Sunday, November 6, 2011

Google admits threat from Apple's Siri technology

Eric Schmidt, Google Chairman admitted to the US Senate antitrust subcommittee that Apple's Siri is a significant development in voice enabled search and could pose a threat to Google Search. He thinks that Siri might supplant Google's search engine.

Schmidt even went so far as to cite two publications for calling Siri a "Google killer" and Apple's "entry point" into the search engine business. In the letter, Schmidt backpedaled from a previous statement in September 2010 where he had denied that Apple and Facebook were a "competitive threat." However, now Eric said that his previous statement was clearly wrong and accessing answers through iPhones demonstrates innovations in search..

Google has many strong competitors and competes against search engines (Microsoft's Bing, Yahoo!), specialized search engines (Kayak, Amazon, WebMD, eBay), social networks (Facebook, Twitter), commercial software companies (Apple, Microsoft), mobile apps and direct navigation.

Apple unveiled Siri in October as a new feature of the iPhone 4S. The software, which Apple originally purchased in 2010, is currently in beta, though, and has experienced some embarrassing outages in the first weeks of usage.

Schmidt also downplayed Google's role in the search engine market, instead attributing it to hard work and luck. "I would disagree that Google is dominant," he said after senators asserted that Google is approaching a monopoly. 

"By investing smartly, hiring extremely talented engineers, and working very, very hard (and with some good luck), Google has been blessed with a great deal of success."

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