Tencent – Home circuit.

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I think investing in Tesla is about China, not overseas.

  • Tesla has announced that Tencent is investing $1.8bn in a 5% stake in the company that should bring in both badly needed capital as well as serving as a way to open doors in China.
  • Some commentators are of the opinion that this investment is part of Tencent’s plan to expand overseas, but I see this as a move to catch up with what is going on at home.
  • This fits nicely with Tesla’s ambitions in China which has had a pretty torrid time there since it launched in 2014.
  • RFM research clearly shows (see here) that Tencent is the dominant ecosystem in China with over 850m MaU and 77% coverage of the Digital Life Pie.
  • However, when it comes to automotive, I see it as being behind both of its major domestic rivals, Alibaba and Baidu.
  • Baidu has leadership in maps, leadership in autonomous driving and is already putting its services into cars with Baidu CarLife in conjunction with Harman.
  • Alibaba is also actively pursuing Chinese car makers to use its Yun OS software in their cars and already has a deal with SAIC.
  • On the other hand, Tencent has very little other than a small stake in Didi which is unlikely to help it much as both of the other BATmen are also shareholders.
  • This is why doing a deal with Tesla makes some strategic sense on both sides of the table.
  • Tesla gets a strong partner to help it fix the problems that it has had in terms of penetrating the Chinese market, while Tencent gets a potential route into both the automobile and autonomous driving with a major global player.
  • I view the automobile as another device alongside the smartphone, tablet, console, TV and so on for delivering Digital Life services to users.
  • Chinese cities have some of the longest commuting distances in the world (see here) meaning that the automobile is a place where those that drive spend a meaningful proportion of their day.
  • Much of the commuting is done on public transport which Tencent already has covered with its very strong presence on the smartphone.
  • Tencent will be a little more than a passive investor, being referred to as an advisor, which I take to mean helping out in China.
  • This is the latest of a series of moves that has seen Tencent address some of its weaknesses (see here and here and here) but the biggest one still remains.
  • I have long believed that integration is key to monetisation and see substantial upside in Tencent’s financials if it really embraces this notion.
  • However, I still see no evidence that Tencent is making any moves to integrate its Digital Life services into a single system where it can really understand the profiles of its users across all of its services.
  • As a result, its growth is likely to continue to come from selling games and media rather than from its ecosystem which I think limits its real long term upside.
  • Fortunately, the short-term picture remains pretty healthy and so there is still upside to be had without Tencent really developing its ecosystem, but the time is fast approaching when it will need to make that move.

Didi – Jam today

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Its time Didi started trying to make money.

  • With the ride hailing market in China now wide open for it, Didi has no reason to go on burning billions of dollars for the sake of growth.
  • Consequently, I cannot see a good reason for Didi to raise $6bn as it should be looking to internal cash flow to fund its investments.
  • The one exception is to have a war chest for acquisitions in order to go global, but I think that it is better to buy expensive paper with equally expensive paper rather than cash.
  • In China and across the world, ride hailing has been a bottomless black hole into which Uber and many others have poured billions of dollars in order to establish a firm grip on the ride hailing market.
  • This is because like all network businesses (see here), barriers to entry are very low meaning that competition will be brutal unless one player becomes significantly larger than all of its rivals.
  • A company in this hallowed position then becomes to the “go-to” place for the service in question and it is then that real monetisation can begin.
  • The rule of thumb that I apply here is:
  • A company that relies on the network must have at least 60% market share or be at least double the size of its nearest rival to begin really making profit.
  • Any market with more than one player will be a bottomless hole of investment as each tries to undercut the other in order to reach the hallowed status of being the “go to” market place.
  • Once there, it will have become so sticky that customers will pay a little more to access the sellers and the sellers will be willing to do exactly the same.
  • This how a network business changes from being a bottomless pit and becomes a gold mine.
  • With Uber’s ignominious withdrawal from the Chinese market (see here), I think that Didi has already reached this status and so it should now be looking seriously at monetisation rather than growth at any price.
  • For Didi, a position in autonomous driving is likely to be as important as it is for Uber (see here), but I struggle to see how it needs $6bn for this.
  • Furthermore, RFM research and historical data strongly indicates that excellence in autonomous driving and artificial intelligence is a function of time spent and data collected rather than absolute numbers of dollars invested.
  • Consequently, even if it starts today, Didi is likely to be far behind Baidu which intends to have autonomous cars on the road next year.
  • At the end of the day, the price of ride hailing in China (and elsewhere) has to rise otherwise Didi, Uber and all of the other players will never be going concerns.
  • Hence, I think that Didi should be looking at strategies of phasing in the price rises that it needs to offer its existing shareholders a decent return rather than investing right, left and centre and promising jam tomorrow.
  • Dull as it sounds, Didi is in a position to start producing jam today.

