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Rumor: Apple privately testing backport of Siri to iPhone 4

updated 08:20 pm EDT, Sat November 5, 2011

Apple claimed internally trying Siri on old iPhone

New rumors allege that Apple is working to port Siri back to the iPhone 4. Supposedly corroborating earlier rumors, AppAdvice claimed that Apple briefly let staff get a test build of iOS 5 with Siri on the older model that was pulled once the trial was done. The dry run supposedly went "really well," one tip maintained, supporting recent hacked installs that showed the iPhone 4 and fourth-generation iPod touch capable of handling the voice command system.

None of the sources knew for sure whether Apple would make Siri available even with the testing. It's considered a selling point of the iPhone 4S, and removing it would limit the main 4S advantages to the processor and camera. iPod touch owners also might not get Siri regardless, since the much smaller microphone isn't as good as picking up commands and might hurt the experience.

While strictly speculation, it's suspected that Apple might have limited Siri to the iPhone 4S not just to steer buyers to the more lucrative models but to manage the load on its servers. Apple already encounted an hours-long Siri outage this week with its admittedly beta service, but it could be under much more strain if it included the dozens of millions of existing iPhone 4 owners.

by MacNN Staff



    Comment buried. Show
  1. MyRightEye

    Joined: Dec 1969


    So they are going to upgrade all the iPhone 4 mics

    Because that's what's needed for siri to work well.

    Comment buried. Show
  1. SwissMac

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Not a good sign

    If Apple are investigating this, it won't be to add features to existing phones already sold, but in order to discover ways to prevent it being used on older iPhones than the very latest. Sadly, that's what Apple does.

  1. benjitek

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Junk-Blogging :(

    I think those that report rumors, and sites that spread the rumors, lost credibility with the iPhone-5 non-release.

    With luck, this site and others like it will return to fact-based reporting.

  1. iphonerulez

    Joined: Dec 1969


    So many impatient idiots out

    there complaining that Apple isn't letting them use Siri on the iPhone 4 or iPads. I'm sure Apple is just trying to sort out the the Siri system in small gulps at a time. After all, Siri is a beta release. Give Apple a few more months and Siri will probably be on all iDevices that have the processing power to run it.

  1. ionlyuseosx

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Not a backport

    The iPhone 4 uses the same version of iOS 5 as the iPhone 4S. Siri was simply removed from iOS 5 for the iPhone 4. It's not adding Siri to iOS 4. That would be a backport if Siri ever even worked with IOS 4 that is. Apple has the data center bandwidth. They probably shut the Siri service down intentionally to do some recoding and tweaking to fix some issues that came up with how the communications were translating. I highly doubt it was because the servers could not handle the load. Keep in mind the bottomless piggy bank of money Apple has on hand and is putting into their server infrastructure. Over the air update download of the Siri app is all that is needed. I believe when it comes out of beta, iPhone 4 users will be brought on board.

  1. panjandrum

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Let's hope

    Let's hope this is true. From a PR standpoint alone it would be great. On the practicality side of things, this was going to be "the last straw" for me when it came to Apple products. I've simply owned too many products that Apple decided it would no longer fully support, but which turned out to function absolutely fine once people found out how to workaround Apple's artificially imposed limitations. I'm sorry but I just don't have the money to purchase upgrades when Apple decides I should; I need to be able to make that judgement on my own. Seeing Apple release officially support Siri on all the hardware that can legitimately run it would go a long way towards Apple keeping me as a customer.

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