Last week, Samsung shocked the industry by making it known that they plan to purchase Harman International Industries for a cool $8 Billion. Why this was so surprising is not so much that it’s a large acquisition for Samsung, but more so because of the main reason that the South Korean quotes for purchasing the firm; its automotive efforts. Of course, Harman is so, so much more than that and has a number of audio brands under its umbrella, which will continue to live on as usual. It’s these audio brands, such JBL and Harman/Kardon that have been used in devices to boost their audio offerings. Huawei’s recent MediaPad M3 tablet, for instance, uses Harman/Kardon audio, and the JBL brand has been used in a number of Lenovo Yoga products over the years.
With the Galaxy S8 launching next Spring, during the annual Mobile World Congress event, it would be easy to think that the next flagship device from Samsung would feature audio technology from Harman. This would of course help them compete with the LG G5’s Bang & Olufsen audio, which is more than likely to launch in the G6 too, but given the fact that the deal has yet to be completed, and that the Galaxy S8 is probably all but finished by this point, this should come as a surprise to very few out there. Instead, it appears that starting from 2018, Samsung will consider using Harman audio technology in their devices. All of this is according to a report from The Investor, which quotes Samsung’s own Park Jong-hwan as saying “if we are to adopt Harman’s high-end audio technology for the Galaxy S series phone, the first model could come in 2018.”
For Samsung, this makes a lot of sense, as there’s probably a roadmap in place for 2017 releases already, and the Galaxy Note 7’s failure will no doubt have caused enough disruption, and the last thing that Samsung needs is to rush and put in more features to a device that should be in quality testing by now. Either way, the deal has yet to pass a shareholders’ meeting, and it will take some time to complete, so the future of Samsung and Harman remains unclear, leaving us to wait and see how things pan out over the next couple of years.