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What Competitors Think of SIRI

Since iPhone 4S has been released, users are very happy because of its main function - SIRI. However, it does not seem that other industry players are glad too. Contrariwise, many of them see a reasonable competitive threat in it.

In September Google’s executive chairman appeared on Capitol Hill. Eric Schmidt frankly answered to all the questions about his company’s competitors. He said that Apple was not considered as a competitive threat until it released SIRI, which he called a “significant development.” He admits that SIRI is the biggest threat to Google’s control of search by now.

“Eric might be more right than he knows,” says Gary Morgenthaler, the first investor in SIRI in 2008, “A million blue links from Google is worth far less than one correct answer from Siri,” he adds.

In October Senior Vice President of Mobile at Google Andy Rubin said in an interview: “I don’t believe that your phone should be an assistant, your phone is a tool for communicating. You shouldn’t be communicating with the phone; you should be communicating with somebody on the other side of the phone.”

Microsoft's President of Windows Phone, Andy Lees says in an interview with Ina Fried that users can talk to their Windows Phone too, but implementations, which SIRI has, are not very useful.

It seems that the appearance of Siri has endangered Amazon as well.  Just like Apple, Amazon has opened app store, offered mp3 download store, streaming and cloud storage services recently. It also snapped up Yap, but quietly. Yap is a voice recognition software company which owned a good chunk of speech-recognition property since 2006. With this strategy Amazon has an opportunity to keep pace with Apple’s SIRI feature. The purchase has been revealed yesterday, although it was actually completed in September.

No matter what competitors say, think or do, the fact is that SIRI is an amazing function of the phone because the users are extremely satisfied. Gary Morgenthaler thinks that if people start using SIRI to bypass search that will be a huge threat to Google. The only problem can occur for SIRI is that it cannot make money with advertising.