19 China-based companies have formed the Speech Industry Alliance of China (SIAC) to integrate resources for developing smart Chinese-language speech (voice)-recognizing technology. The alliance will promote voice applications as well as establishing a supply chain in competition with Apple, Google and Microsoft. The 19 companies include Anhui USTC iFlytek, Huawei, Lenovo, China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom. iFlytek is a leading mobile app with smart Chines-language speech-recognizing technology, it has more than 5,000 partners in China and a market share of about 70 percent …
Numerous firms including Lenovo and China Telecom have partnered up to integrate iFlytek voice input into their own products and services. An Android app is already available, although, strangely enough, the iOS version is not yet released at Apple’s app store. Apple is set to launch Mandarin and Cantonese language versions of its much-hyped Siri digital assistant app for the Chinese market with the release of iOS6 later this year. But early tests have shown that it is not quite yet fluent with multi-tone oriental languages. The competence and database in Chinese language for Siri may not be competitive enough with those owned by China-based competitors.
As if that wasn’t bad enough, Apple is also facing two lawsuits over alleged patent infringement with Siri, one from Shanghai and the other a Taiwanese university. Speech recognition functionality may not yet a deal breaker for smartphone buyers in China, but the launch of SIAC shows that the domestic players certainly taking aim at Apple’s talking tech.
SOURCE: The Register, Digitimes
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