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Siri: The Ace Up Apple's Sleeve

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Apple (AAPL) has had a rough go of it lately, to say the least. However, a posting on Apple's job board could get a positive buzz going again.

Apple has apparently been looking for a "Siri UI Engineer," which could have huge implications for its Mac computers. The listing (since removed), notes that the candidate must have "familiarity with Unix, especially Mac OS X," and display a "passion for the Macintosh platform and writing simple, elegant software that is easy and fun to use."

The Cupertino, Calif.-based firm could not be immediately reached for comment for this story.

Apple brought Dictation to its latest OS X version last year, but did not include the entire voice navigation assistant in the release. Currently, Siri's only available on the iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPad with Retina display, iPad mini, and the fifth-generation iPod touch.

There have been rumors in the past that Apple would eventually bring Siri to Mac, and this job listing suggests that those rumors could turn out to be true. When Apple bought Siri, former CEO Steve Jobs saw the technology's productivity and ease of use potential for any device.

Siri is still in beta, but Apple's slowly rolling out more functionality. In June, Apple announced that Siri would support multiple languages, including Chinese. Siri is already being integrated into cars, with Daimler (DAI) including it in its A-Class Mercedes Benz line.

Just last month, as part of the iOS 6.1 update, Apple announced that Siri can be used to buy movie tickets from Fandango.

Siri may be Apple's answer to Google (GOOG) when it comes to search. Instead of typing a query into Google, Siri will answer it for you. Mac sales slowed in the all-important holiday quarter, with Apple selling 4.1 million compared to 5.2 million in the year-ago quarter. Yes, there were extenuating circumstances, including supply constraints on the new iMacs and one less week in the quarter, but the market for PCs is being eaten away by tablets (including the iPad). Others have started to integrate Siri-like features into their phones, including Google and Samsung, but none have Siri's brand caché.

Bringing Siri to Mac OS X may not stem the decline in PC sales, but it will show that innovation is alive and well in Cupertino. No matter what Wall Street wants you to think.

--Written by Chris Ciaccia in New York

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