The Siri Effect: Is Apple's Latest Feature Positive or Negative for Google Stock?
The answer may surprise you -- and the pundits.
Has the Siri (AAPL) effect been positive or negative for Google's (GOOG) stock price? The answer is far different than what many others are asserting.
Of late, there has been some irritating commentary flying around the Web -- even "name brand" sites have published information that is completely incorrect. One assertion in the air is that Siri is the Google killer since it "bypasses" Google search.
This makes me wonder if the iPhone/iOS "experts" -- and I use that term loosely -- are even doing the most basic research. Tech investors need to know that a willingness to learn about the capabilities and inner workings of a product is the only way to invest wisely. The flat fact is that on any iOS device, Google is likely the underlying search engine. Thus Siri is in fact using Google search. Apple's iOS uses other tools like Wiki and Wolfram Alpha to feed Siri, but anything that needs traditional search functionality uses the device's search engine.
So which search engine? This answer is easy. It's whatever search engine the user has set as the default embedded in his or her iPhone settings.
Most people use Google, a small percent of others use Microsoft's (MSFT) Bing. There are other choices, but they account for less than 2% of all searches, as seen by the results from Statscounter.
So what this could do for Google is in fact the opposite of what many pundits are saying, and that is create the potential for increased revenue at Google sites. Why? Because if you have a business and you want Siri to deliver the one answer it will, you had better be willing to pay dearly for the first spot in the search algorithm.
So does all of the above provide the real answers to Siri being a meaningful threat or not? Actually, I would say no. Mostly it's just good theater. However, I'm going to stand by my assertion that we could see many search terms increase meaningfully in price and thus help, not hurt Google's search results.
These are exceedingly simple.
For quick items like dialing a contact, looking up a business or other common search type functions, I can do them all faster by typing or gesture search. And for those who haven't used gesture search, I would highly suggest it.
(Also read The iPad Vs. Kindle Fire: Comparing Apples to Oranges and Apple's Market Share Falls as Android Rockets Past 50%.)
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