Siri Was Almost In All Verizon Android Smartphones Before Apple Picked Her Up
There's a new report out today giving some insight on how Apple's Siri came to be and how she almost was going to be an exclusive resident on all of Verizon's Android smartphones.
Siri began her life as a standalone app in Apple's App Store in 2010. It was not a groundbreaking feature created by Apple. It integrated with services like Google Maps, Yahoo, OpenTable, Yelp and a few other services using voice recognition technology licensed from Nuance. Siri was created by a 24-person startup and the company was named after the personal assistant. The app allowed users to make reservations at restaurants, buy movie tickets, and more by dictating instructions in a natural language, the same way you currently speak to Siri.
In a new report from the Huffington Post, we're getting an in-depth look at how Siri could have ended up leading a very different life. According to the report, before Apple purchased Siri, Verizon signed a deal with Siri in 2009 that would have made Siri a default application built into all of Verizon's Android smartphones beginning in 2010. Verizon went as far as creating unreleased commercials showing off Siri's features on its Android smartphones before Apple made Siri a deal she and her founders couldn't turn down. The report states:
"In the fall of 2009, several months before Apple approached Siri, Verizon had signed a deal with the startup to make Siri a default app on all Android phones set to launch in the new year. When Apple swooped in to buy Siri, it insisted on making the assistant exclusive to Apple devices, and nixed the Verizon deal.
In the process, it narrowly avoided seeing Siri become a selling point for smartphones powered by its biggest rival, Google. (Somewhere in the vaults of the wireless giant, there are unreleased commercials touting Siri as an Android add-on."
When Apple debuted the iPhone 4S in 2011, its star feature was the personal assistant by the name of Siri living inside the iPhone 4S. Siri helped Apple sell millions of iPhones with her debut; she seemed like just another amazing innovation out of Cupertino. It's very interesting to learn Siri's lineage and we wonder what she would be like if she had lived her life in a Verizon Android smartphone.