Uber – Fatal disengagement.

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Google is 5,000x better than Uber at autonomous driving.

  • Although Google is suing Uber for the alleged theft of its Lidar (key autonomy sensor) design, it does not seem to have helped Uber much as it appears to be by far the worst at autonomous driving.
  • This is still the case when one includes the regular car companies that most people have written off as having very little to offer in the new world of digital and autonomous cars.
  • The best measure of an autonomous driving solution is how often the driver has to take over to correct shortcomings in the autonomous driving software.
  • Regulations in California require those that test in the state to submit this data but typically, they all submit it in different ways (see here).
  • There are also different types of disengagement such as when the car is going to hit something (critical) or when the safety driver feels uncomfortable (ordinary).
  • Furthermore, companies test their cars in different conditions meaning that the data can really only be used as indication.
  • However, the contrasts are so stark that I think that meaningful conclusions can be drawn about how advanced the autonomous driving solutions from different players really are.
  • In order of performance the data shows:
    • No. 1 Waymo (Google) is 8x better than the number 2 with 1 disengagement every 5,128 miles driven.
    • Waymo has also driven at least 155x more miles (635,868) in the last 12 months than anyone else, meaning that it has collected more training data than all the others put together.
    • No. 2 BMW with 1 disengagement every 638 miles driven (8x worse than Waymo) but it only drove 638 miles raising questions to the validity of this data.
    • No. 3 Nissan with 1 disengagement every 146 miles and a total of 4,099 miles driven.
    • No. 4 Tesla with 1 disengagement every 3 miles with 550 miles driven but almost all of these occurred in wet road conditions.
    • I think that Tesla deliberately went out to push its system to the limit as wet conditions are known to be far more difficult for autonomous systems.
    • Hence, I do not think that is necessarily an indication of Tesla’s real position in the pecking order.
    • No. 5 Mercedes with 1 disengagement every 2 miles driven with 673 miles driven in total.
    • No. 6 Uber with 1 disengagement every 1 mile driven with a total of 20,354 miles in total.
    • Uber has just suspended its autonomous testing following a serious crash in Arizona despite the fact that it appears that the Uber vehicle was not responsible for the incident.
    • Uber has also been banned from testing in California for failing to register with the DMV.
  • This is yet another indication that the key to artificial intelligence (the heart of all autonomous driving systems) currently is the amount of time that one has been working on the algorithms as well as the amount of data collected (see here).
  • I am certain that this is why Waymo is the best because it began working on autonomous driving in 2009 (far earlier than anyone else) and in the last 2 years has driven more than 150x more miles than anyone else.
  • The fact that Uber, by quite some margin, ranks last is potentially a serious problem in the long-term.
  • This is because if the car companies have their own self driving technology (or use Google) then Uber may find itself being a middleman that is no longer required.
  • Uber currently has the advantage because it has already established itself as the market place for drivers and passengers to transact and these types of positions are extremely hard to disrupt once created.
  • This is why Uber commands the $70bn valuation that it does but unless it gets a handle on autonomous driving, this market place may become obsolete when humans stop driving cars.
  • I still think that the technology will become mature long before the market is ready to adopt it (see here) meaning that Uber should be able to pick-up a viable solution at an attractive price once 2020 deadlines are missed and funding runs out.
  • Despite this view, this is a key risk for Uber and one I would be uncomfortable with especially if I had put some money into the company at $62.5bn.

LeEco – Electric millstone.

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I think, LeEco must exit automotive to survive.

