Originally Posted by Galbi
What you fail to grasp is that Samsung uses American workers down in Austin, Texas (my alma mater city, I went to UT Austin). They use American engineers to make Apple's A5 chips.
There is nothing wrong with making things "cheap". Cheap does not necessarily equate to "low quality". It requires a lot of infrastructure and technology investments to bring down the per unit costs. Going from a 200mm wafer to a 300mm wafer production process (in the case of semiconductor manufacturing) requires R&D money, time and lots of talent. It also requires business acumen in utilizing those said resources. Therefore, this infers that Samsung has the capability that no other "western" companies has. And with the recent news of other companies having a tough time meeting the stringent quality/cost/delivery time specifications
As for the Nobel prize, nobody sets out their research to "win" the Nobel prize. Yes, its an honorary distinguish to have and brag about to others, especially if you are working in the research field but not something that is necessary in order to be labeled a "high tech" country. And the work of one individual doesn't necessarily mean that is the practice of an entire nation. I'm sure a guy of your stature who is into research would (or should) know this by now.
So what you're saying is that even with chip production, Samsung relies on American high-tech expertise? Yeah, we already knew that just like we know Samsung or Korea Inc. didn't invent microelectronics or even the production methods. Like shipbuilding, western powers-that-be simply found it more 'cost-efficient' to allow labor to migrate to nations where it was a much cheaper hourly rate - and this practice sadly continues to this day. Well,sad for western workers but obviously good for their Korean counterparts.
And exactly how do you know what motivates world-leading scientists? If you're Korean you don't come from a country that has even one to boast about. I do.
As for what constitutes a high-tech country most people would CERTAINLY count Nobel prizes (along with associated awards like Fields medals) as they're a very solid indicator of the world's most important scientific research that leads to things like landing men on the moon, splitting the atom, a better light bulb (also a western invention), the Internet, and antibiotics. And as I'm sure a fellow of your stature has figured out already, very little of the modern world would be recognizable without such discoveries. I.e there would be no Internet in Korea, no Starcraft, no K-pop (maybe a good thing
and certainly no power with which to power those things.
Then there are other things like the mobile phone and the camera, two other high-tech western inventions which companies like Samsung simply slap together albeit maybe in a different casing, and then market. Yes they companies are extremely good at marketing and creating a global brand, but at truly ground-breaking scientific R&D, not really. So yeah, when I think "high-tech nations' I guess Korea doesn't exactly come to mind like true powerhouses the US, England, France, Germany, Russia, Switzerland, Japan and so on, it's just another place that's benefitted enormously from the R&D of others.