Samsung Buying Automobile Accessory Company Harman for $8 Billion

by

Samsung Electronics has announced that it will spend $8 billion to purchase Harman International Industries Inc, a company which designs and manufactures connected automobile infotainment systems. The buyout of Harman is Samsung's "largest ever overseas acquisition" and sets up the company to become the "go-to supplier" for automobile accessories and systems (via Bloomberg).

Harman's customers, including BMW, Volkswagen, and General Motors Co., will now become clients of Samsung following the acquisition, placing the South Korean company in the "top ranks of auto technology suppliers." Harman is a major home audio company as well, with products under brands like JBL, Infinity, Harman/Kardon, and more.

samsung_logo
The announcement comes a few days after Jay Y. Lee officially became the vice chairman on Samsung's board. According to analyst Park Kang-ho, the acquisition is the first of many moves that solidifies Samsung's "life after smartphones," which Kang-ho believes to be electric vehicles.

“This is the first deal cut after Jay Y. joined the board and shows his management style is different from his father. He is an aggressive deal maker,” said Park Kang-ho, an analyst with Daishin Securities Co. “In the longer term, Samsung is thinking that life after smartphones is electric vehicles.”

Samsung previously purchased a stake in Chinese electric-car maker BYD Co., but its automotive aspirations appear to momentarily focus solely on continuing its history as a components manufacturer, rather than entering the market with its own vehicle. With Harman, Samsung could produce new products for internet-connected cars with attention focused on navigation, multimedia entertainment, security systems and analytics tools.

“Harman perfectly complements Samsung in terms of technologies, products and solutions, and joining forces is a natural extension of the automotive strategy we have been pursuing for some time,” Vice Chairman Kwon Oh-hyun said in the statement. “Harman immediately establishes a strong foundation for Samsung to grow our automotive platform.”

Besides expanding the scope of Samsung's future, the Harman acquisition could also help the company find its "next leg of growth" and move away from a reliance on smartphone sales, made worse this year by the Galaxy Note 7 recall. In total, market research firm IDC estimated that Samsung shipped 72.5 million smartphones in Q3 2016, which was down 13.5% compared to the estimated 83.8 million smartphones it shipped in the same quarter in 2015.

Tag: Samsung

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
49 months ago
Better than buying Beats...
:P
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
49 months ago
I see no Harman this acquisition!
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
49 months ago
Samsungs phones are the bomb. Samsungs washers are explosive.
Now wait till you get a Samsung car they are to die for
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
49 months ago
Playing window blasting music takes on a whole new meaning now.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
49 months ago
Next up sTunes, sMusic, Samsung buys Sennheiser for $3B and then releases their own muckOS for their own line of vertically integrated desktop and notebook computers.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
49 months ago

The possible effect on CarPlay was the first thing that I thought of when hearing this as well. I wish Apple had concentrated on car/mobile entertainment systems (and getting auto makers to offer Apples ) rather than whatever the Apple Car project was/is/ends up being.

There's no effect on CarPlay. That's not how this works.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Apple Announces New 27-Inch iMac With 10th-Gen Processors, Up to 128GB RAM, 1080p Webcam, True Tone, and More

Tuesday August 4, 2020 8:07 am PDT by
Apple today announced a new 27-inch iMac with faster 10th-generation Intel Core processor options, next-generation AMD graphics, up to 128GB of RAM, a higher-resolution 1080p front-facing FaceTime camera, a True Tone display with a nano-texture glass option, a T2 chip, higher fidelity speakers, studio-quality microphones, and more. A breakdown of the new 27-inch iMac's features and specs:10th...

Apple May Launch This Year's 'iPhone 12' Lineup in Two Stages, With 6.1-inch Models Debuting First

Monday August 3, 2020 3:14 am PDT by
Apple last week confirmed that its "‌iPhone‌ 12" launch will be delayed this year due to the ongoing global health crisis and restrictions on travel. Apple last year started selling iPhones in late September, but this year, Apple projects supply will be "available a few weeks later," suggesting a release sometime in October. We're expecting a total of four OLED iPhones in 5.4, 6.1, and...

