Apple buys out mobile voice app

Apple has bought yet another small tech company, following on from yesterday’s confirmation that it had purchased Intrinsity. Its latest buy is Siri, a personal app assistant which works with voice control, leading to speculation that Apple’s new iPhone will integrate voice activation.

Siri has received great reviews across the pond – it is not currently available in the UK – for its voice search technology. Speak a request calmly into your iPhone and it will come up with suggestions by combing the internet. As Shiny Shiny says here, it manages to figure out what you mean when you speak to it: for example, ask it for tomorrow’s weather and it will give you the forecast for your location, charmingly adding extra tips to keep it feeling personable.

Scobleizer reckons, with past Apple acquisitions, Siri probably went for about $200 million. If this report by Reuters is anything to go by, claiming that Apple may be about to charge $1 million to advertise on its mobile devices, Jobs can expect to make his investment back pretty sharpish.

Siri’s seemingly cool and easy nature would fit in perfectly with the image Apple tries to achieve with its iPhone and marketing campaigns – something easy, and friendly, and useful. Some reckon that the buy-out means Apple is planning to make Siri’s tech native to its next iPhone.