Samsung has been exploring an acquisition of Nuance Communications, the back end provider for Siri's speech recognition system. Nuance also makes Dragon speech recognition software, that can be found on many other devices. Samsung is up against other potential buyers, including venture capital groups, though it appears talks are still in the early stages.
While potential prices have not yet been publicly disclosed, Nuance did close higher on Monday evening, at $18.76 per share.
When Apple first began using Nuance for Siri, there was speculation that they would acquire the speech recognition company. Nuance also owns Swype, a keyboard replacement which was made popular on Android devices, and at WWDC earlier this month, Apple confirmed that third party keyboards like Swype can be incorporated into iOS 8. With the improvements made to Siri for the next release, Apple has clearly been hard at work integrating and perfecting Nuance technology.
In the latest leak of potential buyers, Apple was not listed. In the event Nuance goes to Samsung, Apple's most aggressive competitor, Apple would likely re-engineer Siri without Nuance. Apple certainly has the capital to outbid Samsung if it comes to this, though they may just be fundamentally uninterested in acquiring the company.
On the other hand, Apple ignoring this sale and looking elsewhere for their tech, would be in line with their past actions. Outside of Beats, Apple generally purchases companies in the millions — not billions — which it can absorb quietly.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.