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September 12, 2012

Surprising iPhone 5 Discovery: The One Thing Consumers May be Unimpressed with

By Allison Boccamazzo, TMCnet Web Editor

The iPhone (News - Alert) 5 drops today, and consumers and Apple adorers everywhere are chomping at the bit to see this dazzling addition to the infamous Apple family. This release definitely needs to live up to its name and expectations, yet one thing which has ultimately defined the brand is surprisingly not at the forefront of buyer’s minds; its voice recognition software – namely its widely beloved voice assistant, Siri. Apparently, according to various sources, we will likely even care about Siri after seeing where the focus has instead been placed for this year’s release.

While many technological advancements make a splash when they hit the scene, iOS voice assistant Siri made a tidal wave. What Apple (News - Alert) managed to do was essentially make voice recognition mainstream. Technology 101 teaches us that with every new development, there will always be a long string of further improvements, versions and advancements made to the original, which left people everywhere waiting for improved Siri services in the near future. 

"Apple's introduction of Siri, combined with their marketing, has really had an impact in creating consumer expectations," said industry analyst Dan Miller (News - Alert) of Opus Research. The world of voice-controlled technology had been ripped wide open, and now there’s no turning back…right?

Well, according to a ComputerWorld blog, maybe not so much. “The solution grabbed attention when it was announced, but it’s fair to say its initial promise has been limited by problems understanding some accents, phrases or figures or speech along with intermittent service outages,” they say. “Apple’s big problem here is that the initial enthusiasm for Siri has worn off.”

So while the voice recognition technology within the new release is sure to be strongly implemented to form “the backbone of Siri” as ComputerWorld eloquently put it, there has still been major problems. Let’s not forget the recent Siri server failure, which left individuals contemplating if Siri even worked that well when she was properly working.

“I’m not anticipating Siri will be stage central…it will play a part but the focus will be on other features,” says ComputerWorld. What’s the reason behind such a big claim? They believe – along with probably many others – that the “promise of the voice assistant remains to be met.”

Could it be that what once captivated iPhone users everywhere has now been left out to dry? Or could it possibly just be that the technology is so complex and important that it needs to guarantee seamless, uninterrupted use before consumers can even acquire it?

Siri was only first debuted last October, which leaves a lot of room for intensification and improvement. Look at how far the iPhone itself has come since its initial 2007 release as depicted by The Hindu Business Line:

What we do know, however, is that the iOS6 will in fact boast new Siri features to include support for Spanish, Italian, Korean, Mandarin and Cantonese, as well as will access databases to deliver sports scores and secure restaurant reservations, as reinstated by ComputerWorld.

On the other side of the fence, major analysts in the industry combat self-described “Apple-holic” Jonny Evans, who posted the ComputerWorld blog. Miller (News - Alert) also explains how “Siri was a bit of a game-changer when it came out on the 4S…it was definitely a quantitative facto in 4S sales, and so it’s expected to be a big part of the iPhone 5.”

Similarly, The Hindu Business Time reports big-time telecom blogger, Rudradeep Biswas, as saying that “the most important feature [for the new release] would be an updated Siri (voice search),” along with other things such as a more powerful processor, access memory and camera improvements.

Despite the predictions, expectations and improvements, one thing remains undeniably true, and that is that only time will tell how Siri will fare with the new iPhone 5 release. What do you think?

Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO West 2012, taking place Oct. 2-5, in Austin, TX. Stay in touch with everything happening at ITEXPO (News - Alert). Follow us on Twitter.

Edited by Brooke Neuman

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