Google's Eric Schmidt Is Scared of Siri

Maybe it's just a bit of false modesty, but chairman Eric Schmidt told a Senate subcommittee recently that he believes Apple's Siri technology poses a threat to Google in the search market.

NeoWin first unearthed Schmidt's statements on Siri, which were taken from a response to questions originally posed during a Senate subcommittee hearing earlier this fall. The most interesting bit is Schmidt's willingness to admit they had overestimated the technology.

As I noted this past June, my statement last September was clearly wrong. The Internet is dynamic and has changed significantly. The importance of social networking to consumers' online experience has changed remarkably-even over the past year. Consumers are looking for answers when they conduct searches online, and social search has become a serious competitor in helping people find those answers online. Similarly, Apple's Siri is a significant development-a voice-activated means of accessing answers through iPhones that demonstrates the innovations in search. The tech industry is one of the most competitive and dynamic spaces in the entire economy, with small companies as well as larger companies competing hard
against each other in lots of areas. Google has many strong competitors and we sometimes fail to anticipate
the competitive threat posed by new methods of accessing information. We compete against a broader array
of companies than most people realize, including general search engines.

But like AppleInsider points out, one must take this with a grain of salt. Schmidt was responding to questions posed during an antitrust hearing, and in addition to playing up the viability of Siri as a search engine, he also skewed statistics to make it sound like the iPhone had a higher marketshare than Android handsets. But maybe he isn't. Are the search capabilities of Siri, who can interpret conversational speech, a glimpse at the future of the technology? [Google via NeoWin via AppleInsider]