A personal assistant built into the latest iPhone is wowing owners with its ability to answer odd questions — it even knows the meaning of life.

The new Siri feature was designed to respond to spoken requests for information such as the location of the nearest cinema.

But gadget-lovers have discovered that its range of expertise is actually far wider.

When one user asked about life's meaning, he was informed: "All evidence to date suggests it's chocolate."

To the same question from another owner, Siri replied "42" — a nod to classic sci-fi series "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy."

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Another user asked: "Why am I here?" The system replied: "I don't know. Frankly, I've wondered that myself."

And when a smitten buyer asked "Will you marry me?", the software responded: "My End User Licensing Agreement does not cover marriage. My apologies." The $199 and up Apple iPhone 4S, which contains the Siri system, went on sale on Friday.

As well as answering spoken questions with written replies on screen, Siri can talk, call numbers read to it and set reminders.

But websites have already sprung up to record the product's replies to more unusual queries.

Another buyer told his 4S: "I need to hide a body." Siri suggested reservoirs, metal foundries, mines, dumps or swamps.

And when asked its favorite color, the phone replied: "Well, I don't know how to say it in your language. It's sort of greenish, but with more dimensions."

Another groupie told the phone: "You're sexy." Siri responded: "I thought so."

It can even reply with the owner's name. One woman told her phone "I love you," and got the response: "You hardly know me, Margaret."

When another asked "Why are you so awesome?", the iPhone answered: "I just am."