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Google Chairman Eric tells US senators Apple's Siri could pose 'competitive threat'

post #1 of 232
Thread Starter 
Eric Schmidt, Google's chairman and former chief executive, admitted to the U.S. Senate antitrust subcommittee that Apple's new Siri personal assistant technology is a "significant development" in search and could pose a threat to his company's core business.

The comments came in the form of a statement to the subcommittee in response to questions from the senators after a hearing in September, as noted by Neowin.net. Schmidt's remarks, however, may be best taken with a grain of salt, as letter's objective is clearly to downplay Google's prominence, while highlighting its competitors.

The executive took special care to call out Siri as a new development that might supplant Google's search engine.

"Even in the few weeks since the hearing, Apple has launched an entirely new approach to search technology with Siri, its voice-activated search and task-completion service built into the iPhone 4S," he wrote.

Schmidt even went so far as to cite two publications for calling Siri a "Google killer" and Apple's "entry point" into the search engine business.

In the letter, Schmidt backpedaled from a previous statement in September 2010 where he had denied that Apple and Facebook were a "competitive threat."

"My statement was clearly wrong," he said. "Apples Siri is a significant developmenta voice-activated means of accessing answers through iPhones that demonstrates the innovations in search."

"Google has many strong competitors and we sometimes fail to anticipate the competitive threat posed by new methods of accessing information," Schmidt added, noting that Google competes against search engines (Microsoft's Bing, Yahoo!), specialized search engines (Kayak, Amazon, WebMD, eBay), social networks (Facebook, Twitter), commercial software companies (Apple, Microsoft), mobile apps and direct navigation.

Apple unveiled Siri in October as a prominent new feature of the iPhone 4S. The software, which Apple originally purchased in 2010, is currently in beta, though, and has experienced some embarrassing outages in the first weeks of usage.



In what could be considered a confusing mixed message from Google executives, Android chief Andy Rubin dismissed Siri last month. He said he doesn't believe that phones should be assistants and doubted whether people should communicate with their phones.

To the disappointment of those who readily declare Android as a dominant winner, Schmidt denied in his letter that Google has a "dominant position in the smartphone market." He cited a recent study from research group comScore as saying that "Android operates on only 34.1 percent while Apples iOS runs on 43.1 percent."

In fact, his comment is misleading, as comScore's figures relate to the whole mobile and connected device market. The actual report noted that Android does have the highest share in the smartphone market, with 43.7 percent in August. That difference is largely due to the fact that Apple has an unchallenged lead in the tablet market, as Android tablets have failed to gain much traction.

Schmidt also downplayed Google's role in the search engine market, instead attributing it to hard work and luck.

"I would disagree that Google is dominant," he said after senators asserted that Google is approaching a monopoly. "By investing smartly, hiring extremely talented engineers, and working very, very hard (and with some good luck), Google has been blessed with a great deal of success."

For their part, senators maintain that Google's 65 percent market share of all U.S. Internet searches, 94 percent share of the European market, and 97 percent share of all smartphone searches give it substantial market power that approaches a monopoly.
post #2 of 232
Me think doth praise too much.

Seriously, this is just over the top unless you're trying to hide something.
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post #3 of 232
Okay, he's talking to an antitrust committee. Does that mean Google's being searched for having a search monopoly?

Is he claiming Siri is a competitor in this field, ending the monopoly?

Because Siri only uses Wolfram|Alpha for conversions and whatnot. Google is still used for everything else

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post #4 of 232
Quote:
"My statement was clearly wrong," he said. "Apples Siri is a significant developmenta voice-activated means of accessing answers through iPhones that demonstrates the innovations in search."

OMG.....cry me a river.....Android had voice search before Siri...so build a better mouse trap and stop complaining.

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post #5 of 232
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Okay, he's talking to an antitrust committee. Does that mean Google's being searched for having a search monopoly?

Is he claiming Siri is a competitor in this field, ending the monopoly?

Because Siri only uses Wolfram|Alpha for conversions and whatnot. Google is still used for everything else

I'm still trying to figure out what Siri queries from Google show up in the Siri screen.


Quote:
Originally Posted by geekdad View Post

OMG.....cry me a river.....Android had voice search before Siri...so build a better mouse trap and stop complaining.

