Menu
Samsung boosts audio, connected car businesses with $8B Harman buy

Samsung boosts audio, connected car businesses with $8B Harman buy

Samsung plans to retain Harman's management team and workers, as well as audio brands including JBL, AKG and Harman Kardon.

Samsung Electronics wants to buy its way into the connected car market, with a plan to acquire Harman for US$8 billion.

It's the latest in a line of acquisitions by Samsung, as it seeks to diversify its business beyond the slowing smartphone market. Other recently announced deals include last month's buy of artificial intelligence startup Viv Labs, which has developed a virtual personal assistant Samsung hopes to put in its consumer electronics products, and the June purchase of Joyent, a supplier of cloud services for the internet of things.

Samsung only set up its automotive electronics team last December, with the goal of identifying business opportunities in the sector, and where previous acquisitions have been unabashedly about enhancing or adding capabilities to existing Samsung products, the strategy with Harman seems to be more about buying a position in a new market.

Harman's best-known products are probably the headphones, Bluetooth speakers and home hi-fi systems it sells under brands such as JBL, AKG and Harman Kardon, but it makes around two-thirds of its revenue from audio electronics.

Samsung plans to run Harman as a standalone subsidiary, making few changes -- at least for now. Harman will continue to be led by Chairman, President and CEO Dinesh Paliwal and its existing management team, manufacturing the same products in the same facilities, after the deal closes in mid-2017, Samsung said Monday.

In the longer term, Samsung's goal is to transform vehicles with its embedded electronics. Without building cars itself, it hopes to become a key supplier to the automotive industry, pursuing a similar strategy to the one observers say Apple will follow as it scales back its own electric car ambitions.

Harman already has a strong foothold in the infotainment market, with the ability to deliver over-the-air updates to a variety of automotive subsystems.

Samsung hopes to build on that with its own expertise in next-generation wireless networks, display technologies and user interface design. It also hopes to enhance Harman's vehicle security systems with its own security software: This could open up a new market for Samsung's Knox mobile enterprise security platform.

One thing Samsung will need to watch out for: car batteries pack a lot more energy than those in the ill-fated Galaxy Note7.


Follow Us

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Featured

Slideshows

Meet the Reseller News 30 Under 30 Tech Awards 2020 winners

Meet the Reseller News 30 Under 30 Tech Awards 2020 winners

This year’s Reseller News 30 Under 30 Tech Awards were held as an integral part of the first entirely virtual Emerging Leaders​ forum, an annual event dedicated to identifying, educating and showcasing the New Zealand technology market’s rising stars. The 30 Under 30 Tech Awards 2020 recognised the outstanding achievements and business excellence of 30 talented individuals​, across both young leaders and those just starting out. In this slideshow, Reseller News honours this year's winners and captures their thoughts about how their ideas of leadership have changed over time.​

Meet the Reseller News 30 Under 30 Tech Awards 2020 winners
Reseller News Exchange Auckland: Beyond the myths — how partners can master cloud security

Reseller News Exchange Auckland: Beyond the myths — how partners can master cloud security

This exclusive Reseller News Exchange event in Auckland explored the challenges facing the partner community on the cloud security frontier, as well as market trends, customer priorities and how the channel can capitalise on the opportunities available. In association with Arrow, Bitdefender, Exclusive Networks, Fortinet and Palo Alto Networks. Photos by Gino Demeer.

Reseller News Exchange Auckland: Beyond the myths — how partners can master cloud security
Reseller News welcomes industry figures at 2020 Hall of Fame lunch

Reseller News welcomes industry figures at 2020 Hall of Fame lunch

Reseller News welcomed 2019 inductees - Leanne Buer, Ross Jenkins and Terry Dunn - to the fourth running of the Reseller News Hall of Fame lunch, held at the French Cafe in Auckland. The inductees discussed the changing face of the IT channel ecosystem in New Zealand and what it means to be a Reseller News Hall of Fame inductee. Photos by Gino Demeer.

Reseller News welcomes industry figures at 2020 Hall of Fame lunch
Show Comments