Apple-Acquired Dark Sky Officially Shuts Down Android App

Saturday August 1, 2020 3:43 pm PDT by
Apple in March purchased weather app Dark Sky, and at that time, Dark Sky's developers said that the app's Android version would be discontinued on July 1, 2020. However, instead of shuttering the app on that date, the app's developers announced that the discontinuation would be delayed for another month. Now that it's August, Android users are no longer able to access the app, and...

Everything New in iOS 14 Beta 4: Apple TV Widget, Search Improvements, Exposure Notification API and More

Tuesday August 4, 2020 11:14 am PDT by
Apple today released the fourth developer betas of iOS and iPadOS 14 for testing purposes, tweaking and refining some of the features and design changes included in the update. Changes get smaller and less notable as the beta testing period goes on, but there are still some noteworthy new features in the fourth beta, which we've highlighted below. - Apple TV widget - There's a new Apple TV...

Apple Explains Why You Might See 'Not Charging' When a Mac is Plugged In

Monday August 3, 2020 1:42 pm PDT by
If you have a Mac and have seen a "Not Charging" warning when plugging it in to power, Apple last week released a support document that explains why. Macs running macOS 10.15.5 or later have a Battery Health Management feature to preserve the life of the battery, and occasionally, the Battery Health Management option will cause the Mac to pause its charging for calibration purposes.Depending ...

Unreleased iPod Touch with Mac Pro Glossy Black Finish Shared Online

Sunday August 2, 2020 11:32 am PDT by
Twitter user @DongleBookPro has today posted images of what seems to be a first-generation iPod Touch prototype with a 2013 Mac Pro-style glossy black finish. The Twitter user claims that the iPod Touch prototype pictured has "the same coating as the 2013 Mac Pro." Had the finish been selected for the final product, it also would have been similar to the metallic glossy black finish that...

Phil Schiller Moving on to Become 'Apple Fellow,' Greg Joswiak Taking Over as Marketing SVP

Tuesday August 4, 2020 10:07 am PDT by
Apple's Phil Schiller is moving on to become an "Apple Fellow," Apple announced today, while Greg Joswiak will take over as Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. Schiller will continue to lead the App Store and Apple Events, but will no longer be in charge of marketing. Apple CEO Tim Cook said he is "thrilled" that Joswiak will be leading the marketing team, and that his...

Microsoft to Stop Supporting Office 2016 for Mac in October

Monday August 3, 2020 12:21 pm PDT by
Microsoft's Office 2016 for Mac is set to reach its end of support date on October 13, 2020, and after that date, connecting to Office 365 services using the Office 2016 for Mac software will no longer be supported. Microsoft shared the detail in a support document from July highlighting which versions of Office will be supported for connecting to Office 365 services in the future.Connecting ...

8 Third-Party Home Screen Widgets That You Can Try Out Now on iOS 14

Wednesday August 5, 2020 12:56 pm PDT by
One of the biggest new features of iOS 14 is Home Screen widgets, which provide information from apps at a glance. The widgets can be pinned to the Home Screen in various spots and sizes, allowing for many different layouts. When the iOS 14 beta was first released in June, widgets were limited to Apple's own apps like Calendar and Weather, but several third-party developers have begun to test ...

Apple Shares Requirements for Default Third-Party Browser and Email Apps With Developers

Monday August 3, 2020 4:28 pm PDT by
Apple in iOS 14 plans to allow users to set a third-party app as the default email or browser app on an iPhone or iPad, replacing the current Apple-made default apps Safari and Mail. Apple hasn't provided many details on the new feature to users, but as noted by MacStories' Federico Vittici, Apple has shared documentation with developers who want their apps to have the option to be set as a...