going Strong
Despite Hits, Korean Industries Still Going Strong
  • Staff
  • 승인 2009.02.27 13:30
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Samsung Electronics Ranks First in World in LCD TV Sales

Samsung Electronics sold US$24.4 billion in LCD TVs in 2008, securing the top position in the world, DisplaySearch, a market research firm, said in its recent report.

Sony of Japan came next with sales of $14.6 billion during the same period.

Finally, Samsung outpaced Sony in LCD TV sales. The gap between the two companies came to US$9.8 billion.

Samsung captured the greatest market share of 21.9 percent, followed by Sony with 13.1 percent. LG Electronics ranked third with 11.2 percent, selling US$12.5 billion.

Japan's Panasonic and Sharp were the fourth and fifth biggest LCD TV sellers, respectively, with 8.2 percent and 7.4 percent market shares respectfully.

For LCD TV sets, Samsung is planning to keep its aggressive pricing stance in North America, Europe and emerging markets.

Yoon Boo-keun, chief of Samsung's visual display division said that Samsung will challenge itself to capture the top spot for the fourth consecutive year in 2009 by launching better TV sets.

He attributed the secret behind the performance to its improvements in picture quality and design. Samsung succeeded in realizing more vivid picture quality by applying crystal black panel and speed backlight to the LCD TV last year.

In 2008, shipments of LCD TVs increased 33 percent to 105 million, accounting for 51 percent of overall TV shipments in the year, against 42 percent for old-fashioned cathode-ray tubes (CRT) TVs.

DisplaySearch said Samsung sold 21 million LCD TVs in 2008, followed by Sony with 14.8 million and LG Electronics with 11 million.

Sony had earlier planned to sell 20 million LCD TVs but failed to achieve the target. Samsung Electronics is the only company to achieve its original goal among global makers.

Universal Mobile Phone Charger to Be Developed by 2012

On February 18, Global System for Mobile Association (GSMA) announced 17 global manufacturers and telecommunication companies that have agreed to make a universal mobile phone charger by 2012 for mobile phone users all over the world. The 17 companies include world leading companies such as Samsung Electronics, LG Electronics, Nokia, and Motorola. GSMA added that the universal mobile phone charger to be developed would be able to reduce current standby power by half, so that it will be an environmentally- friendly product. In fact, until now major mobile phone makers of the world have produced chargers only suitable to their own products. For this reason, whenever users change their phones, they have to throw away old ones, eventually increasing waste. Therefore, in order to remove inefficiency and reduce energy consumption that comes from using different chargers, this agreement for standard specifications has been made.

In Korea last year under the leadership of the Telecommunication Technology Association (TTA), mobile phone makers have agreed to produce 20-pin standard specs. However, European countries and the USA are still using a variety of specs ranging from 5-pin micro USB to 24-pin. On the other hand, the guidelines for standard mobile phone chargers are expected to have a positive effect on the cost structure of mobile phones. This is good news to Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics because their market share is very large in the global export market. They won't have to make their models fit into the chargers of different standards of many countries. This means that they will be able to gain a competitive advantage in terms of price.

Information Security Jobs Are Enjoying Stability

According to IT magazine Computerworld and IT security specialist SANS Institute, information security jobs are still enjoying stability and high compensation. Compared with many other jobs in the IT field, IT security jobs are still stable, and compensation is higher. Amid serious global economic depression, the IT industry is suffering from severe difficulties of job cuts and wage cuts. Computerworld is an IT magazine that provides information to technology managers, and SANS Institute provides security training, professional certification through Global Information Assurance Certification (GIAC), and a research archive - the SANS Reading Room.

Computerworld, quoting the results of both market surveys and consulting firm research, has revealed that most companies in the US are not considering job cuts in the IT security field, and that compensation for IT security jobs is the highest among IT-related jobs. SANS Institute has also revealed the result of its online survey which has been made recently in order to hear the opinions of management in charge of IT security. According to the survey, 79% of respondents have answered that there is no job cut in the IT security field and also that even if job cuts are inevitable, there will only be a few. However, nearly half, 54.9%, of respondents said that they have no plan to recruit IT specialists.

One senior researcher of SANS Institute said: “When taking into consideration the fact that numerous large-scale cost cuts and job cuts are taking place in every field, we can say that the information security market is still enjoying much stability.” He went on to explain the reason why: “As time goes on, more and more regulations on IT security are being strengthened, and the necessity of data protection is increasing, and customer's worry about data leakage is also being intensified. All these factors are raising the importance of IT security jobs and IT security specialists.”

Relocation Instead of Shake-up

In contrast with global companies' drastic measures such as severe job cuts and shakeups, the two leading domestic companies Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics are taking up measures that focus on improving productivity by way of the relocation of manpower. Their decisions present a contrast to many other global companies' job cuts and mergers when on the brink of a crisis. Meanwhile, Samsung Group has recently announced that it has no plan to restructure. This announcement has been made at the time of a regular company-wide manager reshuffle which is scheduled for early next month. A senior official of Samsung Group said at a gathering with reporters, which was recently held after the toplevel consultation meeting of Samsung Group: “Our management policy that we have no plan to restructure remains unchanged. Earlier than this, Samsung Electronics has relocated 1,200 employees working in the main office to front line workplaces.”

On the other hand, LG Electronics has said its management policy will relocate its workforce to new business projects instead of cutting jobs. A high level official of the company said: “We have made a plan to relocate about 20% of the total workforce to the new business plans and new projects that will be able to enhance productivity.” Before making this decision, it simulated the effects of restructuring in terms of costs and profits. LG Electronics made the judgment that it can achieve the same effect as restructuring by relocation of manpower and cost savings, so it decided to take these measures instead of conducting radical restructuring that included job cuts.

Domestic Companies to Reduce Facility Investment by 30%

According to the survey of the facility investment plan for 2009, domestic companies plan to reduce their investment by 29.5% in 2009, compared with the previous year of 2008. The investment performance of 2008 was reduced 28.8% in comparison with their original plan. The survey has been conducted by the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Concerning the investment environment prospects for 2009, 71.1% of total respondents forecast that it would deteriorate compared with last year, 24.6% said it would be similar to last year, and only 4.3% answered that it would be better. The reasons why companies plan to reduce facility investment are as follows: lack of domestic demand (49.5%), export slowdown (15.1%), and difficulty in financing (12.2%). Regarding the question of what policy task is most urgently needed, 39% of respondents said that financial assistance should come first, and followed by financial market stability (16.8%) and expansion of tax support (14%).

Meanwhile, another important indicator in the survey is that the IT facility investment for 2009 of major domestic IT companies will drop by 30-40% compared with the previous year. It is well known that IT facility investment plays a role of a good leading indicator of the future market. Therefore, the slowdown in IT facility investment means that both domestic demand and export markets are expected to face serious difficulties. Instead of aggressive management, most companies are making efforts to obtain cash liquidity, waiting to see the recovery of the business cycle, and eventually swallow their promises to turn crisis into opportunity.

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