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Google calls Apple's Siri a possible threat in search

updated 04:20 am EST, Sun November 6, 2011

Google claims Siri poses competitive threat

Google chairman Eric Schmidt has told a U.S. Senate antitrust subcommittee that Apple's Siri personal assistant is a potential threat to its core search business. The admission reverses a statement that Schmidt made in September last year where he had said that Apple did not pose a 'competitive threat.' Schmidt argued that the arrival of Siri is a 'significant threat' and even cited two publications that have called the voice recognition app a 'Google killer.'

Along with Apple's Siri, Schmidt also offered Bing and Yahoo search as demonstrating the competitive search landscape. Others that posed a real competition for the company included specialized search engines include Kayak, Amazon, WebMD and eBay.

"Google has many strong competitors and we sometimes fail to anticipate the competitive threat posed by new methods of accessing information," Schmidt proposed.

Apple's Siri, although still in beta, has sparked a wave of interest in the potential of voice recognition technology. In addition to being able conduct web searches, Siri also directs searches to other sources of information including Wolfram Alpha.

Schmidt's comments, of course, need to be taken in the context in which they were delivered. It is not often the chairman of a company talks up the opposition, even if he has previously served on their board as Schmidt had done at Apple. Schmidt was keen to point out that Google cannot engage in anticompetitive practices when it operates in an environment with strong competition. [via Appleinsider]

by MacNN Staff



  1. qazwart

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Very easy to understand

    To Investors: Yahoo is a joke, and Bing has no traction. Siri is nothing to worry about. In the end, everyone does a Google search. That's why we are so dominant in this industry. In the end, we're really the only choice people have. If we can keep governments off our backs, one day we will rule the world!

    To the Government: Yahoo is a big competitor and Bing has a growing marketshare. Even Apple is getting into the business with Siri and will become another big competitor. Everything is in a state of flux. That's why we're not a monopoly. No need to regulate us. We're just another company trying to make ends meet.

  1. SwissMac

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Just like Microsoft pumping up Linux

    This is reminiscent of back in the day when Microsoft were being investigated for abuse of monopoly in the US. All of a sudden, they introduced Linux as a significant threat to their position, and talked them up for weeks. They also of course added in the famous lie that Microsoft was all about "innovation" when it was actually all about control and the status quo.

    Now Google's using the same defence to defend it's monopolistic behaviour - leveraging its dominant position in search to launch Android, chrome which they give away for free to undercut the opposition. All of a sudden a convenience feature with a small overlap into their main market area is being hyped by them above and beyond its real significance. Yes, Siri is a new and great idea, but it will not displace Google from search on the desktop or the on market leading Android platform.

    Comment buried. Show
  1. kerryb

    Joined: Dec 1969


    no threat

    I cannot imagine a student doing research using Siri, or any refined image search for that matter. Right now Siri is for people too lazy to pull up Google maps, or a weather app, or pretty much anything else that takes the least amount of effort. It is a long way from delivery information a la Star Trek's speaking computers.
    However maybe that is where the split will come. Academics will use Google like search engines while bored consumers will be only barking questions into their iPhones so they never have to pause and think about a possible answer themselves.

  1. c. haynes

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Never ceases to amaze that everything is always this OR that. I suspect any serious researcher will use anything available to get information. Not everything is a competition. If Siri gets you part way and Google takes you further, why not? What you can't imagine is your own creation and limit.

  1. Paul Huang

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Google should be renamed 20-20

    For Eric s******'s hindsight.

  1. Infinitewill

    Joined: Dec 1969


    What a hypocrite

    I find in amusing that Mr. Schmidt is now concerned that Apple is going to get into Google's pocket, seeing he sat on Apple's board and "borrowed" the entire look and feel of Apple's iPhone with no worry of hurting their business. Core business or not a thief is still a thief.

  1. Paul Huang

    Joined: Dec 1969


    This world is raised on

    True-or-false questions and multiple guesses and standard answers, therefore...

  1. Paul Huang

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Dåmn it!

  1. facebook_Justin

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Nov 2011


    comment title

    There just mad because it gets the results without actually making the users see a Google page, and thus no ads are seen. Just typical Google upset cause they can't make a buck off it. I wish Apple would make their own search engine. The only good Google product is Google Search and I'm sure Apple can easily whip them in search just like they do in everything else.

  1. ff11

    Joined: Dec 1969


    re: no threat

    Sooner or later EVERYONE will be using Siri like interfaces, including Google. I get a chuckle out of the idea of people, academic or not, still plucking away at a keyboard 20-30 years from now.

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