Finnish phone manufacturer Nokia recently accused Apple of tweaking Siri, the iPhone 4S’ intelligent voice recognition software, after stating and then withdrawing a programmed response that Nokia’s Lumia 900 is the best smartphone around.
It all started last week when Siri replied “Nokia Lumia 900” when asked “What is the best smartphone?” This, of course, caused some controversy.
But Siri seems to have changed its mind as asking that same question of the voice recognition tool now only results in a response of "The one you're holding," or "You're kidding, right?"
While certainly good news for Apple, Nokia is incensed and has accused Apple of fiddling with Siri’s programming in order to change its response.
Nokia spokeswoman Tracy Postill said in a statement sent to the Sydney Morning Herald: "Apple positioned Siri as the intelligent system that's there to help, but clearly if they don't like the answer, they override the software."
According to Search Engine Land’s Danny Sullivan, however, Nokia’s accusation is not fair. Siri doesn’t come up with responses on its own, relying on third-party sites and services such as Wolfram Alpha to answer questions. Wolfram Alpha, in turn, culls its product knowledge from Best Buy reviews, among other sources, according to Sullivan.
"The bottom line is that Wolfram has ratings from Best Buy, and it's not trying to weight those in any particular fashion such as number of reviews or number of purchases," Sullivan wrote in an article last week. "The Lumia rates tops on Wolfram because four people gave it five stars, versus 86 people who give the AT&T 16GB version of the iPhone 4S an overall rating of 4.7."
It is curious, however, that when naming the Nokia Lumia 900 the best phone last week, Siri’s response listed customer review averages while this week it just comes back with quips.
The Nokia Lumia 900 is Nokia’s second Windows Phone device after mostly dropping its former Symbian OS as part of its new mobile strategy. The majority of future Nokia phones should run Microsoft’s new mobile platform. The other half of Nokia’s strategy is to deliver top-end cameras in its phones.
Edited by Braden Becker