Apple’s Siri feature has been a crown jewel of iOS ever since it launched in 2011, but the company and the tech behind it might fall into the hands of Apple’s number one enemy – Samsung.
Nuance Communications is in discussions with a number of potential suitors looking to buy the company, and Samsung Electronics is at the top of the list, according to Wall Street Journal report that also names a few private-equity firms among the list of possible buyers, but Apple is nowhere to be found.
Talks to purchase the Burlington-based company began earlier this year, with a number of companies lining up to get their hands on the speech-recognition software maker that provides services for Apple’s Siri smart assistant.
Nuance is currently valued around $5.5 billion, but talks of an acquisition have already sent its stock price upwards. The infamous AAPL lover and hater Carl Icahn stands to make the most from a potential sale, as his investment firm owns about 19% of the company and holds two spots on the board, according to the latest filings in March.
In addition to Siri, Nuance also powers Samsung’s voice recognition features in its smartphones, televisions, and tablets and counts Nintendo, Panasonic and Daimler AG among its other customers.
With $1.86 billion in revenue last year, the company’s largest earnings came from its health-care unit which could surely be utilized by Apple for its upcoming iWatch and Health Kit, but Apple has yet to show interest in buying the company. Does Cupertino have its own solution in the works?