Even so, some think Apple stumbled in not including a
Spanish-language Siri when it launched in October.
"I have several friends who purchased iPhones for family members
and then returned them because Siri doesn't speak Spanish," said
one Hispanic media exec. "At first they thought the phone was
broken. Then they said, 'Siri es una estupida.' "
And though Siri has starred in Apple's ads for
iPhones in the U.S., she can't be part of its sell in China because
she also doesn't speak Mandarin -- the No. 1 language by volume of
That doesn't seem to be hurting iPhone's popularity there,
though. Apple grossed more than $10 billion in Asia-Pacific in the first quarter,
second only to the Americas $13 billion. Apple earned $8.8 billion
in Europe in the first quarter.
Apple did not respond to a request for comment.
In addition to English, Siri speaks German, Japanese, French and
even celebrity. ("Siri,
remind me to put the gazpacho on ice.") Apple has said that
additional languages, including Chinese, Korean, Italian and
Spanish, are on the way this year.
"Apple has a roadmap and has to get all the bugs out," said
Steven Wolfe Pereira, exec VP at MediaVest and managing director of
its multicultural unit, MV42.
Apple has long used software like Siri to make its devices more
appealing. For example, iTunes drove rabid demand for iPods.
Similarly, iTunes was available in the U.S. first, then Europe and
then elsewhere worldwide.