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Siri Assistant closed down in favour of iPhone 4S

A key part of Apple's sell for the iPhone 4S is Siri, the voice-activated personal assistant predicted in a video from 1987. As we noted at the time, it's not new - and there's bad news for existing Siri fans as the service goes iPhone 4S only.

The Siri Assistant app was originally developed by Siri, a company acquired by Apple back in April last year. Available as a stand-alone app for iOS-based devices, it includes much of the functionality shown off at the iPhone 4S launch event.

Sadly, Apple is using Siri as an up-sell tool to convince existing iPhone owners that they should splash out on a new, shiny, and outwardly identical iPhone 4S - which means that Siri Assistant has to go.

The app itself was removed from the App Store on Tuesday - the same day that the iPhone 4S was announced in the US - and now users are reporting a message warning that the app will self-destruct in the near future.

"I've been replaced," the app warns at start-up. "The new Siri is even smarter and better-looking than me, and waiting for you on the iPhone 4S. I'll be leaving for home Oct. 15th."

The upshot: in little over a week, Siri will be disabled on iOS devices across the world, with those who had grown to rely on the software forced to upgrade to an iPhone 4S in order to continue its use.

With reports of packed-out Apple Stores and unresponsive websites as Apple opens up pre-ordering for its latest smartphone, it's looking like Siri fans will need to hurry, too.