Nokia accuses Apple of recalibrating Siri to name iPhone the best phone

By , May 15, 2012

You’ve probably seen reports on how Siri was telling the world that Nokia’s Lumia 900 was the best smartphone ever.

She was simply relaying a response provided by the Wolfram Alpha computational knowledge engine which averaged customer reviews across the web.

But Apple has taught Siri better so she now replies with “You’re kidding, right?” or “The one you’re holding in your hand” or somesuch response.

Needles to say, Nokia wasn’t too happy and was quick to accuse Apple of recalibrating Siri, tarnishing her credibility in the process. As if Nokia didn’t have other worries on its mind, mind you…

A Nokia spokesperson told the Sydney Morning Herald:

Apple position Siri as the intelligent system that’s there to help, but clearly if they don’t like the answer, they override the software.

This below is one of the answers Siri’s now providing to the ‘best smartphone ever’ query.

Amusing, no?

Danny Sullivan, writing for Search Engine Land, explains:

Of course, Wolfram will use its own mechanism for sorting. The bottom line is that Wolfram has ratings from Best Buy, and it’s not trying to weight those in any particular fashion such as number of reviews or number of purchases.

The Lumia rates tops on Wolfram because four people gave it 5 stars, versus 86 people who give the AT&T 16GB version of the iPhone 4S an overall rating of 4.7.

Let’s disregard for a moment the fact that Wolfram Alpha is very limited when it comes to reviews (it only taps Best By for the ‘best smartphone’ list and puts HP’s TouchPad tablet in third place).

In my opinion, Nokia was right to bring this matter to users’ attention.

For starters, where did this new answer come from? Was it Wolfram Alpha? Best Buy sales charts? Some other source? Was it a one-off tweak?

The truth is, we’re left in the dark though these things should be transparent.

If the iPhone maker reserves the rights to tamper with Siri and edit her responses to favor their own products, we the people are then entitled to question her usability and Apple’s business practices.

It would be easy to call out Nokia for picking a fight with Apple over such a seemingly unimportant response generated by a software product which hasn’t even dropped the beta flag yet.

Cynics could point out that Nokia has other worries on its mind.

The Espoo, Finland-headquartered cell phone giant is in the middle of a major transition to Microsoft’s Windows Phone platform, a risky move threatening to push the company into bankruptcy before it even grabs a chance to get back on track.

The company’s latest move: a pair of cheap phones that it hopes will help regain lost ground in emerging markets.

I wouldn’t put my money on inexpensive Nokia phones.

Android’s been effectively carpet bombing the low-end and Android backers are pretty adept at building dirt cheap phones at minimum cost.

And trimming the costs should be Nokia’s business mantra. Make no mistake, Nokia will fall apart should they continue bleeding money at this rate.

Here’s Business Insider editor-in-chief Henry Bodget explaining how Nokia is burning through a ridiculous amount of cash.

And this is Nokia’s position on the stock market today.

Short-sighted investor have by now dumped their Nokia shares.

Those in it for the long run argue that CEO Stephen Elop, a former Microsoft executive, needs time to put his Windows Phone strategy to work. From where they’re coming, a sharp decline in sales (Samsung overtook Nokia as the #1 cell phone vendor for the first time) was expected as Nokia is transitioning itself to a new software platform.

Nokia used to be huge in Europe where I’m located and still is a major player.

My biggest concern with Nokia is a very realistic prospect of them going bankrupt.

We’re all for competition here, I presume.

Nokia going down the drain would only help the Android-iOS duopoly grow and take over the entire market for cell phones, eventually stifling innovation.

Remember, Apple used to innovate the iPod like crazy until it established a choke-hold on the MP3 player market.

Case in point: when was the last time a new iPod set the tongues wagging?

By the way, try asking Siri what the best tablet ever is.

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  • Anonymous

    Short Nokia!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=53200220 Patrick Kemp

    Why would anyone expect an Apple product to say another company’s hardware is better than theirs. That is very counterproductive, because it makes perfect marketing sense. You wouldn’t expect an Android phone to say that the iPhone is superior or the Lumia is better would you? Even if there is some validity to the question.

    • http://twitter.com/x_rus_x Vitaliy Anonymous

      Yeah, but then how is it fair when Google was sued for “manipulating” search engine to have their results on the top?

      That’s like someone who asks Siri, “how to repair a broken HP computer”, and instead of directing it to a search engine, it just replies, “get an iMac”.

      • http://twitter.com/Chindavon Chindavon

        Because HP computers are crap and you should just get an iMac.

      • http://twitter.com/thehayhorse Hayden Jenkins

        not true at all.

      • http://twitter.com/x_rus_x Vitaliy Anonymous

        You must be a computer noob to not know how to work with them, or repair them, and easily move on to a more expensive computer that is less powerful.

        But at the same time, I agree that HP makes crappy quality computers.

      • Anonymous

        I agree. You cannot manipulate knowledge or facts to suit your companies needs. Whether it be Apple or Microsoft or whomever. It was Apple’s choice to go with Wolfram Alpha and therefore their methods of getting information. An example, perhaps a bit retarded, but if i was a church, I can’t hire Brittanica Encyclopedia and ask it “how was the world created?” and it replies with evolution and as a church I don’t like that answer so I tweak it to say God. Retarded I know but I’m trying to get my point across. Lol. Just my opinion. Don’t hate me :)

  • Anonymous

    When iPhone4S came out, Siri responded to this question the way it is now. It didn’t use Wolfram in the beginning when answering the “best smartphone” question.

    • http://twitter.com/Chindavon Chindavon

      Ya that’s what I thought too. From day 1 my 4s has always had that response. Weird.

