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Apple slapped with second Siri senility lawsuit

False advertising claim against bungled 'breakthrough'

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Apple has been slapped with a second class-action lawsuit alleging that its ads for the iPhone 4S's Siri voice-activated search feature constitute false advertising.

"Through its nationwide multimedia marketing campaign, Apple disseminates false and deceptive representations regarding the functionality of the Siri Feature," reads the complaint, filed in the US District Court in Los Angeles.

"Defendant's misrepresentations regarding the Siri Feature are misleading, false, reasonably likely to deceive and have deceived Plaintiff and members of the putative Class," the complaint contends.

That language is substantively similar to that in another Siri-targeted lawsuit filed earlier this month by New York resident Frank Fazio, which noted, "Defendant's advertisements regarding the Siri feature are fundamentally and designedly false and misleading."

The plaintiff in the new complaint, California resident David Jones, is represented by David Bower, managing partner of the Los Angeles office of the civil-litigation law firm Faruqi & Faruqi LLP. Bower provided The Reg with a copy of the complaint, but declined to comment.

As with the Fazio complaint, this latest action cites numerous Apple ads for the iPhone 4S that feature Siri, including one that claims, "Just talk the way you talk. Siri understands what you say and knows what you mean."

The complaint also quotes Apple's iOS honcho Scott Forstall's Siri tribute in an iPhone 4S promo video. "[Siri is] like this amazing assistant that listens to you, understands you, can answer your questions and can even accomplish tasks for you," Forstall says, "A lot of devices can recognize the words you say, but the ability to understand what you mean and act on it, that's the breakthrough with Siri."

Jones' complaint disagrees. "Soon after purchasing his iPhone 4S, Plaintiff discovered that the Siri Function did not work as advertised," it reads. "For example, Plaintiff would ask Siri for directions to a certain location, or to pinpoint a business, and Siri either would not understand what Plaintiff asked, or, after a long wait, provided the wrong answer."

Apple also doesn't make it clear that Siri is in beta, the complaint alleges. "Consumers must follow a series of links on Apple's website, including a footnote at the bottom of a page, in order to discover that the Siri Function is not a finished product and rather is in 'beta' development status," it says.

As The Reg noted in our coverage of the earlier lawsuit, others have complained that Siri is not only crap, but getting crappier. Even Apple cofounder Steve Wozniak is distressed with Siri's encroaching senility. "I used to ask, 'What are the prime numbers greater than 87?' and it would answer," Woz told The Daily Beast. "Now instead of getting prime numbers, I get listings for prime rib, or prime real estate." ®

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