Samsung hires Siri chief for SAMI, aims to quadruple its revenue by 2020

Senior Samsung executives say they are aiming for $US400 billion (427 billion Korean won) in annual revenue by the end of the decade, as the company poaches the engineer who developed Apple’s Siri.

During the fiscal third quarter of 2013, the company posted quarterly revenues of 59.08 trillion won ($US58.8 billion) and a quarterly profit of 10.16 trillion won ($US10.12 billion).

According to a report in the Korea Times, the electronics giant has unveiled an ambitious plan to nearly quadruple that figure by the end of the decade.

The company has around 326,000 employees worldwide, including 1600 designers, 40,000 software engineers and 7000 employees with a PhD.

It is also sitting on cash reserves of around 50 trillion won, which it says will help to insulate it against any sudden changes in the tech industry.

“Samsung is strong enough to deal with the worst-case scenario such as a power transition,” a Samsung official is quoted as saying.

Aside from smartphones, the company identifies big data, flexible devices, wearable devices, the internet of things as integration between devices as key strategic priorities.

The news comes as MacWord reports Samsung has recruited the Apple engineer who oversaw the development of Siri, Luc Julia, to its innovation lab in Menlo Park, California as part of a project called SAMI (Samsung Architecture for Multimodal Interactions).

The platform aims to collect information from a range of devices, including smartwatches and heart rate monitors, and in turn make that data available to smartphone apps and other devices through a single API (application programming interface).

“We’re doing this normalization and delivering the data through an API, because people don’t want to learn all the APIs for all the individual products,” Julia says.

“It’s something Samsung doesn’t know very well today, because Samsung is a hardware company. But we want to enter the space, and offer something different from iCloud,” Julia says.

At the other end of the market, Samsung is also aiming to go head-to-head with Mozilla’s Firefox OS and Google Android in the low-end smartphone market.

According to a report in The Handheld Blog, the company has announced Tizen Lite, which it hopes will help it to compete against other entry level smartphone platforms.

Tizen Mobile Lite will work on a smartphone with just 256 MB RAM, a 512 MB ROM and support low-resolution display modes such as HVGA and QVGA.


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