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December 18, 2006

iPhone: Linksys VoIP, Not Apple Cell

By Greg Galitzine, Group Editorial Director

Cisco’s Linksys group has announced the most-awaited product of the year. Sort of. Linksys (News - Alert) today unveiled its iPhone family of VoIP solutions, which comprises seven solutions:

  • iPhone Cordless Internet Telephony Kit — CIT200
  • iPhone Dual-Mode Internet Telephony Kit — CIT300
  • iPhone Dual-Mode Cordless Phone for Yahoo! Messenger with Voice — CIT310
  • iPhone Dual-Mode Internet Telephony Kit for Skype (News - Alert) — CIT400
  • iPhone Wireless-G IP Phone — WIP300
  • iPhone Wireless-G IP Phone with Web Browser — WIP330
  • iPhone Wireless-G Phone for Skype — WIP320
Response as expected has been underwhelming, which is a shame. Rather than focus on the innovation or the practicality of this newly launched product line, the press — and subsequently the masses — will simply focus on what the iPhone isn’t, namely the long-awaited, much ballyhooed marketing blockbuster from Steve Jobs (News - Alert) and Co.
And if as the reports are true that Cisco has had this name copyrighted since the late 90’s, why did they not release something with this name sooner? Engadget for one surmises that Cisco may have waited to release products with this name because they were working to sell the name to Apple.
Slashgear reports that Gizmodo (who made the claim last Friday that iPhone would be released Monday — but it wouldn’t be what we all thought…) is receiving a barrage of strongly worded sentiment from sensitive Apple enthusiasts who “don’t take too kindly to having their emotions played with.”
I’m sure this isn’t exactly the kind of response the marketing folks at Cisco/Linksys had in mind, but then again who knows? It’s long been said that there’s no such thing as bad press, and it will take some time for the consumer masses to catch on to what’s happened to their dream of the iPhone. By that time, in their search for any hint of what Apple might be coming out with, they will have clicked on Linksys’ iPhone news a billion times… Maybe they had an inkling after all?

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