Voice Control Is the New Must-Have Mobile Feature

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2011-10-31 Print this article Print

5. All others will look like a copy-cat

Considering Apple has made voice commands a key component in the future of the mobile space, it practically ensures that all other companies, especially RIM, will need to come up with something similar to appeal to its own customers. However, such services will make those companies' offerings look like copy-cats. That's not a good thing when it comes to selling handsets.

6. Microsoft can't stand it

As noted in a previous slide, Microsoft has dealt with serious issues over the years when it comes to voice commands. The company was expected to make voice control in Word a reality, but most of those who have used it in Windows think it's a joke. Now, with Apple showing how it's done in the mobile space, Microsoft will need to find a way to respond so that Windows Phone 7 doesn't look even worse to customers that are already disappointed with its odd design and sub-par features. Siri could very well deal a near-deadly blow to Microsoft in the mobile space in the future even make it look bad in the desktop operating system market.

7. It's selling iPhone 4S units

Apple has been criticized for only allowing Siri to work in the iPhone 4S. But when it comes to business, it makes sense. Apple's goal is to sell as many iPhone 4S units as possible, so it can continue to boost revenue and profits. By bundling it with any iPhone, the company would diminish the products value as a generator of new sales and revenue. But by bringing Siri to Apple's latest handset and eventually to future products Apple can keep customers buying the new, high-margin products, rather than the older devices.

8. It's becoming a requirement

Apple is a real pain in the neck for the many competing smartphone makers. Apple develops new ideas, delivers new products and creates new standards that customers expect from all other competitors. Apple did it with the touch screen on the iPhone and the large display on the iPad and now, it's doing it with Siri on the iPhone 4S. Virtually overnight voice commands have officially become a mobile device requirement and Apple is going to ride that advantage for a long time to come.

9. It diminishes Google reliance

In the mobile space, Google has an inordinate amount of control. Aside from Android, the company is a key player when it comes to search and services. But with Siri, all that changes. The application relies heavily upon Apple's many services, including Reminders and takes attention away from Google's offerings. Sure, it searches Google when need be, but in most cases, it won't. Apple is keeping users locked into its services and Google is the company that stands to lose in that scenario.

10. It pushes competitor costs up

As noted, Apple has forced its many competitors to respond to Siri with services of their own. However, that means they're going to have to invest serious cash to make a voice-command service work as well. Lest one forgets, Apple acquired Siri to get the technology. It didn't develop it on its own. In order for competitors to catch up they'll need to make similar acquisitions or spend the millions of dollars and many months of development time trying to come up with something new. In one fell swoop, Apple has pushed competitor costs up. And if that's not an advantage in the hotly contested mobile market, what is?

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Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Gearlog.com. Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for CNET.com, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at http://twitter.com/donreisinger.

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