How Siri almost became Verizon -- and Android -- only
Siri very nearly became a staple of the Droid line of Android phones before Apple purchased the company in 2010. Originally a standalone app available for iPhone, Verizon had signed a deal with Siri in late 2009 in order to put the service on every Droid phone, but the deal was cancelled after Apple purchased Siri for themselves. According to the Huffington Post:
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.
Though the deal with Apple eventually found Siri integrated right into iOS itself, there have been sacrifices made in order to see that happen. Expanding the capabilities of Siri has been slowed in order to make the localization process easier, enabling Apple to put Siri on as many iOS devices around the world as possible. In fact, the current iteration of Siri has lacks some of the capabilities and context awareness that made the original app so impressive. Siri only regained the ability to make restaurant reservations with iOS 6. While Apple is continually tweaking and making improvements to Siri, it’s difficult not to wish for the Siri that was.
While some might worry that Siri has lost some of its more powerful advocates within Apple, which included Steve Jobs and Scott Forstall, Apple still seems to be committed to the project. A recent Apple job posting indicates that Apple is looking to expand Siri’s personality, something that is key for successful interaction and engagement with users. If Apple plays it right, Siri could rise to new heights, and become more than just a nice addition to iOS, but an essential part of the Apple experience.