Samsung Eyes Siri Software Developer

Samsung is a key contender to buy software developer Nuance of the U.S., which helped build Apple's Siri voice-recognition software, the Wall Street Journal reported Monday.

Nuance recently sounded out Samsung and several private equity funds for a possible acquisition.

Based in Burlington, Massachusetts, Nuance is one of the biggest providers of voice-powered technology and has around 4,000 patents in the field.

Samsung smartphones, tablet PCs and TVs already use Nuance technology.

Industry watchers believe that if Samsung acquires Nuance with its key voice-recognition technology, it could pose a serious threat to Apple.

The company is valued at US$6 billion. If the deal goes through, it would mark the largest acquisition for Samsung so far. However, a Samsung spokesman denied knowledge of the buyout rumors.

Leading the sale is notorious corporate raider Carl Icahn, who bought a 19-percent stake in Nuance in March this year. Industry insiders suspect Nuance staff were behind the rumor in a bid to boost the value of the company.

englishnews@chosun.com / Jun. 18, 2014 11:56 KST