The UK's advertising authority has ruled that Apple did not breach any advertising standards by misleading consumers, after one person complained that Siri did not seemingly live up to their expectations.
Vodafone, along with other UK networks that offer the latest iteration of the smartphone with the virtual assistant, the iPhone 4S, said in the Apple-supplied advertising that Siri can:
"...help you send messages, set reminders or search for information. It understands not only what you say but also what you mean, so you can speak naturally. It can even use information from your iPhone — such as your location, contacts and contact relationships — to provide intelligent, personal assistance."
But the UK's Advertising Standards Agency found that Siri could not direct users to businesses or provide traffic mapping data, because such functionality is only available in the United States. Herein lies the problem.
But the complaint was not upheld, because the case hinged on a minor footnoted caveat. Apple covered its golden ratio-infused arse by stating as a footnote at the bottom of the advert: "Siri may not be available in all languages or in all areas, and features may vary by area."
The advertising authority, however, pointed the finger of blame apparently at the iPhone users themselves. The assessment noted that Apple has not made it explicitly clear that maps and location-based functionality would not be available in the UK. It did note that Siri displayed the local weather perfectly well, and was not as though Siri couldn't determine where its master was.
It also said that consumers "may have had prior knowledge of what Siri was reportedly able to do in the U.S.", and concluded that --- in not so many words --- that the average consumer would not have cared for the feature, and that the not-so-average user shouldn't have been so fixated on the technology reporting scene.
The ASA, however, put it in a far nicer way:
"However we did not consider that these consumers represented the average consumer in the UK and, because the ad in itself had not explicitly or implicitly made such claims, we concluded that the ad was not misleading."
Well, that settles that then.
- CBS News: Lost in translation: Siri cannot understand the Scottish accent
- Between the Lines: Google throws stones from its glass house, calls Siri 'competitive threat'
- Apple’s Siri ‘doubles’ iPhone 4S data usage
- Siri accounts for one-quarter of all Wolfram Alpha searches
- Apple tells Siri’s voice artist to ‘keep quiet’
- iPhone 4S' Siri reprogrammed to swear at British child