Samsung is making a major foray into the connected car industry through the acquisition of Harman International. The Korean corporation finalized the deal on November 14 by acquiring Harman for USD 8 billion in cash.
Speakign about the move, Young Sohn, president and chief strategy officer of Samsung Electronics stated in a press release that just like simple phones of the past have morphed into the smartphones we see today, the vehicle of the future will be totally transformed by smart technology and connectivity. Hence, Samsung identified that the auto-technology market is a fast growing one that offers immense potential as the demand for Samsung’s specialized electronic components and solutions continues to grow.
Currently, over 30 million vehicles across the globe are equipped with Harman’s connected car and audio systems which offer motorists telematics, infotainment, and connected safety and security features.
The deal will be of great benefit to Samsung’s customers in the automotive industry. The press release said that Harman’s leadership in new connected car technologies, including its expertise in cyber security, infotainment, over-the-air updates and telematics, along with Samsung’s significant experience and expertise in connectivity technologies, like UX/UI, 5G, display technology and security solutions, will help Harman’s automotive and connected services businesses to drive greater sales and enhance customer experience as more and more automotive manufacturers expedite the adoption of next-generation connected cars.
As an outcome of the acquisition, Samsung will be able to utilize Harman’s audio systems from JBL, Harman Kardon, Mark Levinson, AKG, Lexicon, Infinity, and Revel and these brands will soon be available in Samsung’s mobile, display, VR, and wearables products to help improve the audio/visual experience.
With the acquisition of Harman, Samsung will be able to gain a larger share in the Internet of Things (IoT) market and the company will get access to Harman’s 8,000 software designers and engineers who can help Samsung create “the next generation of cloud-based consumer and enterprise experiences. Another area the partnership will focus on is end-to-end services for the auto industry, using design, data, and devices. The two companies can also create synergy in the field of large-scale audio and visuals at stadiums and concert venues when they combine their expertise.
This is not Samsung’s first venture into the field of connected cars. In February 2016, the company launched Connect auto, a small box that can be plugged into a car’s OBD II port in order to create an AT&T 4G LTE WiFi hotspot for the car. In a bid to improve safety, the tool also sends real-time alerts to the driver.
The connected car industry is expected to grow to more than $100 billion by 2025, according to a study conducted by Samsung. One risk this can pose is in the field of cybersecurity as a security breach can create havoc when it comes to connected vehicles.
Hamid Moaref has always been fascinated by cars and the automotive industry. His family has a longstanding association with the industry and has been in the tire business for the past 35 years. Raised in Dubai, Hamid attended Capilano University in Vancouver where he graduated with a BBA in marketing before attending an intensive course in magazine publishing in 2005. He has been the publisher and chief editor of Tires & Parts magazine for the past ten years.
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