Samsung could acquire Nuance, the company behind Siri’s speech recognition engine

By , Jun 16, 2014

Nuance

The Wall Street Journal reported on Monday that Nuance Communications has been in talks with Samsung and private-equity firms about a possible sale of the company. The report, which cites sources with knowledge on the matter, claims it is unclear where sales talks currently stand, or whether these talks will actually materialize into a sale…

Nuance provides speech recognition and imaging software that is most notably used by Apple for Siri, the personal voice assistant on iPhone and iPad. The voice-powered technology is also found in Samsung smartphones, tablets and TVs, while Nuance has German automotive company Daimler AG, video game maker Nintendo and electronics maker Panasonic as customers.

It remains unknown how a Samsung acquisition of Nuance would affect Siri. The South Korean electronics maker just happens to be one of Apple’s biggest rivals, so it is possible that the speech recognition software could become exclusive to Samsung products. If that proves true, Apple would have to look elsewhere for a new backend to power Siri’s speech recognition engine.

That’s something Apple may have already been planning.

It was previously reported that American billionaire Carl Icahn was interested in helping bridge an acquisition between Apple and Nuance. Icahn is a large shareholder in both companies, and his firm has two representatives sitting on Nuance’s board.

“The presence of an activist can increase the odds of a sale of all or part of the company or a stock buyback,” the Wall Street Journal reported. “Lawson Software Inc., for example, ultimately sold itself to an affiliate of Golden Gate Capital and Infor after Mr. Icahn became the company’s biggest shareholder.”

Nuance had $1.86 billion in revenue during the 2013 fiscal year, and its stock has risen over 10% following the Journal report.

On a related note, how often do you use Siri in the first place?

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  • http://hashuumi.tumblr.com/ Hisham

    When I’m so bored and I certainly got nothing to do. Siri comes in handy only then…

    • Joe Rossignol

      Yeah. I mainly use Siri for sports scores only. Not a whole lot else.

      • http://hashuumi.tumblr.com/ Hisham

        That’s the point, it’s very useful thing but used very rarely…

      • Marcus

        I usually just use the ESPN SportsCenter app for that. I use Siri mostly for weather actually.

      • Kurt

        I use siri to set a timer. Even though I don’t use it, I’m glad I have it.

    • Rowan09

      I have a Bluetooth radio in my car so I use Siri a lot.

    • Franklin Richards

      iOS 8’s “Hey, Siri” feature makes it more useful. But it only works if you have it charging.

  • GuyBey0ndC00L

    Sammy enough already. Apple has “Siri,” Google has “Google Now” which is better than Siri in my opinion .

    Your an Android device not Samdroid.
    Forget your voice, music, apps, storage, and many more crap services you try to force on consumers they suck.
    Stop making 20 different phones and tablets a year. Just pick a damm size screen already.
    People what your (screens) hardware, not your software. Smarting up!

    • ✪ aidan harris ✪

      While I agree with the majority of your comment it’s Samsungs choice to make software even if it is useless junk. I applaud them for doing the right thing for once though and looking to acquire companies as opposed to copying / ripping off their technology…

      • GuyBey0ndC00L

        I agree with you, but Samsung always copies. Jumps and builds products base on rumors on what Apple might do. Always trying to one up Apple on every and any turn but fails. It’s annoying, because Samsung does and can make great products but there focus is more specs and copy. They nothing remotely original Samsung does anymore in the mobile space and goes beyond that. There stage presentation, stores, set ups in stores like Best Buy’s all scream (copied) Apple.

  • David Gitman

    When Siri will support my country I will start using it

    • Eni

      yeah, that stands for me too