I don't think he's complaining so much as playing a very weak "pay no attention to the man behind the curtain" maneuver.
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post #6 of 232
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I'm still trying to figure out what Siri queries from Google show up in the Siri screen.

As I have no iPhone 4S, I can't be sure, but from the videos, any query involving any sort of map data would be Google's. If you can ask Siri other types of Internet questions, those would be Google (or maybe from your chosen engine in Safari; again, I don't know since I don't have a 4S).

Weather, I assume, is still Yahoo!, which that just seems really, REALLY silly at this point. I know Google doesn't have weather, but WUnderground is a great resource for that, and Apple could build a serious weather app (and new weather widget for OS X) with their features.

Aside: And if they build a new weather widget for OS X, maybe it will fix the problem that thing has had since FREAKING 10.4.0 WHERE THE WIDGET RANDOMLY MOVES AROUND ON YOUR DASHBOARD WHENEVER IT FEELS LIKE IT.

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There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already f*ed.

 

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post #7 of 232
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

As I have no iPhone 4S, I can't be sure, but from the videos, any query involving any sort of map data would be Google's. If you can ask Siri other types of Internet questions, those would be Google (or maybe from your chosen engine in Safari; again, I don't know since I don't have a 4S).

Weather, I assume, is still Yahoo!, which that just seems really, REALLY silly at this point. I know Google doesn't have weather, but WUnderground is a great resource for that, and Apple could build a serious weather app (and new weather widget for OS X) with their features.

Except for Maps, which is an extension of the native iOS app I can't see any other Google queries being parsed by Siri.

Quote:
Aside: And if they build a new weather widget for OS X, maybe it will fix the problem that thing has had since FREAKING 10.4.0 WHERE THE WIDGET RANDOMLY MOVES AROUND ON YOUR DASHBOARD WHENEVER IT FEELS LIKE IT.

Yeah, and with Lion sometimes when I leave Dashboard — meaning, on the standard screen — I can see my stock widget names that would show up in plain text in a small yellow box when you mouse-over. Not a big deal, but still annoying. I wish they'd take a little more care of Dashboard, even allowing for a weather widget to auto-update its location based on your current location like with iOS.
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post #8 of 232
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I'm still trying to figure out what Siri queries from Google show up in the Siri screen.




I don't think he's complaining so much as playing a very weak "pay no attention to the man behind the curtain" maneuver.

I didn't think Siri used Google for anything??????

Tallest Skil:


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"The future is Apple, Google, and a third company that hasn't yet been created."


 


 

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Tallest Skil:


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post #9 of 232
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Yeah, and with Lion sometimes when I leave Dashboard meaning, on the standard screen I can see my stock widget names that would show up in plain text in a small yellow box when you mouse-over. Not a big deal, but still annoying. I wish they'd take a little more care of Dashboard, even allowing for a weather widget to auto-update its location based on your current location like with iOS.

Oh, when I GO to Dashboard, the yellow box underneath wherever my mouse was in, say, Safari, shows up on the Dashboard and doesn't go away until I go back out and move my mouse BACK OVER whatever it was to dismiss the box.

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already f*ed.

 

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Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already f*ed.

 

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post #10 of 232
Quote:
Originally Posted by geekdad View Post

I didn't think Siri used Google for anything??????

While it looks like Apple will release their new Maps software by iOS 6.0 (though I think demoing it on the iPad 3 event would be an impressive show of their tech) it still looks to be powered by Google, just like the current Maps app.

edit: Finally got Siri to show me a map. The image does say Google in the lower-left corner and does open to the Maps app when tapped, not Safari, do adds in Google aren't really an issue except for the occasional sponsored pin that appears. Nothing else I try seems to query Google.
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post #11 of 232
Quote:
Originally Posted by geekdad View Post

I didn't think Siri used Google for anything??????

Even if it did, Google wouldn't be able to serve up ads throughout Siri. So they can't monetize it.

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post #12 of 232
Google's Chairman is trying to get out of an Anti-Trust probe on Google by citing that Siri threatens their Monopoly; and therefore competition is safe.

It's a joke of an argument.
post #13 of 232
Make your own damn AI and use it. If you can't then step aside and make way for some one else who can!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And Google hasn't monopolized?!?!?!?!?
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post #14 of 232
Quote:
Originally Posted by geekdad View Post

OMG.....cry me a river.....Android had voice search before Siri...so build a better mouse trap and stop complaining.

