Apple sued over iPhone 4S 'assistant' Siri

March 13, 2012
An iPhone 4S buyer has sued Apple for promising more than it delivered with automated "Siri" voice-activated assistant software built into the coveted smartphones.

An iPhone 4S buyer has sued Apple for promising more than it delivered with automated "Siri" voice-activated assistant software built into the coveted smartphones.

A suit filed in a California federal court argued that advertising touting the wonders of amounted to "intentional misrepresentation" and unfair competition, according to documents available online Tuesday.

Lawyers representing a New York City man who bought an iPhone 4S want class action status to represent millions of people who bought the latest generation Apple smartphone.

The suit included Apple -- which runs showing people asking Siri to help them find restaurants, learn chords to songs, tie neck ties, and even figure out if there is a rodeo in town -- had disappointed some users.

Lawyers representing the iPhone 4S buyer, identified as Frank Fazio of Brooklyn, argued that Siri claims were "misleading and deceptive," and are calling for California-based Apple to pay unspecified damages.

"Promptly after the purchase of his iPhone 4S, plaintiff realized that Siri was not performing as advertised," the lawsuit said.

"For instance, when plaintiff asked Siri for directions to a certain place, or to locate a store, Siri either did not understand what plaintiff was asking, or, after a very long wait time, responded with the wrong answer."

Apple does not comment on pending litigation.

Siri has been a hit since its US debut with the 4S in October and was even referred to as a direct challenge to Google's search engine by the Internet giant's chairman .

Siri was derived from research conducted to make computers more intuitive at understanding and working with soldiers in action.

Siri is designed to understand context so people can speak naturally when asking it questions.

For example, spoken queries of "Will I need an umbrella this weekend?" and "What is the traffic like around here?" will prompt online searches for local weather forecasts or road conditions.

Siri helps make calls, send text messages or email, schedule meetings and reminders, make notes, find local businesses, and get directions. Siri will even perform mathematical calculations if asked.

Explore further: Siri gives iPhone 4S sass

Related Stories

Siri gives iPhone 4S sass

October 13, 2011

The robotic assistant built into Apple's latest iPhone might win your heart, but she won't marry you.

Televisions getting Siri-style personal assistants

January 10, 2012

Startup Vlingo on Tuesday said that it is giving televisions the kind of voice-controlled "virtual assistants" that have been a hit with the latest version of Apple's hot-selling iPhone.

Apple's tongue-tied Siri faces 'Singlish' rival

October 28, 2011

Singapore's SingTel has developed an application to rival the voice-activated Siri on the iPhone 4S that is sure to go down well in the island state -- because it can understand "Singlish".

Recommended for you

Microsoft aims at Apple with high-end PCs, 3D software

October 26, 2016

Microsoft launched a new consumer offensive Wednesday, unveiling a high-end computer that challenges the Apple iMac along with an updated Windows operating system that showcases three-dimensional content and "mixed reality."

Making it easier to collaborate on code

October 26, 2016

Git is an open-source system with a polarizing reputation among programmers. It's a powerful tool to help developers track changes to code, but many view it as prohibitively difficult to use.


Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

not rated yet Mar 13, 2012
Don't blame Siri. I'm from Texas, and I've noticed a lot of Yankees don't always understand us.
not rated yet Mar 13, 2012
Whole issue could have been avoided if Apple was just truthful about he fact that voice-recognition is still very far from reliable unless your willing to spend hours reading to the software so that it can properly model your voice.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.