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Is Apple's September 9 Event Teasing A Major Siri Announcement?

August 28, 2015 7:36 am
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Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) has started to promote its September 9 event by sending out invitations with an interesting promo line:

"Hey Siri, give us a hint."

This is a bit more suggestive than last year's invite, which merely said, "Wish we could say more." The 2013 event invitation was equally as vague: "This should brighten everyone's day."

Apple has not been very forthcoming since 2012, when the company sent out invitations for its long-awaited iPhone 5 event. The promo line, "It's almost here," rested on top of the number "12" (signifying the September 12 event date). That number had a clever hint underneath it: a shadowy "5" created by the 1 and the 2.

Could this year's event invite be equally as indicative of what's to come?

"That was just a play in with Siri," FBR Capital Markets analyst Daniel Ives told Benzinga. Apple expert Sean Udall doesn't think the company would draw attention to Siri without planning to make an announcement.

"Why would they promote Siri [and] call it out especially?" Udall asked. "Here's the thing I'm looking for: I'm a big [believer that] Apple is going to make a foray into search. [But] I don't think this is the event where they basically say, 'We are now going to be a global search engine company and compete head-to-head with Google.'"

Related Link: Sony Took A Big Bite Out Of Apple This Week

Apple TV And More

Ives expects Apple to bring new features to its next-generation Apple TV set-top box in preparation for a pay-TV service in 2016.

"We believe apps/games [will] come to [the Apple TV] lineup, but this is all setting up for a streaming TV service in 2016," said Ives. "Controls would be agnostic, but [the device] could be controlled by an Apple device, in our opinion, as this would make sense strategically."

Siri's Future

If a Siri update is coming, Udall said he doesn't know that Apple needs to do much to impress or attract consumers.

"I think they have to keep improving it," he said, adding that over time he thinks Apple will build Siri into its own Apple-branded search engine. "Their search engine may be different from the one the world currently knows."

Udall believes this is something Apple has been planning for a while. He said the company gave a 10- to 15-minute presentation regarding the improvements in Spotlight Search and Siri at this year's World Wide Developers Conference.

"It's called 'deep linking technology,'" said Udall. "You can integrate that with all the applications on the phone. Once you get the new version of iOS, you'll be able to say, 'give me the recipe for beef stew.' Siri will basically deliver you a search from Bing or Google, but it might find something from recipes.com or whatever kind of cooking app you have on your device."

Udall also thinks Apple could "theoretically" map deep linking technology into Twitter Inc (NYSE: TWTR) or Facebook Inc (NASDAQ: FB).

"It's pretty powerful," he said.

Disclosure: At the time of this writing, Louis Bedigian had no position in the equities mentioned in this report.

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