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The Wall Street Journal reports that Apple is the target of a new lawsuit from an iPhone 4S customer who claims that the company engaged in “misleading and deceptive” advertising in promoting its Siri personal assistant feature for the device. The plaintiff, Frank Fazio, alleges that Apple’s depictions of Siri in its advertising suggest an ease of use that he claims is not present in real-world usage.
Fazio claims Siri is far less responsive in real life. When he asked 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.”
The class action lawsuit seeks unspecified damages from Apple and a court order preventing Apple from engaging in any further misleading advertising related to the feature.
Apple has not responded publicly to the lawsuit, but the company has repeatedly noted on its website and elsewhere that Siri is a beta feature. While Apple rarely releases beta products to the public, it did so in the case of Siri in order to help build the library of voice input it needs to improve Siri’s voice recognition capabilities. The beta label has also not stopped Apple from extensively promoting Siri, making it a key part of its iPhone 4S marketing from the iPhone 4S launch event to its website to its television advertising.
Earlier this month, Apple and Vodafone won a case in the United Kingdom in which a member of the public complained that Apple’s iPhone 4S advertising in the country was misleading for its depictions of location-based services that are only available in the United States at the present time. The Advertising Standards Authority ruled in Apple’s favor when it determined that Apple’s UK ads did not depict Siri integration with the Maps application (a U.S.-only feature for the time being) and that Siri’s ability to access a user’s local weather in the UK was sufficient to satisfy Apple’s claims that it can use location information to provide personal assistance.
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The outside of the box said "Windows base machine or better", so I bought a Mac.