IPhone 4S users reported connection problems with the device’s voice recognition software Siri, pointing to a possible bump in the road for Apple just three days after the device’s launch.
Several users said on Twitter and the Apple support site they received error messages when connecting to Siri, an exclusive feature rolled out with the Cupertino, Calif.-based company’s latest iPhone release.
Siri’s patented artificial intelligence voice search technology lets people tell their phones to do a variety of functions, like check the weather, search for area restaurants, and take dictation for text messages.
Siri may set the iPhone 4S apart from rivals and potentially help Apple gain ground against leading Android devices. Google is reportedly developing more sophisticated voice recognition to replace the basic technology already included in some Android phones.
Other device makers are scrambling to catch up while Siri sets the pace for cutting-edge voice recognition. At this critical time, Apple cannot afford to be slowed down by a crop of connection problems. There’s no indication yet that Siri connection snafus will continue, but if they do, it may be a major stumbling block for the company.
Apple already made a poor impression on many last week when its iOS 5 and iCloud service launch gave many users problems with downloading and upgrading to the new service. The persistence of Siri problems may erode the company’s reputation and lead some to question the consequences of the overwhelming popularity of its devices.
Exactly how many iPhone 4S customers were affected by Siri connection issues is unclear, but the string of complaints resulted in a 10-page thread on Apple’s support forum.
Reviews of Siri have been otherwise generally positive, with many commenting on the software’s personality, intelligence, sense of humor and general “sass,” which lend Apple’s latest iPhone a personal touch. Siri’s likeability may have led many users to attempt connecting to the service right out of the box.
Four million iPhones flew off the shelves last weekend, and a large volume of people attempting to use Siri simultaneously simply overloaded the network and Apple’s servers.
So far, Apple has remained silent on this issue, and it just may go away on its own once the initial Siri fervor calms down. But all eyes will likely remain on Apple to see if this week’s glitches with newly launched devices and services are harbingers of a more serious problem.