When Apple announced that its new Siri assistant would only be available on the iPhone 4S last October, it caused quite a commotion in the iOS community. It meant that millions of iOS users, even those who recently purchased new devices, would have to go without the feature.

We’ve heard a couple of theories on why Apple chose to make Siri 4S-only, including the need for a solid selling point for its new handset, and the fact that it’s still in beta. But according to a recent CNET report, it’s all about the processor…

Stephen Shankland of CNET reports:

“Apple’s A5 processor includes noise-reduction circuitry licensed from a start-up called Audience, and a chip analyst believes that fact resolves an iPhone 4S mystery and explains why the iPhone 4 lacks the Siri voice-control system

Audience revealed details of its Apple partnership in January, when it filed paperwork for an initial public offering (IPO) of stock. Teardown work from iFixit and Chipworks revealed a dedicated Audience chip in the iPhone 4, but the iPhone 4S integrates Audience’s “EarSmart” technology directly into the A5 processor, the company’s S-1 filling said.”

While Apple’s iPhone 4 also contains Audience’s noise reduction technology, it only works when the handset is held up near the speaker’s mouth. The “EarSmart” tech built into the A5 processor which is in the iPhone 4S, however, can handle ‘fair-field speech,’ meaning it can pickup sound from a couple of feet away.

This doesn’t mean that the iPhone 4 isn’t capable of running Siri — we know for a fact it is. It just sounds like this was another factor that led to Apple’s decision to keep the assistant a 4S-only feature. And another reason why we probably won’t see Siri opened up to older devices in the future.

[MacStories]

  • ipad 2 should have it if that was true?

    • Siri wasn’t ready for release when the iPad 2 first hit the shelves. From a business perspective it makes more sense to hold back Siri for the iPad 3

    • Anonymous

      the iPad’s don’t even have the reg voice control.

  • Siv

    Even so, I think Apple should give the option of having Siri. I don’t see why they don’t just sell it on AppStore. It’s a win-win really.

  • The speaker is also louder on the 4S making Siri responses a lot easier to hear. Which leads me to believe that the speaker in the other devices was also a limitation and part of their decision not to include Siri.

    • i would prefer if Siri’s voice was quieter. i find her to be embarrassing.

    • Anonymous

      The volume on the iPhone 4 is only lower because of the maximum volume set in the files within the phone, editing an entry on 1 of these files allows you to make the phones speaker louder.

      • Is it possible to increase the headset volume the same way on the iPhone 4? If so, do you know what file to edit?

  • when the full version of siri comes out will we have to by the new iphone or will it come in a upgrade ? for 5.0.2 + ??

    • Anonymous

      it will be in a upgrade.

  • I didn’t buy my i4s because of Siri..I just wanted the i4s ..but if I was buying it for Siri and Siri was on the i4 why would I buy the i4s it costs more…
    I you want Siri from apple pay up for the i4s…just stop with the… I want Siri for my i4..its not going to happen..

  • Dan

    There a simple reason why Siri isn’t available for iPhone 4 and iPad 2… Money.

    They know that a good number of people will upgrade their perfectly working products just to get Siri.

  • Anonymous

    After 4 months, who’s dying to get Siri anyways?

  • Anonymous

    After 4 months, who’s dying to get Siri anyways?

    • I wouldn’t be dying for Siri, but I don’t know if I could live without the voice recognition anymore…

  • The processor excuse is baloney, at least concerning the iPhone 4. It works flawless on mine with spire and a good Siri proxy server. Even with cydia siri addons like myassistant and lingual.

    Was using a proxy at first but now I’m a beta tester for a Siri clone using the google voice API. Check out my tweets to see how it’s coming along. Created by @uhelios and it’s quite amazing! I think it’s the future of getting proper Siri-like assistance on non-4s devices and without the problems associated with key-driven Siri proxies.

  • Anonymous

    I’m calling BS. Were that the case, Siri would be on the iPad 2. And it’s looking increasingly like Apple is intentionally withholding this “feature” for the iPad 3. But for me personally, even as a happy 4S user, Siri is more of a novelty than something useful.

    Whenever I need to do something with my phone, I don’t think to talk to it (makes you look crazy in public btw), I just open the proper app and tap away. Considering all of the “I’m sorry I’m having difficulties right now” Siri frequently experiences, it’s faster to do it manually anyway.

  • Anonymous

    The true theory is: Apple wants it to be a exclusive feature of 4S. Period.
    Anything besides it is just BS….

  • This is bull shiit! every1 knows that was a marketing strategy to keep siri as a 4s only feature! No mopre apple products for me im tired of being mistaken by apple wtith these upgraded devices like 3gs and 4s! Apple just thinks about money year after year they fool us with small changes on hardware claiming that is a new device! Am i gonna buy an iphone 5? “maybe” an iphone 3gs or 4s? Fuck you i aint that stupid!

  • Everyone knows why apple won’t let other idevice Have Siri.. Because there weak-ass siri sever can’t handle it!!! Think about it, if everyone used Siri then the whole Siri server would overload and blow up.. And there goes apple headquarter. Apples too cheap to upgrade the Siri sever.

    • Lewis Herd

      Blow up? This isn’t a movie, kid.