Samsung was reportedly in talks to buy the company behind Siri's voice

Nuance Communications stock prices are rising as speculations of a potential sale of the company to Samsung Electronics are heating up. Nuance provides speech and voice recognition software for many products in the market, including cars and GPS, Samsung's own line of Galaxy phones and tablets, as well as Apple's voice assistant Siri.

Nuance is said to be in talks with Samsung and other private equity investors in a sale, though it's unclear where the talks are and if a deal will even happen.

Despite being a leading provider of voice recognition technology, Nuance's biggst business is in healthcare where its software helps digitize patient information. An acquisition by Samsung may mark an increased focus on healthcare for the South Korean company after recent announcements in wearables and a partnership with the University of California, San Francisco.

Nuance also owns the popular Swype gesture keyboard that is preloaded on some Samsung phones.

Currently, Nuance's market cap is around $5.5 billion and the company counts Carl Icahn as its largest shareholder. If Samsung does acquire Nuance, it's unclear what implications the deal would have on Apple and other licensees of Nuance's speech software. Currently, other Android manufacturers who rely on Google Search for voice should be safe as Google Now does not use Nuance's technology.

We'll have to wait and see how this one all plays out but what do you all think about it? Given how much stuff Nuance actually powers, it makes us wonder what products may need to align their resources if the deal does indeed go through.

Source: WSJ

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There are 12 comments. Add yours.

williamsbh76 says:

Health uses aside and given how useful Google Now is compared to Siri, I don't understand this one unless they just want to say "check-mate" to Apple. Maybe this will push Apple to really develop it's own Siri and bring the functions on-board the device.

Premium1 says:

I think it is for their own S-Voice to make it better, especially with rumors of them wanting to get away from android and use their own Tizen OS.

vinny jr says:

Samsung will never drop Android. Without the Android OS Samsung wouldn't be the largest seller of Mobile Phones. Their new OS is just an add on to their mobile business. Why would any company drop the OS that put them at the top of the Mobile World? That would be very dumb IMO.

scottae316 says:

Several reasons actually; 1. Control, they would be able to do updates and add features and not have to rely on Google In addition, they could design hardware and software together. 2. Costs, no patent fee to Microsoft. At $10.00 per phone that is some serious money. Samsung has a huge following and could start their own app store, again more income. While enthusiast would not like Tizen because it is not Android, most people who buy Android use it as it comes on the phone.

richard451 says:

heh. what makes you think any new OS wouldn't be subject to the same patent fees?

mayconvert says:

Are you actually trying to say Google now is better than Siri and more useful?
Not sure what android phone you use, but Google now can't do half of what Siri can do.
I have an LG G2, Nokia 1520 with 8.1 and iPhone 5s. Cortana is even better than Google now.
Siri, better than both by far...

WestonCory says:

No way in hell you are serious.
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Larry Faulkner says:

I don't think apple wants or needs Nuance. They acquired a better company called Novauris and with that purchase they managed to higher the founder of Dragon Dictations Systems, Dr. James Baker. Nuance bought Dragon from James Baker.

LeightonLaVell says:

Two words bring a particular stink to this rumor that makes it smell completely manufactured. Carl Icahn

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jsbrock says:

I've been saying Apple should buy Nuance, if nothing else for the plethora of patents it holds that dominate speech recognition. If Samsung had that, it would limit Apple's ability to build a powerful solution in-house. If Apple bought it however, they could do whatever they want with Nuance, most importantly begin to process more of the speech on the phone itself.

Obsidian71 says:

Larry Faulkner already told you Apples plan. Novauris is going to become the new in-house front end for Siri. Likely in iOS 9

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