International conglomerate Samsung have involvement in many different industry sectors from building semiconductor chips, smartphones, fridge freezers all the way up to ships, where they are the third largest shipbuilder in the world. Their largest and most successful, and visible, divisions are concerned with electronics, and it’s here that Samsung has suffered from intense media visibility about flagging sales. For smartphones, sales for the Samsung Galaxy S flagship range appear to have peaked with the Galaxy S4, despite the company producing a very good Galaxy S6 family for 2015. There are a number of reasons for Samsung’s struggles, not limited to a very wide range of devices seemingly covering every angle of the market. However, it seems that despite this very wide and varied net of products and services, Samsung are still looking out for new avenues for growth. We’ve seen a report citing that Samsung have created a new business team to dedicate time, effort and energy towards automotive products and services.
It seems that Samsung’s ultimate objective is to have the new team concentrating on autonomous driving technologies, similar it would seem to those that companies such as Google and Uber are developing. For the time being the new team will cut their automotive electronics teeth on infotainment systems, but we haven’t received any details as to what exactly this means. There are a number of obvious possibilities: Samsung may be bringing their Tizen OS to in-car entertainment and information systems, where the lightweight operating system could be well suited. This would put them into direct competition with in-car systems developed by both Apple and Google, being adopted by the world’s car manufacturers. Conversely, Samsung may be planning to adopt Google’s system, or perhaps create two lines of in-car entertainment systems, one with Tizen and the other with Android Auto. Perhaps in light of the popular opinion that consumers do not want technology companies developing self-driving machine, but instead would prefer automotive manufacturers developing the technology, Samsung may create a joint venture with a manufacturer. It is possible that we will see a new infotainment operating system designed by Samsung not based around Tizen OS, although given the energy it has already afforded into pushing Tizen, this would seem less likely.
Given this news has only just arrived and with the scarcest of details, it is unlikely that we will see any product launches in the coming few months, but when the announcements come we can only hope that Samsung do not restrict their in-car infotainment units to only work with existing and future Samsung-only products, as we have seen with Samsung Pay.