  • It looks very much like LeEco is giving up its grand plans for a 12,000 employee eco-headquarters in return for hard cash in order to give the ecosystem strategy time to succeed.
  • Despite these radical actions, I still think that LeEco’s only chance is to give up its automotive ambitions and focus on its core business: the ecosystem.
  • LeEco has recently raised $2.2bn (see here) which I calculated would leave $622m free to support the fledgling ecosystem of products and services.
  • However, the sale of the 48 acres it purchased from Yahoo to Genzon Group, the Chinese real estate developer this increases my estimate of free cash for investment to $1.132bn.
  • This is because to reach the $622, I took off $250 for purchasing the land but this outflow is now an inflow of $260m, improving cash flow by $510m.
  • This will give the company time to develop its offering but I remain concerned that its automotive ambitions remain a major problem.
  • LeEco’s automotive strategy is centred on an electric vehicle start-up called Faraday Future in which its founder is the major backer.
  • It broke ground on a huge 3m square-foot factory in Nevada in April 2016 but because contractors have not been paid, work has since ground to a halt.
  • Furthermore, Faraday Future has now reduced the size of the planned factory by 80% to 600,000 square-feet, cut the number of models from seven to two and delayed the factory opening by at least 1 year.
  • Faraday Future’s problems do not end there as senior management turnover has been high in the last 9 months and there could be as much as $300m in unpaid bills.
  • As Apple (see here) and even Tesla have found, building cars is a difficult business that requires a lot of time and very deep pockets.
  • I am pretty certain that Faraday Future has none of these things making its chances of long-term solvency very slim.
  • This is why I think that LeEco’s best interests will be served by not having this millstone hanging around its neck.
  • Faraday Future clearly needs hundreds of millions of dollars of new investment which LeEco simply cannot afford if it is to have any chance at delivering on its ecosystem ambitions.
  • These ambitions begin with a media consumption strategy that needs both heavy investment in terms of content and attention to detail when it comes to software and the user experience.
  • Furthermore, management needs to be focused on delivering on these ambitions rather than being distracted by building self-driving cars.
  • RFM research has found that currently, the user experience in the automobile has no effect on the user’s decision on where to live his Digital Life and therefore building a car to deliver one’s ecosystem makes no sense at all.
  • This combined with the difficulties, cost and poor profitability of automobiles, is why I think that Apple backed off (see here).
  • Hence, I think that for LeEco to have the best chance of succeeding, it needs to extract itself from Faraday Future and forget about self-driving cars.
  • Building a thriving ecosystem is difficult enough and throwing in cash constraints and management distractions can only make it next to impossible.

 

Intel – Auto ambition

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Intel must break out of the mould that success has cast for it.

  • The acquisition of Mobileye by Intel highlights both Intel’s determination not to miss the next big trend as well as the concentration of Google’s competitors around HERE.
  • Intel will buy Mobileye for $15.4bn and merge it with its existing autonomous driving business to create one of the leading supplier of autonomous driving systems.
  • Intel already has a substantial effort in this space but adding Mobileye gives it a very strong position in visual sensors and most importantly, gives it direct access to 80% of the automotive market.
  • These doors were already open for Intel but I think that going in with Mobileye will ensure that the automotive industry takes it much more seriously.
  • I think that missing the boat in mobile has damaged Intel’s reputation to the point where some potential customers think that Intel has little to offer beyond chips for PCs and chips for servers.
  • In reality, this is very far from the truth but dispelling that impression is one of the most important tasks that Intel faces over the next few years.
  • The fact that Intel will soon become one of the top 4 shareholders of HERE will also help in improving its credibility in both location and automotive.
  • This is because HERE is the only realistic alternative to Google in high definition maps for autonomous driving which are now recognised as essential for a car to drive itself.
  • Even Mobileye, which early in 2016 was adamant that a HD map was not needed, has caved in and is now working with HERE to use its HD map in its systems.
  • In addition, other ecosystems such as Tencent, Baidu, Facebook and Amazon are also working with HERE for their location data, all of which will benefit Intel as it tries to break the mould that the market has set for it.
  • Mobileye represents that second largest acquisition in Intel’s history underlining the need for semiconductor companies to move into markets beyond consumer electronics and PCs.
  • This is why Qualcomm is buying NXP and why Samsung is buying Harmon.
  • Intel has now armed itself with the potential to offer an end to end solution for autonomous driving but the key to success will be how well it can execute on that offering.
  • History is not in Intel’s side but I detect a change in the way Intel thinks about its place in the world that just might allow it to break the x86 mould that history has cast for it.

Autonomous autos – One of two.

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Regulations ease but liability remains.

