Samsung: Rethinking the Printer Business

In September 2007, Apple (AAPL) upstaged rival electronics retailers with a new product available only at its 180 stores. Billed as the world's smallest laser printer, the SCX-4500 offered all the must-have features of an Apple blockbuster: sleek good looks, buttonless touch controls, and easy set-up. The logo on the front, though, wasn't Apple's. It belonged to Samsung Electronics—one of the biggest suppliers of flat-panel televisions, cellular phones, and refrigerators in retailing—which created the stunning, piano-black printer. Intent on toppling industry giant Hewlett-Packard (HPQ), the South Korean consumer electronics giant spent three years working on its first designer printer before teaming up with Apple for its introduction.

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