Well, everyone except their fierce Korean rival, LG Electronics. They make tons of Android phones for every carrier, they make Windows phones, they make phones running their own mobile OS, and despite the patent litigation currently raging between them and Apple, they make key components of every iPhone and iPad.
I would not be at all surprised to find out that Samsung was building a version of the “Facebook phone” that’s been kicking around the Webbernet rumor mill for the last three years. That’s another reason why Samsung wouldn’t want to compete directly with Facebook – they would rather have FB’s hardware business.
3. Samsung is intensely secretive.
Samsung, and the South Koreans in general, take security and privacy extremely seriously. On my visit we were not allowed to take any photos that included any part of any Samsung building, lest we turn out to be industrial spies. I was forbidden to take a photo inside the Samsung Museum of a TV+Microwave device they invented in 1970. They make Apple look like Chatty Kathys.
Samsung employees are forbidden to even name their competitors in conversation. The names of rival companies are blacked out in the Powerpoint slides they present to reporters. I met with the VP in charge of their printer division, who had the temerity of mentioning the two initials for worldwide leader in printer manufacturing in casual conversation. He was, I was informed later, disciplined for that infraction.
So the thought that some Samsung executives were casually chatting about an upcoming Facebook rival with a KT reporter is frankly laughable. It’s much more likely they were chatting about the already announced Family Story product, which may well be called “Samsung Facebook” internally. That’s not at all the same as building their own social network.
4. Samsung isn’t stupid.
You don’t get to be a $220 billion giant or dominate so many industries – TVs, home appliances, phones, cameras, printers -- by doing stupid things. Launching a brand new social network to compete head on with Facebook’s 900-million subscribers would be unbelievably dense.
Yes, Google felt compelled to launch G+, but then it’s competing directly with Facebook for advertising dollars – it had to play in the social recommendations space or get left behind. Microsoft felt compelled to develop So.cl for the same reason.