Speaking before a U.S. Senate antitrust subcommittee Google CEO Eric Schmidt called Apple’s Siri personal assistant a possible threat to the company’s core search business.
In April Google’s top official said Apple didn’t pose a competitive threat to Google search however Schmidt recently reversed his way of thinking while citing two different publications which said the new Siri voice recognition software could be a “Google killer.”
It should be noted that Schmidt was claiming that his company can’t be anti-competitive when they are facing stiff competition which likely explains why he would be talking up Apple when Google sells more mobile devices and controls far more search markets.
Turning to more traditional means of search Schmidt also pointed out Bing search which has taken a small chunk of Google’s search market in recent months along with Yahoo which still offers a decent amount of display advertising and web searches of their own.
Outside of standard search engines Google’s CEO also pointed out sites including Kayak, eBay, WebMD and others that perform specialized search types that take market share from Google.
According to Schmidt:
“Google has many strong competitors and we sometimes fail to anticipate the competitive threat posed by new methods of accessing information.”
Of course Apple’s Siri technology is still in beta form and there’s no question about it that Google will answer back with their own voice based technology in the future, the real question will be whether or not voice activated searches pose the type of threat that makes them competitive enough for Google to claim true search based competition.