Yeah, but you never hear Fandroids say "Google needs competition"

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post #15 of 232
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

Google's Chairman is trying to get out of an Anti-Trust probe on Google by citing that Siri threatens their Monopoly; and therefore competition is safe.

It's a joke of an argument.

Bill Gates gave antitrust regulators the same self-serving argument: Apple is proof Microsoft doesn't have an OS monopoly. And this was BEFORE iOS.

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post #16 of 232
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

Even if it did, Google wouldn't be able to serve up ads throughout Siri. So they can't monetize it.

And this is the whole point. I love it. Apple really should get into search. They won't, but they should. Just to piss Google off.
post #17 of 232
To be fair, why isnt the Senate committee grilling Apple with its monopolistic market share of the Tablet market?

Double standard?

Dont get your hopes up too high Apple fans, because the yard stick to a competitive landscape in the eyes of the Senators is anyone having greater than 90% of any market is deemed a monopoly.

Apple should be next on target.

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post #18 of 232
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Okay, he's talking to an antitrust committee. Does that mean Google's being searched for having a search monopoly?


Google has its fingers in so many pies that who knows what it is. but yes the notion that Google might try to use its strength as a search tool to gain in other areas isn't so nutty. Which is probably why they are having this little chat. If nothing else it might remind them to watch what they are up to or next time the talk will be much more serious

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post #19 of 232
Quote:
Originally Posted by Galbi View Post

To be fair, why isnt the Senate committee grilling Apple with its monopolistic market share of the Tablet market?

Because it actually isn't a crime to have a monopoly. The crimes come in how you got there and what you do afters. In particular if you use that monopoly to further yourself in other unrelated areas.

For example, how Microsoft tried use their power via Windows to force their web browser on folks by making it a requirement that OEMs install IE and only IE on machines.

With Apple's iPad etc it might be say if Apple yanked all Windows and wifi syncing and made it so you have to have a Mac to use an iOS device.

But that the iPad is THE tablet of choice over all the rest is not a legal issue

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post #20 of 232
Quote:
Originally Posted by Galbi View Post

To be fair, why isnt the Senate committee grilling Apple with its monopolistic market share of the Tablet market?

Double standard?

Dont get your hopes up too high Apple fans, because the yard stick to a competitive landscape in the eyes of the Senators is anyone having greater than 90% of any market is deemed a monopoly.

Apple should be next on target.


There is no law against having a monopoly. The problem is if you abuse that monopoly. At this stage people are just buying more of Apple's tablet because they want to; Apple isn't forcing them.

So show us all where the abuse comes in and we may listen. At this stage your words are just fragments in the wind.
post #21 of 232
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post #22 of 232
There's other search engine competition out there. If you don't want to support google, then use Bing or Yahoo.

People just like Google more.

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post #23 of 232
lol it's like saying Apple bought Quattro is the reason why it's legal for Google to buy Admob.
post #24 of 232
Quote:
Originally Posted by MaroonMushroom View Post

There's other search engine competition out there. If you don't want to support google, then use Bing or Yahoo.

People just like Google more.

the problem is with Google using their monopoly in search unfairly to gain marketshare in other markets.
post #25 of 232
Quote:
Originally Posted by paxman View Post

And this is the whole point. I love it. Apple really should get into search. They won't, but they should. Just to piss Google off.

So far, Google is using Siri to serve their purpose by trotting it out in front of anti-trust regulators. Picture Alfred E. Neuman as Eric Schmidt saying: "What, me search monopoly?"

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post #26 of 232
Quote:
Originally Posted by ihxo View Post

the problem is with Google using their monopoly in search unfairly to gain marketshare in other markets.

Like what... Phones?

So... Google can't spend the money they make from searches? Are they forced to give it away or just sit on it?

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post #27 of 232
Quote:
Originally Posted by Galbi View Post

To be fair, why isnt the Senate committee grilling Apple with its monopolistic market share of the Tablet market?

Apple could have a 99% market share and it wouldn't be monopolistic. You might want to check out what that word means in a dictionary.

It's not Apple's fault that other tablets are being dumped away in drastic firesales and others are quickly collecting dust on store shelves. The reason nobody wants them is because they fucking suck and only mentally ill people or people on welfare would even consider buying these other inferior tablets compared to the iPad. There is only one choice for a tablet if somebody is looking for the best experience on the best hardware, and that choice is of course an iPad.

