Nuance gets awareness boost from Apple’s Siri, smartphones (Larry Dignan/Between the Lines Blog)

Nuance’s consumer and mobile business popped in the fourth quarter as the launch of Apple’s iPhone 4S generated more interest in the company’s voice software.

The voice recognition company is viewed as a derivative play on Apple’s iPhone 4S growth. For Apple’s Siri to operate it needs the transcribing function Nuance’s software provides.

Nuance alluded to the gains from the iPhone 4S halo in its statement and prepared remarks. Non-GAAP revenue for Nuance’s mobile and consumer business was $118.7 million, up 31.6 percent from a year ago. The company said it landing new bookings and design wins from Amazon, CIBC, Comcast, Daimler, Diebold, Ford, Kyocera, LGE, Nokia, NTT DoCoMo, On-Star, Renault, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, State of Maryland, Time Warner Cable, Tom Tom, and ZTE.

Meanwhile, CEO Paul Ricci alluded to the smartphone boost. In a statement, Ricci said:

Recent high-profile speech applications in the smartphone market have increased interest in our solutions, from both manufacturers and users.

Nuance didn’t refer to Apple directly in a statement, but all those Siri commercials can’t hurt interest in voice technologies. Ricci later acknowledged on a conference call that Apple’s Siri was a big help in publicizing voice technologies. In prepared remarks, Nuance said:

In particular, Nuance had strong bookings in the automobile, handset and voicemail-to-text markets. Nuance’s momentum continued in connected car implementations, through a 3-year cooperation agreement signed with BMW, positioning Nuance as the exclusive supplier for dictation services; an agreement with Ford to add language understanding to Ford SYNC services; and the launch of Nuance’s in-car dictation prototype…Demand continues to grow for network-based and hybrid speech capabilities, as evidenced by increases in volumes of Nuance’s network services and recent Nuance Voice Control contracts with HTC and Pantech, including the recent release of additional services in HTC’s T-Mobile 4G Slide.

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