SEOUL – Who could have foreseen a future where we can answer a call by driving, with one single command or play your favorite song because you asked the car to? Electronics and technology is changing rapidly when it involves car, which is why the tech companies want to enter now.
Samsung Electronics and group companies are making a belated push into the business of supplying technology to carmakers, while rivals are already lining up lucrative deals with an industry that is notoriously difficult to enter.
Data compiled by Thomson Reuters IP & Science shows the world’s top smartphone maker and other Samsung Group tech affiliates are ramping up r&d for auto technology, with two-thirds of their combined 1,804 U.S. patent filings related to electric vehicles and electric components for cars coming since 2010.
The analysis did not include filings made after 2013 due to a lag between filing and publication.
They haven’t yet landed significant business, and Samsung Group declined to comment on strategy, but the lure is obvious.
Automakers already incorporate or are developing technologies to enhance safety and provide better smartphone connectivity and entertainment systems, creating an opening for tech companies to break into a market for software, services and components that is worth around $500 billion, ABI Research analyst Dominique Bonte said.
“There are two trends: the car becomes a connected software device, and the entire mobile and ICT ecosystem is getting very interested in playing a part in that evolution,” Bonte said.
That is particularly welcome as demand for smartphones, TVs and computers slows, but Samsung is arriving late at a party where some of the best partners are already taken.