People aren't stupid. Well, most people aren't, and they're not going to waste their hard earned money on pieces of junk. Don't come here crying just because the iPad happens to rule all.
post #28 of 232
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacRulez View Post

I guess that leaves Google no choice but to stop providing the free services that make Siri possible.

How do we know Apple and Google haven't already worked out a deal to send Siri searches to Google for a flat rate? Just because ads aren't being served doesn't mean Google isn't already cashing in on it.

The competitive threat from Apple is that they could make a deal with, say, Microsoft to let Bing handle backend searches for Siri in the future, not that Apple would get into the search business.

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post #29 of 232
Quote:
Originally Posted by MaroonMushroom View Post

Like what... Phones?

So... Google can't spend the money they make from searches? Are they forced to give it away or just sit on it?

Like Facebook, yelp, groupon, twitter, I can go on.

Yes, basically the same way Microsoft tried to push internet explorer on everybody who uses windows.
post #30 of 232
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

How do we know Apple and Google haven't already worked out a deal to send Siri searches to Google for a flat rate? Just because ads aren't being served doesn't mean Google isn't already cashing in on it.

The competitive threat from Apple is that they could make a deal with, say, Microsoft to let Bing handle backend searches for Siri in the future, not that Apple would get into the search business.

Unless the user specifically requests otherwise, Siri uses the currently selected search engine for any web searches. Google pays Apple significant sums of money (~ USD $100 m) to be the default search engine for Apple iPhone.

Google web searches via Siri do provide advertisements. Web searches via Siri look no different than a standard text-based web search as Siri passes the web search function to Safari and simply provides the text of the search.

Personally, I made a conscious decision to avoid all Google products and services years ago. I use the Yahoo! search engine, I have Yahoo! mail (as well as iCloud>MobileMe>.Mac>iTools). I effectively canceled my GMail and Google+ (which I opened as a courtesy to a good friend who gave me an early invite). I block all ads on my Mac as well.
post #31 of 232
Google is way too big. Take it apart with a crowbar. Apple's just about there, too. An unregulated corporation is to humanity what a flaming chain saw is to a five-year-old.

No corporation should ever be allowed to even approach a government in terms of power and wealth. Corporate boards don't sit general elections and corporate meetings are held in secret. While they're allegedly responsible to their stockholders, given that a tiny portion of the populace trades nearly all the stock, "stockholder" is nothing a euphemism for "oligarch," and in practice, multinational corporations are seldom held responsible for anything.

Particularly in a country where it's legal, cheap, and accepted for corporate money to openly buy Congressman a six-pack at a time, the whole notion of responsibility would resemble a farce by Moliere, but for the complete absence of wit.
post #32 of 232
Quote:
Originally Posted by ihxo View Post

Like Facebook, yelp, groupon, twitter, I can go on.

Yes, basically the same way Microsoft tried to push internet explorer on everybody who uses windows.

So does Apple push Safari on iOS users? Nobody forces anyone to use Google products.

Apple chose to use Google services in their applications

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post #33 of 232
Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Cao View Post

Google's era under Eric Schmidt had involved into multiple crimes in Stanford which is fascism by nature.

Google's Eric Schmidt had abused google resources to financially and politicially supported a criminal suspect named Gabriele Scheler, along with a Stanford Computer Science faculty Sebastian Thrun, against ruling from Stanford and police authorities. During their fight with Stanford, Eric Schmidt's side had murdered an innocent Stanford student May Zhou in 2007 to threaten me and to terrorize Stanford. When they found I would not compromise a bit but actively tried to clarify the case, Eric Schmidt's side did plot a murder on me as well. The only reason they didn't make it a reality is becaue they were closely watched by police and they are afraid of leaving evidence (not becasuse they have any mercy on me as a human being, fascism by nature.) Eric Schmidt lost his CEO position because of his involvment into these crimes. Proof of real names, dates, photos along with a police case number are listed in my blog link [ http://tysurl.com/BsEnQ4 ].

Eric Schmidt and Sebastian Thrun had not paid for their crimes and they would have to.

