Rumor Mill: Samsung eyeing home automation platform SmartThings in $200M deal

Samsung Electronics is considering buying home automation platform SmartThings (a 2014 Fierce 15 winner) for around $200 million, according to a TechCrunch report, in what would be yet another move by Samsung to get its hooks into the Internet of Things market.

The report, which cited unnamed sources, said the deal has not yet been completed. Both Samsung and SmartThings declined to comment, according to GigaOM.

SmartThings was founded in 2012 and has so far sold tens of thousands of its Hub smart home products. However, and perhaps more importantly, it also counts around 5,000 developers building apps and devices for its platform, more than 100 different certified device types in its catalog--from remote door locks to motion sensors--and hundreds of "use cases" in its app store. SmartThings' platform lets developers create apps, or "uses cases," such as having a connected speaker start playing a user's favorite song when they get home from work. 

SmartThings currently makes the bulk of its money through the sale of its own home automation products, but it is rapidly transitioning to a platform strategy where it takes a cut of the revenues from the connected services and devices that are sold by third parties through its store.

This platform approach may be what is attracting Samsung's reported interest. Acquiring SmartThings could give Samsung a ready-made home automation platform of its own that does not require a user to have Samsung-made mobile devices or appliances. That platform could represent an alternative to Apple's HomeKit and Google's Nest. If Samsung does buy SmartThings, its global reach and marketing prowess could help drive adoption for the platform.

However, this isn't Samsung's only foray into the Internet of Things market. The company recently banded together with Intel, Broadcom, Atmel, Dell and Wind to create a new group, the Open Interconnect Consortium (OIC), aimed at coming up with an open-source standard to connect devices to each other across operating systems and wireless protocols.

Samsung also recently teamed with Google's (NASDAQ: GOOG) Nest Labs, ARM Holdings and others to create a new mesh wireless standard for the IoT market called Thread.

For more:
- see this TechCrunch article
- see this GigaOM article
- see this ZDNet article

Related Articles:
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Intel, Samsung and others forge open-source Internet of Things connectivity group
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