Love it or hate it, disappointed or impressed by it – you have to admit that Apple’s iPhone 4S voice assistant Siri has worked its way into a lot of conversations. It’s one of the most cited reasons when people are asked why they want the new 4S, and Apple’s first television ad for the new phone was based around Siri.
As of right now, Siri is only available to Apple owners that have upgraded to the 4S – but could that be changing?
According to the iOS jailbreaking site Jailbreak Nation, Apple might be testing Siri on older devices. Apparently, they were told that Siri is being tested specifically on the iPhone 4, but it’s not a stretch to guess that they are at least testing it on other devices. The 3GS? Maybe the iPad?
Currently, it only runs on the iPhone 4S, but Apple has given employees access to a special software version that incorporates Siri’s features on to older devices. Hackers and developers are currently working for a port, but if Apple releases this in a software update any time soon, they may not need to.
Could we see a software update in the near future that brings Siri to other Apple devices?
Of course, iPhone 4 owners would be thrilled if Apple brought Siri to their device. For many people, Siri is the main bonus to upgrading to the 4S – so it would basically eliminate much of the need to upgrade.
Which is exactly why this rumor is a little hard to understand. By releasing Siri to other devices, Apple would basically be removing a key motivation to purchase the 4S. Without Siri, the 4S is primarily left with a speed boost and a better camera as incentives.
But Josh Lowensohn makes a good point over at CNET regarding data mining:
The data Apple collects from Siri in the form of user queries and voice sampling could be a huge asset to the company, which also operates its own advertising business called iAd, making a larger group of users statistically advantageous.
Would that offset the damage it could do to the 4S’ value? The 4S continues to sell well across the globe. Today we learned that pre-orders sold out in Hong Kong in 10 minutes and South Korean telecoms’ servers were flooded with over 200,000 pre-order requests in just one day.