I can't say I'm surprised they got bought. Harman is just a shadow of what they used to be. They got out of the home receiver business after their last models that were cheapened in all ways but price, turned out to be duds in the market.
That isn't what Samsung cares about what they want is Harman Kardon which is very well respected for car audio. Samsung said quite sometime ago they want a tighter integration of their phones and car audio systems, so that using voice only for most anything becomes easy and commonplace. I believe they want an Alexa/Echo experience where you can raise/lower the heat, fan speed, check condition of the car etc.. really most anything easily with voice commands so there is less reason to take your eyes off the road. And receiving and making phone calls, getting texts etc are more seamless
By whom? HK broke into the space just a few years ago (although I do have an 2008 HK dashtop GPS that someone recently gave me) and has to do battle with some pretty mighty titans like Pioneer, Kenwood, Sony, JVC and Alpine that have all been at it for a relatively long time. In the factory automotive space, they've taken a big bite out of sister company Infinity's place but factory radios aren't typically showered with praises by other than car magazine writers (especially the phone interface aspect).
I believe they want an Alexa/Echo experience where you can raise/lower the heat, fan speed, check condition of the car etc.. really most anything easily with voice commands so there is less reason to take your eyes off the road.
Is thinking about how you're going to address your car stereo as simple as pressing a button or turning a knob that never moves or changes its purpose based on context? As I said, some of these systems are already a bit too engaging.
And receiving and making phone calls, getting texts etc are more seamless
The idea of talking or texting while driving is a well-established bad idea with many prohibitions already in place and likely more to come as drivers come to depend more on safety systems than driving skills.
Mercedes for example has used them for many years, I believe going back to 2008 and was first to use the Harman/Kardon LOGIC7 Digital Surround Sound System from that era.
Harman Kardon is considered an exceptional affordable upgrade auto sound system. Not in the league of say Olufsen of course but cost is phenomenally less. Why do I use Bang Olufsen as an example? They are owned by Harmon Kardon and have used some of that technology in their lower tier systems. By whom you ask? Mercedes Benz, BMW, Volvo, Lincoln, Buick, Mini, and other makes. You can't ignore professional reviewers out of hand. They make a very good reliable sounding system with speakers that may rival more expensive brands. As for Phone integration Harman was among the first to integrate Android Auto and there is no general consensus they have problems with smartphones over other brands I have not heard that. None of the systems are 100% more because of Apple than Android.
Are you saying that COMAND, iDrive, Sensus Connect, MyLincoln, IntelliLink and Mini Connected all just reskinned HK systems? The people who systematically compare them don't seem to think they're all that similar in usage or robustness between them.