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Summary:

A couple of days ago, Brain Lam of Gizmodo played a cruel joke on the world, promising details of an iPhone, which he hinted would be launched on Monday, December 18th. We considered it for a few seconds, and decided that it was unlikely, and said […]

A couple of days ago, Brain Lam of Gizmodo played a cruel joke on the world, promising details of an iPhone, which he hinted would be launched on Monday, December 18th.

We considered it for a few seconds, and decided that it was unlikely, and said so. And then promptly shifted our attention to the more plausible, if not probable (in near term) Google Phone. With weekend over, the big question is: is there an iPhone coming today? The answer is yes and no!


No, because Apple is not introducing an iPhone – which is good news, at least from a personal perspective. It would have been tough to lose another 10 pounds on top of 40 that one needs to shed as a direct consequence of the Goobe deal. Yes, because Linksys, a division of Cisco, is introducing a new line of voice-over-IP phones, which they are cutely branding the iPhone.

Linksys is branding its entire line-up of VoIP, and it will also include some wireless phones specifically designed for Yahoo Messenger and Skype services. The callers can toggle between the free VoIP calling options available from Skype or Yahoo! and traditional landline service with the click of a button.

More interestingly, the company also launched a new handset – The iPhone Dual-Mode Internet Telephony Kit for Skype (CIT400) – that plugs directly into the ethernet jack. It acts pretty much like a regular phone, except it uses Skype. There is a whole slew of other models, which I don’t have the patience to write about.

The iPhone branding could pose some serious challenges for Apple, if and when it introduces its own phone. Cisco/Linksys are risking the ire of King Steve by brilliantly usurping the iPhone branding, and turning the rumored-hype to their advantage.

Judging by the photos furnished to us, Jobs & Co., have nothing to fear. At least from design perspective, the Linksys phones are like George Clooney, while Apple’s iPhone would certainly be Cary Grant.

In fact, Siemens recently released OpenStage line of VoIP phones are closer to Mac sensibility than the Linksys devices.

In a previous life I wrote about the influence of iPod on the design of many popular consumer products, especially mobile phones. Looks like *real* iPhone, without even making a debut is redefining the drab, dowdy and listless world of VoIP devices.

As for the iPhone, thanks for trying Linksys, but no thanks – we are going to wait for the real thing.

  1. Dubious marketing for Linksys…

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  2. They have swooped in on the brand or we can expect a major fracas to break out. it be interesting story to follow

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  3. i can see it now … “Apples sues Linksys for trademark violation”.

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  4. Cisco — not apple — announces iPhone branded VoIP phones…

    Filed under: Misc. Gadgets , Wireless , Networking We hate to break it to everybody who thought the inevitable…

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  5. Bruce Boughton Monday, December 18, 2006

    I really can’t see why anyone would want an Apple phone anyway. If it ever does come out, it will be impossible for it to live up to its hype. I’m sure all the Mac fanboys will go out and buy one immediately though. Personally I’m quite happy with my Sony Ericsson K800i which is brilliantly designed IMHO. In the meantime, I’m holding out for an Apple car–that would be brilliant (not).

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  6. The iPhone is Here and the Joke’s On Us…

    In the “that’s so funny I forgot to laugh” category, Gizmodo’s Brian Lam has played a practical joke on the blogosphere. Last week, Lam promised that the iPhone would be announced this week, sparking all kinds of chattering amon…

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  7. I have to ask…has Apple ever called this project the iPhone? Wasn’t this just made up by the blogosphere and then used by reports from WSJ and then it trickled to everyone else?

    I never thought Apple would ever name it somethin as unimaginative as iPhone.

    Am I totally off here?

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  8. Tell me why Cisco would worry about King Steve (who anointed him King by the way)? Seriously, Cisco could care less about Apple. Have you ever considered they’re competitors in the digital home space and this is a great competitive move for them?

    Om Malik: King of Apple Fanboys!

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  9. To feel tied to a particular naming convention for the sake of consistency strikes me as more of a Microsoft thing than Apple. They had no problem naming something Shuffle instead of iShuffle. I doubt this move will ruffle their feathers much. And if an Apple phone does come out, it doesn’t need to live up to the hype to be successful, it only needs to be better than what’s already out there.

