Nigam Arora

Nigam Arora, Contributor

I seek change that creates investment opportunities for my readers

5/16/2013 @ 9:32AM |55,445 views

Google Now Recovers Apple's Siri Fumble

A woman tries to use 'Siri' voice-activated as...

 (AFP/Getty Images via @daylife)

When Apple Apple Apple first announced iPhone 4S, there was a nice surprise in it called Siri. Siri is a virtual intelligent voice assistant.

Siri caught the imagination of the masses. iPhone 4S sales took off. Analysts had to scramble to revise their iPhone 4S sales estimates upwards. The revised estimates started another leg up in Apple stock. Prior to iPhone 4S launch, there were serious concerns about Apple’s ability to continue the pace of innovation after Steve Jobs passing. As the enthusiasm built, Steve Jobs related discount vanished from the stock price giving the stock a further boost.Google Google Google had been hard at work at voice but Apple left Google far behind in the dust.

Soon the user realized that Siri was limited in its capabilities and did not quite live up to expectations raised by Apple.  However, both users and analysts were forgiving.  After all, Siri was marked beta and it was the start of something big.

Then came the introduction of iPhone 5.  Investors had widely expected improvements to Siri. Alas, Apple let its fans down.  The simple let down played a part in changing the perception about Apple which would eventually lead to a massive stock decline.

Apple may be hard at work to fulfill the promise of Siri but there are no visible signs at this time.

In contrast, Google has not only caught up with Siri.  Yesterday it demonstrated at its I/O conference that it is making progress to fulfill the promise of Apple Siri.

Meet Google Now, the intelligent personal assistant that now works on Android, your iPhone or iPad, and on your PC or Mac desktop via Chrome.

Obviously, when using iOS, Google Now cannot do everything that Siri can do because it is not tightly integrated with other Apple apps, but it forms a nice addition to Siri on the iPhone.  Google Now is tightly integrated with Google Search and can make life a lot easier for repetitive search queries.  Google Now supports specialized functions using modules that Google calls ‘cards.’  Specialized cards are available for maps, news, stocks, weather, traffic, and many other popular functions.

Sundar Pichai, Senior Vice President of Google, described the new developments at  I/O, “Search has evolved considerably in recent years: it can now have a real conversation with you, and even make your day a bit smoother by predicting information you might need. Today we added the ability to set reminders by voice and we previewed “spoken answers” on laptops and desktops in Chrome—meaning you can ask Google a question and it will speak the answer back to you.”

A study of SEC filings confirms what I have previously surmised from anecdotal evidence: funds have been selling Apple and buying Google.  Google continues to demonstrate innovation.  In contrast, other than some vague statements coming from Tim Cook, it is anybody’s guess what Apple is up to.  No wonder Google stock has broken above $900 for the first time and Apple stock is languishing.

Disclosure:  Subscribers to The Arora Report are long Apple.

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