Samsung May Acquire Nuance: 'The Voice Recognition Company Behind Siri'
By Naveena Joy | June 18, 2014 12:54 PM EST
BGR reported the Nuance Communications, a speech-recognition company responsible for the technology that powers Siri, Apple's virtual assistant, might be thinking of getting along with Samsung Electronics for a possible acquisition.
Samsung and Apple
The Wall Street Journal cited Nuance has been in talks with potential buyers as the company is on sale. According to reliable sources, Samsung is one among the several private equity firms that have been participating in the discussions.
Nuance is known for its speech and dictation recognition software, including Dragon NaturallySpeaking. It works with several companies such as Amazon and released an API for developers. The technology is also being used in Samsung's phones, tablets, TVs and even its wearable devices.
The company is best known as a partner with Apple, as its voice recognition technology is the backbone of Siri, Apple's digital assistant.
The Mac Rumors reported it was unclear as to how will the Nuance acquisition will impact Apple's relationship with the company. It was reported in 2013 Apple might be working to move Siri development in-house, which is shifting from long-time partner Nuance. Apple may be forced to find another solution for Siri's voice recognition abilities as it has a dedicated team in Boston that may be working on a solution.
It is also essential to note that many of Siri's functionalities beyond voice recognition come from integration with other companies like Yelp, OpenTable and Wolfram Alpha.
After the news on the Wall Street Journal, there was an increase in the market capitalization of Nuance, which was around $5.5 billion earlier.
The discussion between Nuance and Samsung is at an early stage and there is no clear picture of the results yet. But BGR pointed out Nuance's largest shareholder is Carl Icahn, with 19 percent ownership of the company.
Icahn is one the most infamous activist investors in the industry. But the Journal said the presence of Icahn might influence the discussion with a final decision.
It was also cited that other than the mobile industry, Nuance has a major market of customers, which includes Daimler, Nintendo and Panasonic. The company was quoted to have $1.86 billion revenues in the previous fiscal year.
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