Success of next-generation iPhone could rest with Siri, survey says

Posted:
in iPhone edited June 2016
A fresh survey published ahead of Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference suggests updates to Siri and the unlocking of the digital assistant's software development kit could be a key factor in future iPhone adoption, a topic of keen interest coming off Apple's first ever handset sales contraction.




About 42 percent of iPhone owners in Fluent's pre-WWDC survey indicated they would be "somewhat more likely" to purchase the next iPhone if the Siri voice recognizing assistant is vastly improved. Apple is expected to announce Siri innovations, highlighted by the first Siri SDK release, at its developer conference next week.

Siri alone is unlikely to drum up iPhone sales above cooling expectations, however. The survey found only about 24 percent of iPhone users are "much more likely" to buy the next iPhone.

"Overall, Apple needs to recapture that wow factor, and could potentially do so with more aggressive moves into the automotive and television markets," Jordan Cohen, CMO for Fluent told AppleInsider.

Even if excitement surrounding Siri's SDK doesn't reach Amazon Echo and Alexa-level buzz, Apple can still count on about 87 percent of iPhone users staying loyal to the brand. That's the percentage of survey respondents that indicated that they plan on buying iPhones for their next upgrade, a figure approximately 13 percent higher than Android's reported retention rates.

In the face of sagging global smartphone sales and meatier options from a fleshed out mid-tier market, consumers are sticking with Apple because they simply want premium products in their pockets and purses. About 65 percent of iPhone users said they feel iPhone is worth the comparatively high cost, according to the survey.

While Fluent discovered high consumer confidence in Apple products, the firm also confirmed that there are low expectations among iPhone users for this year's release.

"Many consumers have been trained not to expect major improvements in Apple's new releases," Cohen said. "Our research indicates low expectations for the new iPhone, iPad and Mac, with nearly half of consumers expecting little to no change in the next generation of products."

Apple is expected to announce major Siri developments alongside a host of iOS, Mac, tvOS and watchOS improvements at next week's WWDC 2016. AppleInsider will be reporting live from the five-day event scheduled to kick off with a keynote on Monday, June 13 at 10 a.m. Pacific.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 45
    manfrommarsmanfrommars Posts: 104member
    We've been trained not to expect much from Siri too.  Even an incremental improvement will seem like a technological milestone.
    Rayz2016
  • Reply 2 of 45
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,309member
    "Success of next-generation iPhone could rest with Siri, survey says" No it won't.
    ericthehalfbeelollivernolamacguyTurboPGT
  • Reply 3 of 45
    First they tell us that nobody uses Siri and it's basically useless.

    Now they tell us it's so important that the success of the iPhone depends on Siri?
    jony0latifbpRayz2016nolamacguy
  • Reply 4 of 45
    jason98jason98 Posts: 766member
    So Siri as a software and a service will only be improved in a next i-device but will stay dummy for all existing ones? Give me a break!
    Rayz2016
  • Reply 5 of 45
    VisualSeedVisualSeed Posts: 217member
    I would guess the SDK/API makes Siri useful for a voice interface for third party apps. This adds very specific functionality to Siri but is not the same as the kind of machine learning / AI that we should expect Siri to have in order to make a real quantum leap.
    edited June 2016
  • Reply 6 of 45
    boltsfan17boltsfan17 Posts: 2,247member
    There is no question Siri can be improved, but to say the success of the next iPhone depends on Siri is quite ridiculous. My biggest want is a dual lens camera. Everything else is just a bonus to me. 
    lolliverRayz2016nolamacguy
  • Reply 7 of 45
    mtbnutmtbnut Posts: 197member
    I'm an iPhone 6S+ owner, running the latest OS, of course. 

    My wife's work just got her a new Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge. 

    In summary: Ok Google running on her phone makes Siri look like a big piece of shit, pure and simple. 

    With Siri, you have to confirm to its many idiosyncrasies; it's vice-versa with Ok Google. No matter what I threw at it, it conformed to me, my diction, speech patterns, ebonics, corner store owner, you name it, the thing just worked. 

    Oh yea, that: "It just works." 
    edited June 2016 singularity
  • Reply 8 of 45
    chasmchasm Posts: 2,339member
    I use Siri without issue every day, from sending quick notifications to my wife to getting directions to setting reminders. I haven't compared it to other services, but for what I use it for it works extremely well, and I've very reliant on it. As far as I'm concerned, it works great and people are idiots not to be using it more fully. I'm glad to hear other services work well too -- it will keep all the companies working hard to improve their products.
    lolliverlatifbpjakebnolamacguy
  • Reply 9 of 45
    About 65 percent of iPhone users said they feel iPhone is worth the comparatively high cost, according to the survey.
    What?!? Does that mean that 35% of consumers is unsatisfied with their purchase? 
    edited June 2016
  • Reply 10 of 45
    volcanvolcan Posts: 1,799member
    Sure they need to make Siri better, but you can help too. A lot of words sound similar so if she gets it wrong, instead of drop kicking your iPhone click on Tap to Edit and fix it so she can learn.
    edited June 2016 lolliver
  • Reply 11 of 45
    revenantrevenant Posts: 616member
    so apple will just fall on their face ... because of siri? leaving my only other option to go with android?

    neither are going to happen.
    latifbpnolamacguy
  • Reply 12 of 45
    macplusplusmacplusplus Posts: 2,027member
    Not Siri, but a telephoto camera may help... AI bandwagon is a dead end.
  • Reply 13 of 45
    volcanvolcan Posts: 1,799member
    AI bandwagon is a dead end.
    I think AI will really improve quickly for the internet of things (I hate that name, but whatever). I can see remote management with voice commands getting huge in the next few years. But I'm still not planning to let Siri drive my car any time soon.
    edited June 2016 lollivermk54321
  • Reply 14 of 45
    mk54321mk54321 Posts: 15member
    “Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.”