      • http://twitter.com/MattGregg97 Matt ッ

        Damehhere

  • Anonymous

    Getting anything from bestbuy is crap…even reviews…only retards shop there hahaha

    • cruzcontrol1001

      Then you must be a retard. Don’t act like you’ve never shopped at best buy.

    • Andy Sutton

      Best Buy does suck. They’re overpriced, rude, and their service is horrible. But, much like AT&T, people are stuck in certain positions and need certain things that only they have. The fact that they take advantage of that certainly makes them terrible to work with, but do you see anyone else who has the same things?

      • Anonymous

        Not sure where you guys live or what best buy you shop at because that is not my experience. Not rude. Gor the most part they will price match with amazon as long as its shipped from amazon and not a 3 rd party. Also wanna buy a iPad 3 for $50 off. GI ti best buy. The had 9 iPad 3′s because of returns due to people just not being able to afford then. Best place for open box purchases.
        That being said. Do you understand the impact of Best Buy closing. I think not. It you did you would be there supporting them. There would be no replacement. Remember what happened when ConpUSA closed? BB closing would be a disaster. Be prepared tout site unseen from Amazon!!! Yes I live amazon I buy most items from there but I still want a VB to walk into.

  • Ignacio Irigoyen

    If the answer from Wolfram is based on poor information, or not a real validation, why is wrong that Apple to corrects it?

    I do not see this so much as adulteration of facts, I see it as getting the best out of a subjective topic.

    It is like asking Siri which is the most beautiful woman in the world, can all women that where not selected by Siri complain because this is untrue?

    What is “Best”? how you define it? what are you compering to say one phone is better than another phone without falling into subjective grounds?

    If I ask which is the biggest planet in our solar system and Siris answer is Apple, well then I’ll get mad

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_2JFDZXSTUH2HWGIM6NSZX66KWA Kurt

      you should have stopped at your statement, everything that follows is from poor understanding of the facts…it’s not based on “poor information” it’s based on reviews across the internet. that’s quite a good reason we can agree on nokia’s phone is the best. it gets the highest ratings.

      next time read the article to learn facts about what you are commenting on. otherwise people will need to waste their time correcting your ignorance

      • http://twitter.com/nAcolz Acolz

        The Nokia is by far not the best phone, I’d still prefer any iPhone(yes even 1st gen) over any other phone… It’s just so much better
        And yes I had many Android phones and 2 Phones with WM(6 & 7)

      • Ignacio Irigoyen

        Did you read the article? the information is extracted from best buy!!!! and it does not matter the numbers of reviews just the average of the scores, so if one person say something is 5 stars and nobody else says anything else the point is 5 stars. Are you saying this is a valid information? that what one person said is a fact? based on just on place?

        Come on!

  • Anonymous

    I never was able to get the lumia 900 response no matter how I asked Siri…the answer now is the same one I’ve always gotten

  • Anonymous

    Hey, how come you have T-Mobile HR as your carrier? What does the mean? And also, since you’re on a 4S, shouldn’t the 3G technically be running as 4G instead?

    • Anonymous

      T-Mobile HR is Croatian carrier. HR (Hrvatska) is a country code for Croatia. The 4G has just recently been announced here by two largest carriers. At this time it won’t be available to cell phone users, but rather to those who use mobile internet (usb sticks). Thankfully, HSPA+ is not labelled 4G here, but plain old 3G what it really is.

      • Anonymous

        Thanks, man. I know the 4S’s 4G isn’t technically 4G, but it would be so awesome to see T-Mobile 4G on there.

    • http://www.idownloadblog.com/author/dujkan Christian Zibreg

      I’m basd in Europe and here we have T-Mobile iPhones and they don’t get to advertise 3G HSPA+ as 4G :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001529871745 Kamil Tetido

    Then ask Siri to search the results in the web instead of asking her directly. These guys need to chillax a bit and take the teasing joke easily.

  • Anonymous

    You can still ask Siri what “the best smartphone is according to customer reviews”… It still gives Lumia 900. I’d like to see Apple try to censor that one.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_2JFDZXSTUH2HWGIM6NSZX66KWA Kurt

      i JUST asked…and it said “The one you’re holding.”

      …false advertisement eh?

    • http://twitter.com/nAcolz Acolz

      It never said that to me, 1 month ago 2 weeks ago, yesterday nor today

  • http://twitter.com/Chindavon Chindavon

    Can the guys at Nokia really look at themselves in the mirror, and say it with a straight face, that the Lumia 900 is better than the iPhone 4s? Really?

  • http://twitter.com/oneBurge Burge

    Before the Nokia Siri used to your kidding right.. Now it’s proven that the Nokia is.. shall we say not that good .. Is now been put back right.. Get over it Nokia

  • Anonymous

    Fix “Best By”.

  • Ian MacGregor

    “Best” is in the eye of the beholder. One man’s treasure is another man’s trash. Siri is simply acknowledging that users are smart enough to buy the best smartphone for them. I can’t believe Nokia is crying over this, it’s very unprofessional.

  • Alan German Scheinbaum

    Errr, they recalibrate it! I know that in the reality the Nokia 900 isn’t the best smarphone ever. But I know they recalibrated it. What’s next in the list? “Siri, which is the best music player ever, and she says you, the Zune”.

  • Anonymous

    How is this any different from commercials advertising their products as the best?

    • Anonymous

      Siri is not supposed to be an advertisement. It’s supposed to be an assistant to knowledge and information. Siri is not a marketing tool. Would you like google to give you factual information or marketing/advertisement information when you’re researching?

      • Anonymous

        So, would you create a product and allow it to state that the competitors product is better? Just saying…if Apple did recalibrate it, I understand why.