Unbeknownst to many, Apple does not own the technology behind Siri. The technology is provided by Nuance Communications, also known for the Dragon dictation software and Swype keyboard. Stock in Nuance shot up in June on the announcement that Samsung was in talks to buy Nuance. The stock then sold off on the news that the deal had slowed due to “complexities.” However, the news was that the deal “slowed,” not stalled or fell apart or the like.
The core technology behind Apple’s voice-command assistant Siri may wind up in Samsung phones, which would leave Tim Cook with a whole chicken coop’s worth of egg on his face for letting this get away. Siri is the product of SRI International, a research lab that has created many technologies and biosciences products over its 68-year history. The digital assistant was spun out as Siri Inc., which Apple acquired in 2010. But the speech recognition engine is provided by Nuance Communications, the same company that makes Dragon Naturally Speaking software and Swype keyboard software. This only came to light after Apple bought Siri. This past June, Nuance and Samsung began merger talks, but nothing came of it. At the time, the two companies said talks had “slowed” due to “complexities.” But they didn’t say it was dead.