Many have been hoping that Apple(s aapl) plans to bring Siri to other existing iOS devices besides the iPhone 4S, and recent rumors suggested that could indeed be in the works. But according to a new report Wednesday, we might not be so lucky, since an email exchange with Apple staff indicates the feature isn’t being developed for older hardware.
Blogger Michael Steeber posted an email from a developer who received word through Apple’s dev bug reporting tool that Apple was not currently working on bringing Siri support to devices other the iPhone 4S, at least among the current lineup of iOS offerings. Specifically, the message is said to come directly from Apple’s “Engineering” department, and states the following:
Siri only works on iPhone 4S and we currently have no plans to support older devices.
Of course, no current plans doesn’t mean the service will never trickle down, and Apple isn’t likely to make its plans known in advance for something like this. But, it could’ve easily just ignored the request for information from the devbug posting. There was no real reason to respond, except to quash unrealistic expectations.
It’s also definitely true that Siri is a key defining feature of the 4S. It has received a lot of praise and attention in the press, and interest in that specific feature alone could be enough to provoke buyers sitting on the fence to take the plunge. Were Siri available on older iPhones, or even on existing iPads and iPod touches, at least a few of those buyers would be able to satisfy their curiosity elsewhere.
Apple saying something doesn’t make it so, but the more I think about it, the more it makes sense for Apple to keep Siri in reserve for future generation products. Siri is a competitive advantage, and one that, for now, holds more value in limited reserve than by being freely distributed to all.