The WSJ is reporting that Nuance is in talks with Samsung Electronics for a possible acquisition of the speech-recognition company that powers Apple’s Siri assistant.
The Journal has it on file from unnamed sources that “The Burlington, Mass., company has recently spoken about a possible sale of the company with Samsung Electronics Co. and private-equity firms.”
However, the details about the possible acquisition are scarce. The talks happened earlier this year and there is no update on where these discussions stand at the moment.
There are no details regarding the purchase price or anything else other than Samsung’s intention to acquire the voice-recognition technology. If the deal indeed goes through, Apple may have to look elsewhere for a voice-recognition engine, should it not want to pay Samsung royalties to continue to rely on Nuance technology for Siri.
Apple could have acquired Nuance a long time ago, had it planned to rely on its technology forever, so we could witness another turn of events where Apple develops something in-house to reduce its reliance on external help (as was the case with Apple Maps). The rumor could also be fake, mind you.
Also, don’t expect Siri to stop working even if the deal happens. It’ll be a while before Apple loses its existing license to Nuance services.