Though these companies are the darlings of South Korea and have received criticism, Samsung and LG have strong potential on a global level. Their execution of green technologies, for example, is leading the way for lower power / energy consumption.
I do believe that strong leadership on an executive-level is necessary, however, McKinsey Quarterly and other business publications also push the importance of strong communication at all levels.
This article seems to be very thorough in tracing the relationships and decisions these famous family-run corporations make that impact the electronics and high-tech world.
The boom of Korean companies are not because they were fast to act on market, or play to the right card, its because they didnt focus on short term profiting, outsourcing or IP battling, inspite they produce still at homeland, have same projects running from all different aspects simultaneously, multi source their production and stick on 'act to win' apothegm. Junko had a nice article related dating back to 2008 (tinyurl.com/3y7qoeq)
Why LG left behind at the voyage, first of all they didnt have leader as Kun Hee Lee, secondly fell to same fault as like US or EU giants, short term profiting, spinning off crucial company units due to cost cutting at harsh times and single base products especially at their mobile division. Samsung didnt do that, thats why they are #1 at consumer electronics, battling for the 1st rank for mobile, memory and LCD display markets.
Why, especially at US, we should take lessons from Samsungs magic, another nice article of junko to read (tinyurl.com/32kcpta)
Product warranties are very complex and expensive to manage. I am not surprised LG has had problems with managing customer waranties.
The company that stands out for me in this domain is HP. I have had remarkable experiences with the company.
Indeed these companies are large, with many development groups.
The Korean cellphone and TV companies have a better record in adopting and delivering new technologies in a shorter time than the Japanese companies, while many innovations come from the Japanese companies.
But the real rub is that these positions are being challenged by other companies worldwide and decision making is not an exact science. You never have all the facts when you need them.
Consumer demand for something "new" is still very high, whether they need it or not. Cell phone companies are basically in a new product release cycle every six months. It seems more often but that is because development groups stagger their work. So LarryM's observation about "yesterday's news" is appropriate, because all it takes is one miss on what's hot when to produce a model that doesn't sell.
This seems to be something of a trend that goes beyond these Korean companies. Sony has also had a hard time of it lately. Could it be that they are simply too big and cumbersome to respond to the speed of new things popping up these days? Suddenly smartphones are a hot sector, suddenly tablets are all the rage, etc. By the time they run a new technology through their development process it's yesterday's news.
They will succeed in the foundry business if they choose to be successful there. They've domonstrated virtually all the necessary elements and made recent moves to be more open and competetive (e.g. standards adoption). The company culture is well suited for the task in my opinion (a tweak here or there is all that's required). Probably there is an element of "are you supplier or competitor" that they will have to master and, given the industry and role that technology and IP plays, navigating to a satisfactory answer will be difficult and possibly more troubling and "costly" than it's worth in the end.
Samsung is always known for their displays. The picture resolution and quality is always been the number one among all the mobile/TV manufacturers. Even though LG has broad range of products they are not as agressive as samsung to market their products. The new changes in the management should try to bring more sales force to market the products in bigger scale.
Samsung Mobiles are giving tough competition to Nokias Smart phones. They are doing good in TV industry too. I feel Samsung will do better in foundry business too since they have their own star products for which they can utilise their fabs.