06
Oct
keyboard-roundup-part-1-swype-is-the-hare-to-the-traditional-keyboards-tortoise

Update: Thisismynext.com has confirmed the purchase with Nuance for "approximately $100 million". It's really real.

Nuance Communications. You probably know them as the company that makes Dragon Naturally Speaking, a speech recognition program. Well, they have another little known side project: Nuance loves keyboards. Like, really loves keyboards.

They own the T9 typing style and the company that invented it. They have their own Android keyboard called Flex T9. A little over a year ago, they bought Shapewriter, Swype's main competitor.

Apparently all that isn't enough to quench Nuance's insatiable lust for keyboards. According to Michael Arrington of Uncrunched, they've decided to drop a cool hundred million on Swype. Swype, and T9, and the Shapewriter people will no doubt get to work building the best (or worst) keyboard I've ever seen. If I were Swiftkey, I'd expect a phone call soon - apparently Nuance has confused keyboards with Pokémon.

...Wait a minute. Swype is worth $100,000,000? Don't ever listen to my advice. Ever.

Source: Uncrunched

Ron Amadeo
Ron loves everything related to technology, design, and Google. He always wants to talk about "the big picture" and what's next for Android, and he's not afraid to get knee-deep in an APK for some details. Expect a good eye for detail, lots of research, and some lamenting about how something isn't designed well enough.
  • nerdshowandtell

    Hmm, so does this mean its coming to apple ios devices, since nuance is bff's with apple and prob powering siri? http://techcrunch.com/2011/10/05/apple-siri-nuance/

  • BlackOmega

    god forbid it, if they skip android after purchasing swype things will get ugly.

  • Eric

    Did YOU say 100 million, or a million. I don't see that as keyboard love..but maybe obsession.

    Swypes 100 million dollar worth is only to Nuance. I can't imagine buying them for that much cash - ever. In this economy, Nuance would do better keeping most of that 100 million around for RnD and for the rainy days.

  • Brian

    So this is what, a $2 app at the most once it comes out of beta? 50,000,000 dowloads just to break even. I doubt they get more than 10 cents an install for oem. #badatarithmetic

  • Rogue2204

    Bleh, I hope they don't ruin swype.. I tried to use Flext t9 but it really doesnt compare to the polished product that is swype.

    • Dale

      They've done squat with shapewriter since acquiring that in June 2010. :-(

  • funvirginian

    It's a simple tactical decision purchasing a competition to preclude them from winning any market share. A company buys their competition and then parks there technology on the shelf. It's really an antitrust monopoly type of move. The companies are small enough now that the justice department will not see jesus crafts

    • funvirginian

      I hate time limits on editing and spell check here is what my post was supposed to say

      It's a simple tactical decision purchasing a competition to preclude them from winning any .market share. A company buys their competition and then parks their technology on the shelf. It's really an antitrust monopoly type of move. The companies are small enough now that the justice department will not see these dirty tricks. Someone in the justice department should really pick up on it and do something about it though. Clearly if they buy at all the technology they're protecting not only trade secrets but and possible patent right especially with the new ruling that the first patent to filed gets the patent ... it's no longer the first to discover the technology ... you can thank that to the new congress and to all lobbyist especially microsoft