In 2013, Samsung Electronics had a whopping 275,000 total employees, or more than five times the size of Google’s, Ars Technica reported Friday.
That’s more than Google, Apple, and Microsoft combined.
Even when you narrow it down to just software engineers, Samsung still had an overwhelming 40,506 people making software. To put that in context, Google only had 18,593 in R&D (most of which were probably making software).
Ars Technica writes that even with double the size of engineering headcount, Samsung still hasn’t been able to create anything of impact in the software world, while “everyone can name notable pieces of Google software.” At least on the hardware side, it said, Samsung has been cranking it out: It’s released 46 smartphones and 27 tablets in 2014 alone.
The report notes, however, there’s a reason for Samsung’s shortfall compared to Google or Apple. Samsung has a lot of work across its massive consumer electronics product line, like TVs and cameras, as well as its own Tizen OS — all requiring some sort of software writing — which partly explains why it spends so much on software engineers. In fact, Samsung Electronics produces semiconductors, display panels, and home appliances, too, unlike Google or Apple, which have a much more narrower line of business.
“The hunt to offer every product in every category has created a sprawling company, while Apple and Google seem to want to pick and choose their hardware battles with a more focused lineup,” the report said.