  • There are signs that the regulatory environment for autonomous driving is coming together but the thorny issue of liability still needs to be solved before these vehicles make it onto the roads.
  • The California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has updated its guidelines for autonomous vehicles removing a regulation proposed 15 months ago that obviated half of the use case for self-driving cars (see here).
  • The California DMV originally proposed a law that requires a person who is licenced to drive the vehicle to be present at all times while the vehicle is in motion.
  • If this had become law it would have completely destroyed the promise of freedom for those that can’t drive, the promise of releasing parents who become taxi services for teenage children and any form of automated delivery service.
  • On Friday, the California DMV altered this proposal in removing its requirement for a licenced driver to be present and also the requirement for conventional controls to be present.
  • I think that this is significant as the California DNV serves as a yardstick for the rest of USA which is likely to be one of the first to deploy these vehicles.
  • However, while regulators appear to have seen the light on autonomous driving, the issue of liability remains.
  • I think that liability is the biggest problem that faces autonomous driving as sending an algorithm to prison is not a practical option.
  • When an autonomous vehicle crashes (and they will), the question arises as to who is responsible for the crash.
  • There are many potential answers to this question including:
    • The driver: If the driver as was asleep at the time of the incident can he really be to blame?
    • The current stance is to solve this problem by pushing all liability onto the driver.
    • The problem with this is that it completely destroys the use case of a self-driving vehicle.
    • Any driver who will be held liable for a death that results from software glitches in his vehicle is unlikely to take his hands of the wheel.
    • The auto maker: This would instantly make the automotive industry one of the riskiest industries on the planet.
    • Furthermore, many automakers will not create the entire system themselves.
    • Cameras, silicon chips, software, servo motors and so on will come from third parties and if they fail, they have the potential to cause a crash.
    • For most automakers writing software means creating hugely detailed specifications against which suppliers bid with the lowest winning.
    • If part of the AI is written on the cheap and causes the car to crash, whose fault is it?
    • The supplier: If the liability is to fall upon the supplier, then it is almost certain to claim that the auto maker didn’t install the software or component properly or otherwise made modifications that caused it to fail.
    • This is one of the biggest problems when systems get complex is that there is a combinatory explosion of possible outcomes in any one scenario.
    • It is clear that in any one fatal incident, the blame game has the potential to go on for years and there are likely to be fatal incidents on a daily basis. (35,092) people died in 2015 in road vehicle crashes in the US)
  • Liability is the main reason why I continue to think that the technology for autonomous autos will be ready long before the market is ready to receive it.
  • Many automakers have set a deadline of 2020 by when they expect to have a commercial offering in the market but I think that it is doubtful that these vehicles will leave the factories at that time.
  • This is good news for the automotive industry which is notoriously slow to adapt to and implement new technology as it will have more time to defend its position against the new entrants.
  • With things taking much longer than expected to come to fruition, I can see lots of ventures struggling to keep the lights on and being acquired by the larger, slower moving companies.
  • I am sticking to my 2030 target for this becoming a real commercial reality.

MWC Day 1 – The time machine

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The taxonomy of MWC is changing

  • Nokia has through nostalgia has created some excitement in the mobile phone industry but elsewhere the signs of maturity are everywhere.
  • The notable fall out coming from Microsoft, Blackberry, Huawei amoung others who have substantially reduced the sizes of their stands has been replaced with:
    • First: Automakers who outside of BMW still seem to be a little unsure of what they are doing at this show.
    • They have realised that mobile holds the key to preventing them from becoming Android handsets on wheels but are very uncertain how they intend to address this problem.
    • I think that Tesla has a very good idea of what it is doing in this space and consequently does not feel that it needs to be here.
    • Second: An endless list of handset brands who are all selling almost exactly the same device where the proposition is very unclear.
    • Two exceptions are Wiko and LeEco who are at least trying to offer points of differentiation on the device even if they are having a very hard time doing so.
    • Condor from Algeria and Accent from Morocco are doing stock Android but are attempting to achieve some differentiation by focusing on their respective regions.
  • Furthermore, the app industry, largely present in Hall 8,8.1 and the hallways, has moved into a new phase of development.
  • Gone are the heady days of 2015 when it was all a out adding users at any cost.
  • Now the focus is clearly on engagement, analytics and monetization.
  • Developed markets are pretty much saturated from a user perspective meaning that how to delight those users and making sure that they stay engaged is of paramount importance.
  • Consequently, the suit count in Hall 8.1 has gone up substantially as has the size of the average stand.
  • This implies that many of the smaller, ineffective players have been weeded out leaving the bigger players who have much larger marketing budgets.
  • Consequently MWC has revealed an industry that looks very mature (just like it did in 2005) but this time I can’t see anything on the horizon to upset the status quo.
  • I continue to prefer the ecosystems over the handset and PC makers in general as they, at least, have a way to differentiate

HERE – Pole position.

