Watch as Apple’s Siri starts to remove Google from the mobile search equation
Perhaps the most interesting part of Apple’s iPhone 4S event yesterday was its demo of Siri, its new mobile assistant technology, which lets you ask your phone questions or give it instructions, which it magically responds to.
The best way to understand Siri is for you to watch this video where Apple introduces and demonstrates it. Click here to watch the video on Apple’s site, and fast-forward to the 71:30 mark to skip to the Siri segment. (I can’t embed it here.)
As I mentioned last week, this is the beginning of Apple starting to disintermediate Google in the mobile search equation.
Apple isn’t doing this by building a proper web search engine — not yet, at least. But it is changing the behavior of how people search on their phones, teaching you to talk to your phone’s Siri assistant and not just go straight to the Google search bar in Safari.
And, more importantly, Apple is sticking itself between you and Google, by offering direct search access to sites like Wikipedia and Yelp — and many more sites and apps to come, no doubt. Siri doesn’t have to go through Google Search, and it doesn’t show you any Google ads. And that should be scary to the folks at Google, which still makes the vast majority of its profit from search advertising.
Now, this isn’t to say that Google won’t continue to be the web search engine of choice for iPhone users. And there’s no guarantee that people will actually use Siri that much — talking to your phone is a foreign concept, and it may not be practical in most situations.
But the idea should concern Google. And it’s yet another reason why Android — which Google is in the position to control — is a very important strategic asset for Google going forward.
More in last week’s piece: Apple is quietly disintermediating Google in mobile search