iPhone 5 unlikely to feature Audience’s noise reduction tech

File this one under “odd.” A theory started floating around earlier this year regarding why Siri was limited to the iPhone 4S. It had something to do with a noise reduction technology from Audience, called “EarSmart,” which allowed the phone to pickup sound from a couple of feet away.

But according to a recent press release from Audience, it doesn’t look like the company’s EarSmart technology is going to make it into the next iPhone. It says that due to events that occurred over the last few weeks, it feels it’s “unlikely” that Apple will use the tech in its new smartphone…

From the press release:

“Audience sells processors and licenses its processor IP to Apple Inc. and certain of its subsidiaries (collectively, OEM) for inclusion in the OEM’s mobile phones pursuant to a Master Development and Supply Agreement (MDSA). Pursuant to a statement of work under the MDSA, amended in March 2012, Audience developed and licensed a new generation of processor IP for use in the OEM’s devices. However, the OEM is not obligated to use Audience’s processor IP.

Audience now believes that it is unlikely that the OEM will enable Audience’s processor IP in its next generation mobile phone. Audience is not aware of any intended changes by this OEM to its use of Audience’s processors or processor IP in prior generations of the OEM’s mobile phones.”

This is interesting for a couple of reasons. For one, we’re curious as to what Apple will use instead of Audience’s noise suppression technology. Is it building its own solution? And two, what is this going to do to Audience? Apple is considered to be one of the company’s largest clients.

“Peter Santos, president and chief executive officer, commented, “While we are disappointed by this development, we are confident in the diversification of our business and see sustainable growth in 2012 and beyond. As such we are raising guidance for the third quarter of 2012. Looking ahead, we believe our expansion into adjacent markets such as Smart TVs, automotive, and notebooks, will continue to bring growth in 2013 and beyond.”

It’s crazy to think that losing Apple as a customer can cause this kind of stress. As MacRumors pointed out on Thursday, Audience’s stock was down more than 40% following the news.

For Apple to replace Audience’s tech means that it has something better in mind. So again, we’re interested to see what it has come up with. Maybe there will be more surprises next week than we thought.