Back in February, we reviewed the app for the iPhone called Siri. Well in case you missed it, Siri has been purchased for approximately $200 million by a little company we call Apple. I am a huge fan of Siri as it is one my favorite apps and I use it multiple times a day and am continuously impressed. After spending some time to think about this purchase, I have come up with six reasons why Apple made this aggressive purchase:
1) In order to compete with Android's voice-recognition capabilities. A popular feature with the new Android phones is the speech-to-text enabling throughout the entire device. You can say your texts, emails, tweets as well as a variety of other messages and it appears on your Android. It is very impressive and I suspect Apple is attempting to keep pace. Like Steve Jobs has said in the past, he doesn't have to be the first to implement a feature but Apple will implement that feature the best. Acquiring Siri is Apple's first step to becoming the best. I don't know if these features will be ready for the OS 4.0 release but I would expect it to be implemented in 4.0.1 at the minimum.
2) Siri has hooked up API's from around the world which adds to the texture and depth of its search capability. Instead of sending you a list of the nearest pizza places that deliver, Siri will call the highest rated pizza place for you with one command. This is the new "API-web" and Apple wants STAT. Imagine this technology implemented within the OS of the iPad.
3) Advertising. Everyone is talking about bringing advertising to mobile search. Although there is nothing definite, there has been speculation that Siri was moving towards an advertising scale where different partners or companies could pay for advertisement within a mobile search. How this would look is uncertain but there is money being left on the table when it comes to mobile search. Look for Apple to somehow monetize advertisements within their mobile search features whenever it launches.
4) Apple is preparing the iPhone or the iPod to be the only device you need to complete basic tasks. For example, imagine if you could click a button within the home screen of your iPod and say "pay my May electric bill. " The system would recognize the command, pull my credit card number, log on for the SCE website and process the transaction. This can be done in the background as I check email or talk on the phone. That is a bold next step by Apple but it is not out of the question. Book it.
5) Additional revenue streams. I feel very confident that Apple will track every voice search done within their devices. They would monitor trends, popular searches and purchases made via mobile search. Numerous businesses would be willing to spend a significant amount of money for this data. Apple has an additional revenue stream which could prove to be very lucrative.
6) The new rumored iPhone will have the entire Siri engine built in. Seems simple, but that would be a big deal.
What do you think? Any other reasons you can think of? Meet me in the comments section.