When you ask Siri “What is the best smartphone ever?”, you’d expect it to spout some pro-Apple response like “the iPhone 4S, duh.” So when Apple’s personal assistant responded with “The Nokia Lumia 900”, it was actually quite funny.
Alas, the joke is over. If you ask the same question now, you’ll be met with a response like “You’re kidding, right?” or “The one you’re holding.” The Gearburn editor tried it out — Siri refused to name a phone or brand, preferring instead to mock our question, even when we varied the words slightly. The change in Siri’s tune has made Nokia quite upset — they’ve accused Apple of tampering with the results to cover up the fact that their own phone ‘preferred’ a Lumia.
Speaking to the Sydney Morning Herald, Nokia spokeswoman Tracy Postill suggested that Apple has edited Siri’s response to cover up the fact that the Lumia 900 may be the better phone. “Apple position Siri as the intelligent system that’s there to help, but clearly if they don’t like the answer, they override the software,” said Postill.
The original answer was drawn from results from answer-engine Wolfram Alpha, which bases its response on user reviews on the web. But Wolfram Alpha hasn’t changed its tune — if you enter the same search terms today, it still gives you the same response — ‘the best smartphone ever’ is the Nokia Lumia 900. So why has Siri changed its mind?
There hasn’t been any response from Apple so far, but it begs the question — did they really find it so embarrassing that their phone suggested some other brand might be better (gasp) that they altered Siri’s response?
Update: Another Nokia spokesperson, when contacted by the BBC, said that Postill’s comments were meant to be “light hearted” and were “taken out of context”.