Update: Samsung has now confirmed its 10 per cent acquisition of Pantech, but denied it would have any involvement in its rival's operations, with the deal relating to internal mobile component sales.
Korean news outlets are reporting that manufacturing giant Samsung has decided to purchase a 10 per cent stake in rival smartphone firm Pantech, although its exact motives are currently unknown.
Pantech is the third largest handset manufacturer in Korea - after Samsung and LG - and the US$47.6 million (around £31 million/AU$48 million) deal has been billed as a way to "solidify bilateral cooperation in smartphone and other business areas". Whatever that means.
If the purchase does go through Samsung will become the third largest stake holder, with Qualcomm and the Korea Development Bank the two firms owning larger chunks of Pantech.
Can you buy innovation?
Some are suggesting that Samsung is buying into Pantech due to the firm's innovative streak - all be it at a national level rather than worldwide.
Notable achievements from Pantech so far include the first handset to sport a dual-core processor, the first 5-inch smartphone and it was the first manufacturer to bring in full blown gesture recognition - something which Samsung has gone to town with on the Galaxy S4.
We reckon Samsung's intentions for its acquisition will become clearer in the next few months and this could be the catalyst to fuel the next round of mobile innovation - so watch this space.
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