runs deeper than simply being competing titles. Back in their home turf, the two Korean divisions are integral departments of their respective rival chaebols (wealth clans) that survived the test of time itself.
Both Samsung and LG were originally humble organizations that started with businesses unrelated to electronics. In 1969, Park Chung-hee – the President of South Korea back then – formulated an eight-year plan to foster electronic businesses in the country. Park went so far to ban the smuggling of foreign radios to keep LG relevant, who was already in the electronics game. However, Samsung planned to enter the electronics market before the eight-year plan. Both founders met up to discuss Samsung’s move into the new business. It was known that both founders were originally close friends, and later related by marital ties between their family members.
As fate would have it, the discussion did not go well – LG found it distasteful when Samsung expressed intent to encroach onto their territory, especially when LG did not dabble in Samsung’s claim to wealth – the sugar refinery business – out of respect for his in-law. After the heated talk, the two founders were never close again.
Both chaebols went on to be modern-world titans. LG reported a 116 trillion won ($130 billion) revenue in 2014, and Samsung drew a revenue of 334 trillion won ($380 billion) – almost 25 percent of South Korea’s GDP – in 2013, according to statistics provided by the Fair Trade Commission. With the bitter rivalry between two Korean economic powerhouses in mind, this places the Samsung Galaxy S7 and LG G5 comparison at higher stakes.