Apple’s Siri digital secretary, now a feature present on the iPhone 4S/5, the new fifth-generation iPod touch and third-generation iPad, is infamous for Apple’s over-the-top advertising, availability issues and inaccuracies.
Still in beta, Siri in iOS 6 is more reliable and faster. It can now display sports scores, help you make restaurant reservations, discover showtimes, watch movie trailers in-line and more. It is also tightly integrated with Apple Maps and more broadly available.
A law student is taking issue with how Siri responds to questions like “what’s the best smartphone/tablet ever”. As you know, based on web customer review average scores, Siri briefly used to name the Lumia 900 the best smartphone ever unitl Apple recalibrated her to favor the iPhone (with responses like “the one you’re holding”), much to Nokia’s disgust…
Adam Z. Lein, writing for PocketNow, explains that law student Sean DeVries is suing Apple over what he referred to as Siri sponsored responses:
One of our law-student Pocketnow readers decided to sue Apple about this on-device false advertising simply out of principle.
Sean DeVries’ goal is to get Apple to at least change their website and end user agreement to include this information though an indicator of “sponsored responses” would be best during Siri’s answers.
Sean’s court date is scheduled for October 9th.
In a nutshell, Sean argues that Apple is intentionally obscuring more relevant information in order to promote its own products, without making it clear in Siri responses.
As amusing as Siri’s responses can be, I can sympathise with Sean in that average customers are not aware that Siri’s responses to questions like these are meant to entertain.
What do you think, does this constitute as unfair competition and subtle advertising?
Should Apple be dragged to court over Siri sponsored responses?