Samsung Electronics Co Ltd is seeking to differentiate its products with new mergers and acquisitions (M&A) according to a senior vice president in the company's mobile division. Speaking in Hong Kong at an investor event on Monday, Peter Koo made it clear that the company is looking for chances to diversify in the field of software and services through M&A. Although Mr. Koo did not give information on particular opportunities that Samsung is aiming at, or on the technologies involved, he did say that the company would be "bullish" in looking for companies that meet their plans going forward. As well as acquisitions, the Samsung executive said that the company would also be seeking out partnerships that would give its products further consumer appeal.
Whereas previously Samsung focused on developing its own technology advances from talent within the company, over recent years the mammoth tech company has spent huge amounts of money to break into new fields by increasing the companies it has acquired. For instance in March this year, Samsung completed an $8 billion purchase of Harman International Industries in a bid to gain a firmer foothold in the automotive components industry. Harman (amongst other things) specializes in connected devices for cars such as audio and visual systems and has many customers in the industry including Bang & Olufsen and JBS, as well as car manufacturers such as Mercedes, Jaguar, and Porsche. Samsung has also driven forward with its artificial intelligence (AI) developments in recent times by acquiring companies such Viv Labs. The acquisition of AI startup Viv Labs was seen as part of Samsung's strategy to push forward with its Internet of Things (IoT) products, by incorporating the company's technology with new Samsung products.
Additionally, there have been recent rumors that Samsung is looking to acquire Taiwanese panel manufacturer PlayNitride, with its interest specifically regarding the company's micro-LED technology based on Nitride materials. It's thought that PlayNitride might start production of its "PixelLED" micro-LED chips later this year. An industry insider said that any such deal would be worth around $150 million and suggested that the technology would initially be used in virtual reality (VR) applications and possibly Samsung TVs at a later time.