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HERE is closing the gap to Google with the Chinese and Intel joining up. 

  • HERE gets one over on Google by filling the biggest hole in its portfolio with the formation of a strategic partnership with NavInfo to provide maps and services into the Chinese market.
  • It has also announced a key partnership with Tencent which, together with GIC (Singapore sovereign wealth fund) and NavInfo, will become 10% shareholders in HERE.
  • HERE has also announced that Intel will become a 15% shareholder
  • Details include:
    • First: a 50/50 joint venture with NavInfo to supply maps and services into mainland China.
    • I see this relationship as NavInfo having the data and HERE having the software and services to bring it to life in the Chinese market.
    • This will begin with the HERE Auto SDK for in car services and then continuing into HD maps, autonomous driving and advanced location based services.
    • I suspect that foreign car makers selling their models in China will be the first customers but it to be successful the local makers need to also be won over.
    • This is a major challenge to Baidu which uses NavInfo data in its map which has helped it to become by far the leader at home in all things to do with location.
    • It is also a big challenge to Alibaba which owns AutoNavi, the mapping company that supplies much of the Chinese auto industry as well as its map of China to Google.
    • Second: Tencent looks set to use HERE’s location platform and its map in all areas of its ecosystem both in and outside of China.
    • This is HERE’s second win of a major ecosystem which, combined with Facebook, gives it the world’s two largest ecosystems by number of users.
    • However, both of these ecosystems are very immature but should they successfully execute their strategies, then HERE will find itself as the leading provider of location globally.
    • Third: NavInfo, Tencent and GIC will jointly acquire a 10% stake in HERE with the three existing shareholders (Audi, BMW and Daimler) correspondingly reducing their shareholdings.
    • Fourth: HERE will work with Intel to ensure that all of HERE’s systems are optimised to run on Intel’s chips which should provide Intel with a good boost to getting its silicon more deeply embedded in the car.
    • Having Intel as a shareholder will provide HERE with a big boost to its credibility in its objective to become the pre-eminent supplier of global location.
  • These announcements are a major step forward for HERE as it has fixed its previously blank spot in China as well as added another major ecosystem and the global silicon leader to its stable.
  • Furthermore, this will increase and enrich the data that is available to HERE to train its algorithms which should help it to make its services smarter and richer than those of its competitors.
  • This will also help HERE close the gap on Google which has an excellent map in China (from Autonavi) but which is effectively useless as it does not work when the user is in China without a VPN.
  • I suspect that data from Tencent and NavInfo will be used to create points of interest, thereby enriching the Chinese map.
  • This is an area where HERE has really struggled to keep up with Google historically.
  • I see the risk of the China transaction lying in the regulatory approvals.
  • Both the j.v. with NavInfo and the co-operation with Tencent require Chinese regulatory approval which may not be as straightforward as it would seem.
  • This is because HERE is a foreign company whose venture with NavInfo is a significant challenge to two of the homegrown ecosystems Baidu and Alibaba.
  • China has a history of making it difficult for non-Chinese companies to compete in its home market where the foreign company threatens to take share from locals.
  • The one exception is Apple, but I have long believed that Apple has succeeded in China by taking share from Samsung rather than any of the local companies and hence it has represented no real threat.
  • Hence, I think that HERE needs to tread carefully and show that in China, it is its local partners (Tencent and NavInfo) that will derive the most benefit from working with HERE.
  • Should these announcements win regulatory approval then HERE will have filled the biggest hole in its global coverage as well as moved into pole position to become the biggest supplier of global location to the digital ecosystems.
  • Just Japan remains as a blank spot.

 

Ola. vs. Uber – Welfare state.

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I suspect Ola will need state intervention to survive. 

