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Samsung is relentless in its pursuit of entering every single tech category possible, and the latest news only reinforces that. Last night, word got out that Samsung was in the process of acquiring SmartThings, a smart-home tech company that gives users the ability to connect and control all their home devices and appliances via their smartphones.

According to a report on TechCrunch, the deal is still in the negotiation stages, and a figure of $200 million is thought to be the price for Samsung to acquire SmartThings, though it might be less than that when (and if) all is said and done. While I can’t say that I expected to hear about this potential acquisition, it’s not entirely surprising either.

The big tech companies are expanding into smart-homes and Internet-of-Things products all the time, what with Google’s acquisition of Nest and Apple’s announcement of HomeKit. The former is focused on high-end hardware products and the latter takes the form of Apple-centric software that appliance makers can bake into their products. Samsung’s splitting the difference here, buying its way into an already established product line with lots of different pieces that are affordable on their own.

Additionally, it wouldn’t take much for SmartThings to evolve into another Samsung-specific line of devices – think “Galaxy Home,” which you’ll control with your Galaxy S5 and your Galaxy Gear smartwatch. That said, Samsung would be wise to keep SmartThings’ multiplatform compatibility in place; if the company were to make SmartThings only accessible via Galaxy products, it likely wouldn’t do much to earn new fans.

Instead, if this acquisition goes through, it seems likely that Samsung would be wise to add increased functions and features for users who also happen to own other Samsung gadgets, rather than restrict access to those who don’t. Samsung’s decision to make its Gear line of smartwatches only compatible with Galaxy devices has been a questionable one, and now that the Gear Live exists, running Android Wear, it may end up costing Samsung even more. If this deal goes through, it’ll be interesting to see which direction Samsung chooses to head.

[Source: TechCrunch]

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