    But it’s not hard to see how the startup’s tech could feed into Siri. On its homepage, VocalIQ says its main advantage over current voice assistants is its ability to ask users clarifying questions when it misunderstands commands – just like a real person would.

    Furthermore, it can remember earlier responses and know how to reply to you based on context. Siri, Cortana and Google Voice can’t even remember the last question you asked.

    VocalIQ says you shouldn’t have to learn to to know how to speak to voice assistants, they should be learning how to speak to you. That sounds like a good plan to me, so hopefully Apple makes fruitful use of the technology. 
    lollivermattinoz
  • Reply 15 of 45
    theothergeofftheothergeoff Posts: 2,081member
    Bottom line is that the battle for personal computing is moving from mobility and touch input, to voice input.

    Amazon, Google, MS are all making strides.  Apple needs to at least match them.  It doesn't have to lead, it just has to maintain competitive parity.

    lest it follows Blackberry's lead ("The future of smartphones is touch screen..." RIMM: "WRONG...  better chiclets!!!!")

    Cameras, memory, speed... eventually will be commodity specs.

    Interactivity, bio aware computing, voice motion commands, especially contextual awareness (You're standing in front of a restaurant, and ask, "What are the reviews for this place", and you get Urbanspoon reviews for 'this place')and the back end services network integration are the future.


    If I were to rephrase the title it would be "The success of future generations of Apple Products may rest on Siri"
  • Reply 16 of 45
    mk54321mk54321 Posts: 15member
    According to a source familiar with VocalIQ’s product, it’s much more robust and capable than Siri’s biggest competitors like Google Now, Amazon’s Alexa, and Microsoft’s Cortana. In fact, it was so impressive that Apple bought VocalIQ before the company could finish and release its smartphone app. After the acquisition, Apple kept most of the VocalIQ team and let them work out of their Cambridge office and integrate the product into Siri.

    Before Apple bought the company, VocalIQ tested its product against Siri, Google Now, and Cortana, and the results were impressive. Users asked each AI questions using normal language, not the robotic commands you’re used to using with digital assistants. Those commands can be long and complicated, and the other assistants had trouble catching everything.

    How VocalIQ works
    After writing the program, VocalIQ hired contractors through Amazon’s Mechanical Turk to feed the program queries normal humans would ask and help it learn how people talk. These contractors would ask VocalIQ questions from a list of prompts to train the system. After about 3,000 dialogues, VocalIQ already started to get much more accurate. Once the process was finished, VocalIQ had recorded about 10,000 dialogues from Mechanical Turk contractors.

    To put that in context, Siri brings in 1 billion queries per week from users to help it get better. But VocalIQ was able to learn with just a few thousand queries and still beat Siri.

    VocalIQ may sound similar to Hound, a new digital assistant app that launched on iPhone and Android recently, but Hound only works one session at a time. VocalIQ remembers your context forever, just like a human can. That’s a massive breakthrough.

    Because VocalIQ understands context so well, it essentially eliminates the need to look at a screen for confirmation that it’s doing what you want it to do. That’s useful on the phone, but could be even better for other ambitious projects like the car or smart speaker system . 
    lolliverroundaboutnow
  • Reply 17 of 45
    bsenkabsenka Posts: 799member
    I haven't used any other voice command services to compare it to, but for me Siri is infuriating to try to use. Most of the time it either does something that has nothing whatsoever to do with what i asked, or it just says it doesn't understand what I want. 
  • Reply 18 of 45
    mk54321mk54321 Posts: 15member
    Horace Dediu, one of the world’s leading Apple analysts, suggests that opening up Siri to developers could be a major boon to Apple financially. "Apple has an audience of around 800 million people at a maximum," he says. "These are people who have been prequalified as owning Apple products, so you can assume they meet a certain threshold in economic value to third parties. They are people who will shop more and engage more. That audience is extremely valuable." 
  • Reply 19 of 45
    stanthemanstantheman Posts: 331member
    lilsmirky said:
    About 65 percent of iPhone users said they feel iPhone is worth the comparatively high cost, according to the survey.
    What?!? Does that mean that 35% of consumers is unsatisfied with their purchase? 
    No, it doesn't mean that. Your interpretation is inconsistent with the survey finding that 87% plan on replacing existing iPhones with new iPhones. The survey also found that (only) 74% of Android users plan on sticking with Android for their next phone -- suggesting that a disproportionate number of them are dissatisfied with their Android purchases.
    patchythepiratelolliverMacPro
  • Reply 20 of 45
    mac_128mac_128 Posts: 3,454member
    They probably should take into account this survey which will have a much more important impact on Apple's reliance on voice recognition as an I/O for their products.

    97% of people are too embarrassed to use Siri in public.


    http://www.digitaljournal.com/technology/people-too-embarrassed-to-talk-to-siri-in-public-study-finds/article/467147
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