by CIO Staff

Cisco’s Linksys—Not Apple—Launches iPhone VoIP Devices

Dec 18, 20063 mins

Linksys, a division of networking equipment producer Cisco Systems, on Monday launched a line of iPhone voice-over-IP (VoIP) telephones amid a whirlwind of Web rumors surrounding Apple Computer’s possible release of a cell phone and music player combination device under the same name, reports.

Over the past few months, pundits and analysts have speculated on the release of an Apple iPhone, with many suggesting the device could be launched as early as January at the firm’s Macworld conference. Earlier this month, Kevin Rose, founder of the online technology news locale, claimed to have inside information on the iPhone, saying it will indeed be a combination cell phone and music player and will feature two batteries to power the phone and music player capabilities separately. Rose also called the devices “small as [expletive]” and claimed that Apple would release a 4GB version for around $250 and an 8GB version with a price tag of about $450. 

iPhone CIT300
iPhone CIT300

The devices launched by Linksys, which manufactures home-networking equipment, are not cell phones or music players; rather, they’re made specifically to function with VoIP calling services from firms like Skype, among others, according to

Cisco gained ownership of the iPhone name when it acquired Infogear in 2000, reports. Infogear registered the iPhone trademark in 1996, before showing off a device under the name at 1997’s International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, according to Cisco then went on to acquire Linksys in 2003, reports.

Apple is known for showing off its newest major products at Macworld. Though it’s unclear whether Apple will unveil an “iPhone” offering in January—it could still employ the name if it acquires Cisco’s OK—Apple watchers still suggest the firm’s chief executive officer, Steve Jobs, may show off some form of cell phone/music player combo device. Jobs also announced a new device from Apple back in September that enables users to stream video content from their computers to home television sets, dubbed ‘iTV,” and it’s possible that device’s commercial release could be Jobs’ big news.

Apple has neither confirmed nor denied the existence of an iPhone, regardless of the fact that it filed a patent application in August for a device that’s both a phone and a music player.

Cisco Product Manager Dennis Vogel said Cisco is using the iPhone name as an element of a far-reaching strategy related to the future of networked residences, and that the firm’s chief executive, John Chambers, will detail that strategy at the upcoming International Consumer Electronics Show in January, according to

The Cisco-Linksys iPhone CIT4, a cordless handset that includes a base station to plug into both a landline connection and a Web connection, enables users to place and receive both traditional landline and VoIP calls without a PC, reports. The iPhone WIP320 and iPhone WIP300 are also currently available, and the latter is a wireless handset based on the Session Initiation Protocol, according to

Related Links:

  • Apple ‘iPhone’ May Arrive Later Than Predicted

  • Apple iPhone Rumors Multiply

  • Apple ‘iTV’ Targets Couch Potatoes

  • Apple ‘iPhone’ to Hit Stores in January?

  • Apple Files for ‘iPhone’ Patent Protection

  • Apple ‘iPhone’ Talked Up by Digg Founder Rose

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