With a 97% market share in net searches, it’s probably fair to say Google has a bit of a monopoly on said activity.
But Google’s executive chairman, Eric Schmidt, a formal presidential advisor and one of the richest dudes on the planet, disagrees. Well, of course he would.
Schmidt has been talking to a US Senate antitrust subcommittee, and claims that all this monopoly talk is a load of nonsense. Why? In a word: Siri.
Back in September, Schmidt claimed that Apple wasn’t a significant threat, but with the launch of the iPhone 4S and Siri he’s completely changed his opinion. Ahem.
“My statement was clearly wrong," says Schmidt. "Apple’s Siri is a significant development—a voice-activated means of accessing answers through iPhones that demonstrates the innovations in search."
Interestingly, those words are at odds with recent comments from Google’s Andy Rubin, who isn’t convinced by the whole phones-as-personal-assistants thang.
However, analyst Shaw Wu, for one, concurs with Schmidt. He recently suggested that the iPhone 4S’ colossal success is owed largely to Siri. Conversely, I’ve yet to speak to anyone who’s considered Siri anything more than a fun distraction for five minutes.
Personally, I've found Siri's voice recognition very hit-and-miss, and in the long-term I have no interest in dictating net searches, emails, texts, or anything else for that matter.
I sense a big discussion coming on. To the comments!