This would make a good comic book story. I could see Eric Schmidt as evil corporate mastermind.
post #34 of 232
Google is not a monopoly. Long live Baidu! No seriously, in trying to keep out large Western capitalism, China has ironically created more competition in this market - which is what capitalism would prefer.
post #35 of 232
Quote:
Originally Posted by MaroonMushroom View Post

There's other search engine competition out there. If you don't want to support google, then use Bing or Yahoo.

People just like Google more.

I switch to Bing every now and then and it is getting better.

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post #36 of 232
Quote:
Originally Posted by rbryanh View Post

Google is way too big. Take it apart with a crowbar. Apple's just about there, too. An unregulated corporation is to humanity what a flaming chain saw is to a five-year-old.

No corporation should ever be allowed to even approach a government in terms of power and wealth. Corporate boards don't sit general elections and corporate meetings are held in secret. While they're allegedly responsible to their stockholders, given that a tiny portion of the populace trades nearly all the stock, "stockholder" is nothing a euphemism for "oligarch," and in practice, multinational corporations are seldom held responsible for anything.

Particularly in a country where it's legal, cheap, and accepted for corporate money to openly buy Congressman a six-pack at a time, the whole notion of responsibility would resemble a farce by Moliere, but for the complete absence of wit.

Did you write this from your iPhone while sitting down at "occupy wall street"?
post #37 of 232
Quote:
Originally Posted by ihxo View Post

Like Facebook, yelp, groupon, twitter, I can go on.

Yes, basically the same way Microsoft tried to push internet explorer on everybody who uses windows.

What Microsoft did was completely different. They built IE to look like a part of Windows, and it was, an inseparable part, and they did this because the Internet had caught on, and they were trying to use this fact, along with IE, to show that the Internet was inside of Windows, which built consumer confidence in the product. That's still fine, but then they started supporting proprietary syntax and crap like ActiveX which could only work in IE. That's unfair. If you force or strongly encourage the development community to use MS-specific code in their sites, MacOS and Linux users are just screwed with regard to any sites that use those technologies. By relying on their market share to persuade developers to disregard standards set by the w3c and others, in an attempt to shape the internet so that it only properly functioned in IE, they were acting unfairly.

Google does not behave in this way.
post #38 of 232
Now I am not Google's biggest fan. In fact, I really don't like a lot of what they do, but some of the accusations against them are silly and sad attempts from inferior search engines to try and get into the market with out doing the work it takes to get there. These are some of the accusations that I find silly.

Google is not giving competing search engines a fair opportunity because it does not link to them if you do a Google search for something. Really? I don't think think McDonalds tells you to go to Burger King when you ask them for their burger choices, and I doubt that you can claim foul by McDonalds(food standards not withstanding). Yet this is actually making it into courts across the World against Google.

Google does not list competing services first instead of it's own when you do searches like for map directions. Again really? If I run say a Glass store that offers install services I am not going to offer competing services above my own, that's just stupid business.

Not all the charges against Google are unwarranted, but it appears that there are some cheap shots getting through.
post #39 of 232
Quote:
Originally Posted by Galbi View Post

To be fair, why isnt the Senate committee grilling Apple with its monopolistic market share of the Tablet market?

Double standard?

Dont get your hopes up too high Apple fans, because the yard stick to a competitive landscape in the eyes of the Senators is anyone having greater than 90% of any market is deemed a monopoly.

Apple should be next on target.


There's other tablets out there. If you don't want to support Apple, then buy a Samsung or a Xoom.
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post #40 of 232
Surprisingly civil discussion so far involving the Anti-Chri...I mean Google...sorry I get confused when I come on these boards...

You'd swear sometimes that Google supported Osama. -_-

Anywho, I don't see how Google is in violation of Anti-Trust laws.

Buzz probably as you were automatically enrolled in that craptastic attempt at a social network simply by having Gmail.

But I was never forced to join any of their services except that.

The only thing they do is create more products that compete in more markets and try and expand their business...

Not unlike Apple.

Like with tablets, mp3 players, computers, phones, TV boxes, and probably TVs in the future you are free to buy another item. If Apple is what you prefer then you buy it.

Like someone said if Apple forced you to have a Mac in order to use other Apple products then they'd have a problem.

I don't need Gmail, G+, Youtube, etc to use search (or any other item)

I don't see how they are in violation but I'm not that savvy on the laws at play.
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