This whole iPhone thing is very confusing. How will Cisco Systems and Apple reconcile the brand? This was a question that was also on the minds of those who were in attendance at the Cisco Q&A for press at 11:30, right after the John Chambers keynote at CES.
Cisco’s Chief Development Officer Charles Giancarlo opened the Q&A by saying, “Many of you will likely have questions about an announcement that was made approximately 10 a.m., the Apple iPhone. As you know Cisco owns the iPhone name and it has been in use since 1996.” (Katie was in attendance and Giancarlo told her that the brand name came to Cisco via acquisition of Infogear in 2000.)
He went on to add, “I will read this prepared statement and we will not be answering any more questions on this subject.”
“Given Apple’s numerous requests for permission to use Cisco’s trademark over the past several years and our extensive discussions with them recently, it is our belief that with its announcement today, Apple intends to agree to the final document and public statement that was distributed to them last night and that addressed a few remaining items. We expect to receive a signed document today.”
That’s the kind of press statement you could have expected from the old Soviet Politburo. Did Cisco license the name to Apple? A simple yes or no would have worked. If yes, then why did they introduce the Linksys product line in first place? Publicity ploy? Or did they offer Apple a deal that the Count of Cupertino didn’t much care for? Or is this a John Gotti kinda move via press statement? More questions than answers! We are waiting for Apple to call us back.