No, Apple isn't always leading the pack. In voice recognition they have played catch-up for a long time to Google and Microsoft.
Even though Siri was a step forward in using voice recognition in a friendly way, the other companies caught on and moved ahead.
This article explains why and says it's about to change. Once Apple are up with the others in the basic technology you can be sure their track record of making software useable will mean a leap ahead for us Apple users.