With those two points of leverage, Samsung has been giving competitors nightmares. At this CES, though, Samsung executives have also begun to hint at larger ambitions. They'd like to build on their lead in phones and TVs to build a stronger brand in home appliances, PCs, even connected cameras.
I had a chat with Tim Baxter, president of the consumer electronics division at Samsung Electronics America. He said Samsung is trying to bring its knowledge of touch and gestures -- technology that makes mobile devices easier to use -- and infuse it in TVs and washing machines.
(Read more: 50Cent's New High-End Headphones)
He also sounded a very practical note on TV technology. While many competitors are touting OLED and 4KTVs as being right around the corner -- "4K isn't the future, it's today" was a key line in Sony's press conference -- Baxter says neither OLED nor 4K is going to drive TV-buying habits anytime soon.
It's going to be software. "That, we think, is an important part of changing the experience of the television, and in many ways injecting the 'wow' back into the entertainment experience."
OLED, Baxter says, is the next hardware technology likely to go mainstream -- that technology allows thinner, brighter displays with high contrast. It's still expensive -- LG is promoting a 55" OLED for $10,000 -- but the price could conceivably come down.