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Are Apple’s Ads about Siri Misleading?

March 27th, 2012

Siri, the voice-activated assistant that debuted on the iPhone 4S may not just have to answer to her owner, but to the courts. A March 2012 lawsuit filed as a class action in California against Apple claims that the company “[t]hrough an extensive and comprehensive nationwide marketing campaign, … has conveyed the misleading and deceptive message that the iPhone 4S’s Siri feature performs useful functions and otherwise works as advertised.”  The lawsuit states “[n]otwithstanding Apple’s extensive multi-million dollar advertising campaign showcasing the Siri feature…, the iPhone 4S’s Siri feature does not perform as advertised, rendering the iPhone 4S merely a more expensive iPhone 4.”  As examples of the alleged deception, the plaintiff, a New Yorker, who bought his 4S at a Best Buy, cites two Apple television commercials, “Road Trip” and “Rock God.”

The plaintiff alleges that the Siri functionality shown in these commercials are works of fiction, and that if you requested the same sort of information from Siri, you wouldn’t be as lucky in getting the correct information.

Interestingly, the complaint also states that, on the Apple website, buried in the bowels of the site, is a statement that “Siri is currently in beta and [Apple will] continue to improve it over time.”

Some consumers and critics have continued to complain about the iPhone 5 version of Siri, which offers new capabilities such as telling phone users sports scores and the ability to make reservations. But Siri is still listed as in beta in the iPhone 5 version.

Siri refused to comment on the pending litigation.

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