By Lam Seng Fatt
The world is indeed a-changing. The world of hi-fi and AV is also a-changing very quickly.
In a surprising announcement today, Samsung Electronics Co, the world’s biggest maker of smartphones, agreed to buy Harman International Industries Inc for about US$8 billion in cash to expand in high-end car audio and connected automobiles.
Bloomberg reported: “Harman perfectly complements Samsung in terms of technologies, products and solutions, and joining forces is a natural extension of the automotive strategy we have been pursuing for some time,” Vice Chairman Kwon Oh-hyun said in the statement.
“Harman immediately establishes a strong foundation for Samsung to grow our automotive platform.”
Harman is strong not only in car audio, but also home audio and AV. Just look at the brands under its wings – JBL, Mark Levinson, Revel, Bowers & Wilkins (car audio), Harman Kardon, Infinity, Lexicon, Studer, Soundcraft, dbx, Crown and AKG. So the mighty Mark Levinson monoblocks and the JBL Everest speakers….will all be owned by Samsung.