Why Siri Won't be Coming to the iPhone 4

Four months after the much talked about (and to) digital assistant, featured on Apple's latest smartphone, landed on the market, many owners of the older iPhone 4 are probably still wondering what their chances of getting an official Siri update are.

The bad news is that, according to tech website CNET, the chances are close to none.

The disappointing conclusion is largely based on the revelation that the A5 dual core processor powering the fifth generation iPhone has significant audio processing technology with built-in noise-reduction, provided by a company called Audience.

The Audience technology, named "EarSmart" provides the iPhone 4S with better tools to identify the user's voice and isolates it from background sounds with features like acoustic echo cancellation and noise suppression.

Independent tests reveal that the iPhone 4 has an Audience chip with similar functions, but the latest iPhone has the "EarSmart" technology embedded in the processor itself and this greatly boosts Siri's capabilities.

Linley Gwennap, analyst for Linley Group, predicts that iPhone 4 will probably never get Siri. "This situation helps explain why Apple does not offer Siri as a software upgrade on the iPhone 4. Although the older phone includes an Audience chip, the company has since improved its technology to handle 'far-field speech,' which means holding the device at arm's length rather than directly in front of the mouth."

iPhone 4 owners who are absolutely determined to have the feature will have to turn to solutions from hackers and jailbreakers, but at their own risk.

Attempts to port Siri to the iPhone 4 and other devices have been partially successful, though it was thought the quality of the microphone was largely letting them down.