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]