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Thursday, February 09, 2012, 10:10 pm PT (01:10 am ET)

Apple again highlights Siri with new 'Road Trip,' 'Rock God' iPhone 4S ads

Apple on Thursday posted two new video ads showcasing how the Siri virtual assistant on the iPhone 4S can help people achieve dreams like cross-country road trips and playing in a rock band.

The promotional spots went up on Apple's website and its YouTube channel on Thursday as part of a series of ads for the iPhone 4S. Though the iPhone maker has also published commercials highlighting iCloud and the upgraded camera on the device, the bulk of its advertising efforts for its latest handset have been spent on showing off what Siri can do.

The "Road Trip" commercial shows a man asking directions from the east coast of the U.S. to the west coast. He and a companion are then depicted as going on a road trip and using Siri to search for restaurants, activities, directions and other information. The commercial ends with a shot of the couple standing at the Pacific Ocean.

"Remind me to do this again," the woman tells Siri. "Okay, I'll remind you," she replies.

"Rock God" begins with a young man telling Siri that he's "gotta get a guitar." The voice recognition software then helps him learn to play the instrument, make a list of band names and send a message to his friends that his band is playing in a garage.

"Call me a Rock God," he whispers to Siri after finishing a song. She responds with: "From now on, I'll call you 'Rock God'. OK?"




Apple focused on Siri with its first television ad last October. A couple months later, Apple's holiday-themed ad featuring Santa using Siri and the iPhone 4S was voted the most effective ad of the 2011 season.

The company has some work to do in convincing some skeptical customers that Siri, which is still in beta, is more than just a gimmick. Though initial reviewers touted Siri as a worthwhile reason to upgrade from the iPhone 4, a number of pundits have voiced disappointment in it.

Apple's cause isn't helped by the fact that the feature is only available in a few languages and has limited functionality in some regions outside of the U.S. The company has promised support for additional languages later this year, with one rumor suggesting that Siri will speak Mandarin, Japanese and Russian in March.

Siri's limitations notwithstanding, Apple has enjoyed phenomenal sales of the iPhone 4S thus far. The handset was the top-selling smartphone in the U.S. last quarter, followed by its predecessors, the iPhone 4 and iPhone 3GS. Apple sold a record 37 million iPhones in the December quarter, up 128 percent year over year.