  • Ola looks to have become desperate as it appears to be pursuing a new round of funding at a valuation 40% below where it raised money just one year ago.
  • This is just yet another sign of the malaise that has hit the Indian start-up arena as Flipkart has already run into difficulties resulting in lay-offs and management change and funding for Indian start-ups is down 50% compared to the first 3 quarters of 2015.
  • This echoes exactly what happened in Silicon Valley during 2015 where much more attention was put on profitability and valuation after a series of so-called unicorns failed to execute on their plans.
  • I think there is still plenty of money available for investing in India but it is now much more difficult to get one’s hands on it and founders will end up having to give more of their companies away.
  • Furthermore, I think the departure of Nikesh Arora from Softbank has caused it to be far more passive in the region which has also had a knock-on effect on valuations.
  • On top of this, Ola’s operational outlook is looking increasingly difficult because it no longer has a significant advantage in the Indian market.
  • Car hailing is one of the best examples of a networked economy and just like classifieds it is extremely difficult to make money until one of two criteria are met:
    • First: one must has at least 60% market share or
    • Second: one must have double the market share of the next largest player.
  • Earlier this year it was thought that Ola had 80% market share but when one looks at completed rides, it turns out this number is closer to 50%.
  • To make matters worse, its chief rival Uber has roughly the same position meaning that two are likely to fight it out until one cracks.
  • In the Chinese market it was Uber that cracked as it became clear that it would never be able to compete on a level playing field with Didi Kuadi (see here) but in India things are different.
  • The problem that Ola faces is that Uber is much larger and better financed meaning that it will be able to compete aggressively and lose money until Ola goes out of business.
  • Consequently, unless the regulatory landscape shifts more in favour of the local player (as in China), it looks like Ola will end up selling itself to Uber.
  • Car hailing, like food delivery and all other online market places are winner takes all markets and there are no prizes for second place.
  • As I result, I remain concerned with the long-term outlook for Ola and I would be very cautious at putting money in even at $3bn.
  • If nothing changes, Ola is likely to end up being worth far less than that.

Samsung – Empty horse

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There are no Greeks hiding in the wooden horse of Harman. 

  • Samsung’s acquisition of Harman is about increasing its penetration of the automobile rather than offering a sneaky challenge to the car industry.
  • Samsung has announced that it will acquire 100% of Harman International Industries for KRW9.3bn / US$8.02bn in cash with the deal expected to close in Q3 2017.
  • Harman is a well-known Tier 1 automotive components supplier with 65% of its $7bn in revenues coming from the automotive industry.
  • Its particular area of strength is in audio, electronics and infotainment systems which are already present in 30m vehicles worldwide.
  • I see this deal benefiting Samsung in two ways.
    • First – Verticalisation. Samsung will have more internal demand for its components as well as a large, new in-house customer for its foundry, Samsung LSI.
    • Furthermore, there will be an opportunity for improved integration between hardware and software which should improve the performance of Harman’s products.
    • Second – Customer access. Harman has strong relationships with almost every car maker which will give Samsung an avenue through which to sell its other products such as semiconductors and displays to the automotive industry.
  • I do not think for one minute that acquisition is about Samsung building its own car or about Samsung extending its own digital ecosystem into the car.
  • Consequently, I do not see this deal as threatening for the automotive industry but it is a threat for suppliers of Harman who now may lose out to the in-house supplier and to Harman’s competitors who may have a tougher time going forward.
  • Apple’s realignment of its automotive experiment (see here) is a strong indication of how it is not a good idea for a tech company to start making cars and I do not think that Samsung ever had any intention of following Apple down this road.
  • Most importantly, Samsung does not represent the same threat to automotive brands that Apple and Google do, as it long ago gave up trying to compete in the ecosystem.
  • This means that Samsung will not be intending to ensure that its services (perhaps with the exception of Viv (see here)) and its brand are front and centre in automotive infotainment units and it will not be extracting any data.
  • Consequently, I think Samsung simply aims to extend its strategy of selling electronics at huge scale and thereby earning a much better return than its competitors.
  • This deal positions it well to meaningfully increase its penetration in the automobile as it becomes increasingly driven by electronics and increasingly autonomous.
  • Samsung has realised that software and services is difficult and with every move that Samsung makes I see it increasingly leaving this piece to others such as Google.
  • Hence, I think the automakers can rest more easily when it comes to Samsung and continue to put their attention on ensuring that Apple and Google do not steal the relationship they are trying to build with the end customer.