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Apple launches Siri in Arabic
Posted Date 2015/12/10 02:57

Dubai: Apple launched Siri, the virtual personal assistant, in Arabic with its iOS 9.2 update on Wednesday.


It is available now to all Arabic speakers, but has been tailored to the UAE and Saudi Arabia dialects, and while it can be used on iPhones and iPads, it doesn’t work on Apple Watches. Apple’s offering follows Google’s actions — its Android devices already offer some support for Arabic speakers.


The 9.2 update also contains improvements and bug fixes including Apple Music improvements for making playlists, saving songs offline and browsing classical music; a new Top Stories section in news so you can stay up to date with the most important news of the day; and a Mail Drop option in Mail that allows for large attachments.


Paul Black, director of telecoms and media at research firm International Data Corporation (IDC), told Gulf News that it is a “great initiative”.

“What we are seeing is that localisation of services is becoming a competitive advantage in the industry. The consumerisation of IT is hitting every single level and every vendor is trying to differentiate from others,” he said.


Siri is going to get better and better every day and it is a “differentiation factor”.

Siri now supports 18 languages spoken in 28 countries.

Crowded marketplace

Black said that the marketplace is already getting crowded and people are looking at which one to be used, and this may add to Apple’s favour as people are looking for choices.


Apple is focusing more on the region, especially the UAE, and opened two new stores in Dubai and Abu Dhabi on October 29 this year. It has strong brand awareness in the region, especially among premium customers.


Nabila Popal, research manager for handsets and display solutions at IDC, said that the move to localise Siri will have a slight impact on Apple’s market share.


“The big change in Apple happened last year with its big displays; even the 6S devices did not have much of an impact. Whoever is interested in buying an Apple will be tempted with the Arabic Siri,” she said.


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