Editors' note: Be sure to catch the other stories in this package: on Samsung's bid to rule the world, on the many pieces of the Samsung Group, on road-testing Samsung's S Translate app, and on TVs and appliances in a Q&A with co-CEO Boo-keun Yoon.
GUMI, South Korea -- I stood behind a woman wearing what looked like oven mitts, watching as she picked up a Samsung smartphone and brushed the display with a sort of wand, using slow, gentle strokes.
Then she zapped the phone with a stun gun.
Surprised by the action, which caused the woman's hair to stand on end, I jumped. But no one else reacted to what turned out to be a routine scene in Samsung's key mobile manufacturing facility. The consumer electronics maker not only builds phones here, but also tortures them. The static electricity exercise is just one of a rigorous battery of tests that the company employs to ensure the durability of its products. After all, Samsung isn't keen on releasing devices that can't withstand a little wear and tear.
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