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  10. Lam’s gag is the tech blog equivalent of Trey Parker and Matt Stone unleashing a Terrence and Philip episode when everyone was expecting to learn the identity of Cartman’s father. Funny now. Even funnier later.

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  11. Carlos wrote:
    “I have to ask…has Apple ever called this project the iPhone?”

    Apple hasn’t even hinted at the possibility that they are even WORKING on any phone of any kind at all. Not only is the NAME an invention of the blogosphere, the entire product is.

    It was bourn out of all the stock market analysis types claiming that Apple “must do a phone or they will die!” .

    The rumor mill kicked up into high gear. First, rumors of it’s existence.

    The press ate it up and wrote it as fact: “The iPhone is coming!!”

    Would-be competitors shot out accusations, claiming that they KNOW that Apple is working on it. ( cough Motorolla cough) – which became “proof” for the rumor mill to keep adding details to the rumor.

    “It exists, and everyone knows it!” became the official rumor.

    Now everyone is bickering over the details. What are the specs? What will it be called? When will it be released? … based on NOTHING.

    Last year it was an “Apple Plasma TV”.

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  12. …and just in time for next monday…

    [drumroll.wav]

    the iTelegraph brought to us by Western Union, just as the FCC drops fluency in morse code as a requisite for your very own ham radio license.

    At the very least, we already have ‘AppleTalk’.

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  13. “Dubious marketing for Linksys…”

    They owned the trademark for 10 years. Just the ‘e’ was ever so popular in the 90′s for everything electronic, the ‘i’ was thought back then to be the future ‘e’.

    Needless to say i laugh at the authors disapointment of the announcement. It proves how well marketed apple have been in that if its not apple we all just dont care and are outraged =p.

    Already sold to an idea before its even finished.

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  14. Isnt there already an iphone, yesterday I was at Fry’s and I saw the iphone made by this canadian company.

    http://www.comwave.net/US/iPhone/whatisiphone.htm

    also a voip carrier is called iphone:
    https://iphone.nuvio.com/html/index.php?page=voice_plans

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  15. Apple could call it an “Apple iphone”

    Is registration of my mark required?
    No. You can establish rights in a mark based on legitimate use of the mark

    US Patent and Trademark Office FAQ

    a million blogs on the internet for the last 5 years
    prove that apples use of iphone would be legitimate

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  16. Apple iPhone is finally out now!!
    http://www.apple.com/iphone/

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  17. the 1st generation iphone will not be succesful.

    1. Who exactly is the target market for it. Smartphone users, hi-end users, business users? These are people are pc/ outlook users and the iphone as is doesn’t have the features and apps to suit their needs and it’s too expensive for the average consumer.

    2. History is repeating itself. This is like the orginal macintosh in 1984, Jobs reinvents the pc develops a revolutionary new gui which is better than everything else out there, however their is a high price tag on and a lack third party software, people like it but sales are poor due to lack of a killer app until desktop publishing comes along.

    3. What is the killer app? visual voicemail? video? what is the iphone going to do that makes your daily life easier? i like the idea of coverflow but i never turn it on in itunes. i’ve had a touch screen pda, i prefer buttons. inbuilt ipod – maybe? widgets – maybe? if they implement wireless sync – maybe? the camera – maybe if they really implement it well. i think it should be atleast 3.2 megapixels myself with photo editing software inbuilt, excellent picture and video quality and full camcorder functionailty.

    4. The average consumer will be turned off the iphone’s large size (pocket comfort), low battery life, lack of tactile feedback, the fact you have choose press menu buttons to access sms and phone features, the fact that’s it’s harder to use the iphone one-handed without looking at the screen to see what your doing. constantly swiping your finger up and down to scroll through long lists is going become annoying. If you sit on it you might end up damaging the touchscreen.

    5. remember the best selling ipod is the nano not the larger ipod. the iphone won’t be a massive seller until they make a nano version or something that rivals the motorola razr in size.

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  18. [...] iPhone is out, just not THAT iPhone ” GigaOM … because Apple is not introducing an iPhone – which is good news, at least from … a new line of voice-over-IP phones, which they are cutely branding the iPhone. … [...]

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  19. [...] iPhone is out, just not THAT iPhone ” GigaOM … because Apple is not introducing an iPhone – which is good news, at least from … a new line of voice-over-IP phones, which they are cutely branding the iPhone. … [...]

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