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Apple wins UK ad standards dispute over Siri functionality

updated 10:40 am EST, Fri March 2, 2012

Complaint accused Apple of misleading public

The UK Advertising Standards Agency has ruled in defense of Apple in the case of a complaint brought by an iPhone owner. The person specifically complained about an online Vodafone ad for the iPhone 4S, originally posted in October of last year. Even though the ad was devised by Vodafone, the carrier directed the ASA to Apple as the source of the offending text. "Simply ask Siri to help you send messages, set reminders or search for information, the ad read. "It can even use information from your iPhone -- such as your location, contacts and contact relationships -- to provide intelligent, personal assistance."

Apple was accused of being misleading, allegedly failing to point out that location functions worked only in the US. The ASA's ruling concludes, though, that while Siri is unable to provide directions, traffic updates, or suggestions for local businesses in the UK, it does use location data to provide weather forecasts. The agency adds that the notion that Siri would guide people to local businesses wasn't implicit in the ad, and something the "average consumer" would not expect.

"We considered that some consumers may have had prior knowledge of what Siri was reportedly able to do in the US and, with this knowledge, might read into the ad that Siri users in the UK would benefit from similar maps-based functionality," the ASA states. "However we did not consider that these consumers represented the average consumer in the UK and, because the ad in itself had not explicitly or implicitly made such claims, we concluded that the ad was not misleading."

The UK version of Siri may soon gain missing features. An Apple iPad announcement is due on March 7th; in tandem with revealing the iPad 3, the company is expected to bring Siri to the iPad, which will require an iOS update. At the same time, the company could use the opportunity to expand Siri's international feature set.

By Electronista Staff
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  1. climacs

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: Sep 2001


    "in defense of Apple"?

    wouldn't that be better phrased as, "in favor of Apple"? Just my 2 shillings.

  1. AlenShapiro

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2000


    just sayin...

    You're talking non-cents

  1. elroth

    Junior Member

    Joined: Jul 2006



    That's why he makes the big bucks.

  1. SwissMac

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2006


    Typical toothless UK regulator

    How is it that UK regulators always side with the companies they are supposed to regulate? This decision seems to be saying that because other phones which make up the majority of the marketplace in the UK do NOT have Siri, the fact that Siri doesn't work fully on Apple iPhones in the UK is OK because it doesn't work on the other phones either.

    As a revolutionary feature, of course it doesn't! This regulator is mad. And Apple really should sort these sorts of thing out - practically no Apple product has full features except in the US. Well, that may be a slight exaggeration, but so many launches raise so many expectations for non-US users yet the actual products seldom do all that would be possible if Apple cared a little more about what happened in the rest of the world as much as they care about what happens in the US.

    Apple have been like this since I bought my first Mac seven years ago though, so I'm not holding my breath for any changes soon.

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