Frager Factor

Thursday, April 05, 2012

What's In A Name? For Steve Jobs, in Siri Not Much

"Siri" is Norwegian for "beautiful woman who leads you to victory."

Siri founder met with Jobs shortly after app debut

Former Apple CEO Steve Jobs didn't particularly like the name "Siri," but decided to use it for the iPhone 4S' voice command system anyway, according to Siri co-founder Dag Kittlaus. Kittlaus recently gave a speech in which he explained some of the origins of the app and its progression from a third-party title to a part of iOS. He mentioned, for instance, that he was told "Siri" is Norwegian for "beautiful woman who leads you to victory."
"I worked with a lady named Siri in Norway and wanted to name my daughter Siri and the domain was available," he went on. "And also consumer companies need to focus on the fact that the name is easy to spell, easy to say."

Kittlaus revealed that Apple quickly approached him about the potential of Siri. Soon after the title became available at the App Store, Jobs invited Kittlaus to his home, where the two had a three-hour fireplace conversation about the future. "[Apple is] patient -- they don't jump on anything until they feel they can go after something new, and he [Jobs] felt that we cracked it," Kittlaus remarked during his speech. "So that was his attraction [to Siri]."

Apple is rumored to have bought Siri for $200 million. It was at this point that Jobs said he wasn't a fan of the name, but Kittlaus attempted to persuade him to keep it. Jobs was allegedly never fully convinced, but couldn't come up with a better idea, and so the technology kept its name within iOS.

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