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Uncharted Territory

自分が読んで興味深く感じた英文記事を中心に取り上げる予定です

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三星、サムスン、Samsung

 


サムスンというと「ソニーの真似をした」「マーケティングに力をいれているから」「韓国政府が支援している」「ウォン安で売れた」というようにまだまだ素朴に理解している人が多いですが、そんな程度で売れるならどの会社も苦労していませんよね。

BWsamsung.jpg

今週のBusinessweekはサムスンの現状を李健煕(イ・ゴンヒ, Lee Kun Hee)会長のリーダーシップを中心に紹介しているものでした。サムスンの軍隊的な厳しい組織の様子がよく分かります。常に危機感を持ってビジネスをしている会社に日本の大手家電メーカーではかなわないだろうなと思ってしまいます。

Features
How Samsung Became the World's No. 1 Smartphone Maker
By Sam Grobart on March 28, 2013

Words checked = [3966]
Words in Oxford 3000™ = [83%]


この記事を読むとサムスンがここまで大きくなったのは現在の李会長の功績であることが分かりますが、韓国内のサムスンの影響力の大きさが分かるエピソードが以下の部分です。特に2つ目のパラグラフを読むとサムスンが電子機器だけでないこと財閥グループであることが分かります。

Samsung Electronics is the largest part of Samsung, a conglomerate that accounts for 17 percent of South Korea’s gross domestic product. It employs 370,000 people in more than 80 countries, but nowhere can its presence be felt more acutely than in its native country, where it’s so dominant it may as well be a second government.

A Seoul resident may have been born at the Samsung Medical Center and brought home to an apartment complex built by Samsung’s construction division (which also built the Petronas Twin Towers and the Burj Khalifa). Her crib may have come from overseas, which means it could have been aboard a cargo ship built by Samsung Heavy Industries. When she gets older, she’ll probably see an ad for Samsung Life Insurance that was created by Cheil Worldwide, a Samsung-owned ad agency, while wearing clothes made by Bean Pole, a brand of Samsung’s textile division. When relatives come to visit, they can stay at The Shilla hotel or shop at The Shilla Duty Free, which are also owned by Samsung.

有名な“Change everything but your wife and children,”( 妻と子ども以外はすべて変えること)という会長の言葉は1993年にフランクフルトでなされたもののようです。会長の絶対的な力を感じることができるエピソードです。

By June, he’d made it to Germany and was staying at the Falkenstein Grand Kempinski Hotel in Frankfurt. He summoned all of Samsung’s executives—who numbered in the hundreds—to meet him there. “He did this at the drop of a hat, and they all gathered,” says communications chief Lee. On June 7 the chairman delivered a speech that lasted three days (they adjourned in the evenings). The most famous quote to emerge from the address was, “Change everything but your wife and children,” which has “Ask not what your country can do for you” levels of recognition at Samsung.

The event became known, formally, as the Frankfurt Declaration of 1993, with all the United Nations import the name suggests. The content of the Frankfurt Declaration is called New Management, its principles distilled into a 200-page book that’s distributed to all Samsung employees. A stand-alone glossary was later published to define the terms laid out in the first book. Workers who weren’t fully literate were given a cartoon version. Lee went around the globe, evangelizing his gospel to all corners of the Samsung empire. “He conducted a lot of lectures,” recalls Shin. “It comes to 350 hours. We transcribed those events; it took 8,500 pages.”


興味深いと思ったエピソードを一つ。今ではスマホに4インチ画面は普通に感じられるようになりましたが2010年の時には異論もあったようです。サムスンは企業体力があるので、いろいろなタイプを出して最適のモノを探ることができることが他のメーカーにはできない強みの一つのようです。

In 2010, Samsung introduced the Galaxy S line, exemplifying its second momentous decision: using bigger screens. The Galaxy S’s screen was significantly larger than the original Galaxy and other Android models. “We settled on a 4-inch screen, which people thought was too big,” says DJ Lee. “There was a lot of argument about that.” But the bigger screens proved to be a major selling point; they grew larger still on the Galaxy S II and S III. Now, Samsung smartphones come in sizes ranging from 2.8 inches to 5 inches (to say nothing of the company’s “phablets,” which go up to 5.5). “Nobody had any idea what the right screen size was, so Samsung made all of them and saw which one worked,” says Benedict Evans, a researcher at Enders Analysis.


アプローチが違いますが、サムスンとアップルが垂直統合的なやり方でスマホの分野で2強になっています。サムスンは半導体や画面などの部品を自ら製造し、アップルは部品の設計とOSを押さえています。

Producing a range of similar devices in various sizes to see which sells best is one of those high-cost undertakings most companies shy away from. But Samsung’s ability to produce display, memory, processors, and other high-tech parts gives it a flexibility competitors can’t touch. “There was this orthodoxy 10 years ago that vertical integration was passé,” says Tero Kuittinen, an analyst at Alekstra, a mobile-phone consultancy. “Then it turned out that the only two companies that took it seriously [Samsung and Apple] took over the whole handset industry.”

Apple’s approach is fewer models, each of them exquisitely designed. Samsung’s is try everything, and fast. “When we released the Galaxy S III, our research showed that, for some people in some markets, the handset was too big,” says DJ Lee. “So we were able to create the same phone with a 4-inch screen, and we called it the Galaxy S III mini.” Getting the smaller device into production took about four to six months, says DJ Lee. “We watch the market, and we immediately respond,” he says. The new Galaxy S 4 is coming out only nine months after the GS3. “Samsung has taken differentiation to a new art,” says Michael Gartenberg, an analyst at Gartner (IT). “If I want something in between an iPad and an iPad mini, I can’t get that from Apple.”

Apple’s vertical integration has one thing Samsung’s doesn’t, though: control over the software. Only Apple smartphones and tablets run iOS, and one of the hallmarks of the iPhone and iPad is how smoothly the software and hardware work together. That’s fostered an industry of app makers, and the company gets a cut of every app sold.


‘Our major businesses can disappear in 10 years.’(サムスンの主要事業は10年後になくなっているかもしれない)というのも 李会長の言葉として有名ですよね。このような危機感が医療、太陽電池、LEDなどの新分野に向かわせているのでしょう。

When the mobile business ceases to be profitable, Samsung will have to force its way into some other industry that requires a lot of upfront capital and expertise in mass-manufacturing. The company announced in late 2011 that it would spend $20 billion by 2020 to develop proficiencies in medical devices, solar panels, LED lighting, biotech, and batteries for electric cars. And if Samsung batteries or MRI machines don’t take over the market, maybe the chairman will set a huge pile of them on fire. “The chairman is saying all the time, ‘This is perpetual crisis,’ ” says mobile marketing chief DJ Lee. “We are in danger. We are in jeopardy.”


日本で議論されているグローバル人材とかTOEFL導入とかを見ると、そんなレベルでいいの?と突っ込みたくなりますね。少なくともわれわれは英語で見識を広げていきましょう。
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