Samsung is in talks to acquire a mobile-related tech company as part of a more expansive shopping spree for specialist R&D and software firms, the company has confirmed, though it maintains it has no plans to buy RIM. "There is something in the works right now," mobile president J.K. Shin told the WSJ, and while declining to name that target, did flag up new features on the Galaxy S III such as the eye-tracking Smart Stay as examples of what advanced functionality those acquisitions could lead to.
"The technology industry is growing very quickly and it is too much of a burden to try to do everything in-house," Shin admitted, something of a departure for a company that prides itself on being self-sufficient. "There are many qualified workers from India that are very skilled in software. And there are small companies that we can acquire that have good research and development capabilities ... If the opportunity allows, we will do [mergers & acquisitions]."
The Galaxy S III launch, although ostensibly introducing new hardware, paid particular attention to Samsung's new software focus. The company evolved its TouchWiz UI modifications - which until now have been generally an aesthetic change rather than a functional one - into a more comprehensive feature suite, including technology that showcases the power of its own processors by adding picture-in-picture video playback to other apps.
There's also a push to create a more holistic ecosystem with other Samsung products, including technology wrapped around longstanding but under-utilized features such as DLNA streaming that makes sharing content with TVs, tablets, computers and other phones more straightforward and user-friendly.
Exactly when Samsung expects its latest acquisition to close has not been revealed, and Shin was quick to deny ongoing rumors that it is considering snatching up beleaguered RIM, which has seen a dramatic ditch in share price after unveiling its new BlackBerry 10 OS earlier this week.