Is Apple's Siri digital assistant on the iPhone 4S everything it's advertised to be? Not according to a New York man who is suing the iPhone-maker for what he alleges are intentionally misleading Apple ads promoting Siri's capabilities.
Frank Fazio filed a class-action suit on March 6 with the U.S. District Court in San Jose, Calif., claiming that in its marketing efforts, Apple is primarily differentiating the iPhone 4S from earlier iPhone models with the addition of its new voice-activated digital assistant. The problem, the suit alleges, is that Siri doesn't come close to performing the functions as well or as consistently as Apple advertises it doing.
The suit alleges:
"Through an extensive and comprehensive nationwide marketing campaign, Defendant has conveyed the misleading and deceptive message that the iPhone 4S's Siri feature, a so-called voice-activated assistant, performs useful functions and otherwise works as advertised.
"For example, in many of Apple's television advertisements, individuals are shown using Siri to make appointments, find restaurants, and even learn the guitar chords to classic rock songs or how to tie a tie. In the commercials, all of these tasks are done with ease with the assistance of the iPhone 4S's Siri feature, a represented functionality contrary to the actual operating results and performance of Siri."
Fazio, who is represented by Robbins Geller, lists several Apple ads and online marketing materials that he alleges his own experience using Siri has shown him to contain false portrayals of the tecnology's functionality.
"Promptly after the purchase of his iPhone 4S, Plaintiff realized that Siri was not performing as advertised," the suit states. "For instance, when Plaintiff asked Siri 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."
Fazio alleges that Apple's ads promoting Siri on the iPhone 4S are "fundamentally and designedly false and misleading," thus "rendering the iPhone 4S merely a more expensive iPhone 4."
The suit further claims that "continuous Siri usage dramatically increases an iPhone 4S users' monthly data usage, and can easily push users over their monthly data plans," while dismissing Apple's notification that Siri is in "beta" as being "buried in Apple's website."
Fazio claims Apple's advertising violates California's Consumers Legal Remedies Act and the state's Unfair Competition Law.
Apple had not responded to a request for comment on Monday.