Samsung Just Went All In On Cars

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Samsung just made a huge bet that connected cars will be the future and made its biggest acquisition yet in the Automotive space. Harmon is one of the most popular brands for in-car infotainment systems has been acquired by Samsung for $8 Billion in an all-cash deal.

The price that Samsung has paid for the company does not sound entirely unreasonable considering that Harmon has unfulfilled orders of $24 Billion dollars on its books at the current moment. Samsung is entering this space a little behind Google and Apple, although this deal should more than cover any ground that it had lost.

It is also interesting to note that Samsung is poised to release its own personal assistant like Siri or Google Assistant in the upcoming months and that will likely find its way into cars as well. Cars are transforming into connected gadgets after years of relative stagnation and all technology companies around the world want to make sure that they are in the right place to make most of this transformation.

Both Apple and Google have taken a very device-centric approach to their software and customers really need to be invested in their ecosystems to be able to take full use of their in-car software. Samsung has a real opportunity to take a device agnostic approach and appeal to a much wider set of people, although, there is no guarantee that it will go that way.

In the past, Samsung has designed gadgets with Tizen at their center rather than relying on Android but it has struggled to get developers on board the platform , going so far as to offer them heavy cash incentives to design apps for the platform.

It is unclear at this time if Samsung has planned to expand its interests in Cars to include self-driving software like Google is pioneering and Apple is (was?) reportedly considering.jbl_charge_2_6268837

Harmon is the parent company of brands like Harmon Kardon, JBL, and AKG.  Some of these brands, particularly JBL, have great brand recognition and value in developing countries like India and China, where Samsung devices far outsell competing products.

Samsung hopes that it will be able to leverage these brands and offer a complete ecosystem for its existing and new customers.

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