With its $8 billion purchase of Harman International (HAR) , Samsung  (SSNLF) has shown it's taking a decidedly different approach to the smart car market compared to Alphabet's (GOOGL) Google.

Google has ambitions to market its own car. Apple (AAPL) has also flirted with developing its own car, though reports suggest it has scaled back those plans and will now only develop technology to support a smart car.

For its part, Samsung does not plan to have hood ornaments bearing its logo, which could help it expand upon Harman's presence in 30 million vehicles made by BMW, Dodge, Jeep, Mercedes-Benz, Subaru, Toyota (TM) and others.

"The Samsung-Harman combination might have some appeal in terms of its positioning as a way for automakers to get access to this technology that is viewed as not as much a competitive threat as much as a Google or an Apple," said Gartner analyst Jim Hines.

The auto supply chain is a complicated place in which companies at times must work with frenemies. Harman CEO Dinesh Paliwal has described it as a state of "coopetition," or competition with competitors. Harman partners with Google and Apple, which means that its parent will as well.

While friendly "coopetition" may be the norm, relations could become more tense when Google Cars graduate from practicing three-point turns and start to appear in consumers' driveways.

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