Cisco / Linksys iPhone putts along.

Today at work we had a Santa visit thing, and a dad whips out an iPhone to take a picture of his daughter. It got me thinking: “What ever happened to that OTHER iPhone?”

Turns out it’s still being sold by Linksys, who got bought out by Cisco – and for a pretty decent price (it’s even on sale at Amazon.com).

What is that other iPhone? Back when Apple was announcing their iPhone, Cisco said they had owned the rights to the name since 1996, and were planning on releasing their Skype-based model back in January. Then they sued Apple for trademark infringement, and the two agreed they could both use the iPhone name as long as they didn’t step on each other’s lawn (but I’m sure some of Steve Jobs’s excellent negotiation skills have something to do with it).

Cisco’s iPhone sounds like a pretty cool deal: hook up with Skype over wifi without needing to hook up to a computer. It’s not as fancy as the Apple iPhone – no music or touchscreen or PDA-like options – but it was never meant to be a direct competitor.

I searched around Amazon to see what actual buyers were saying about it, and it was a mixed bag. Some complained about dropping wifi connections and missing calls, especially with Vista, while other glowed about the “other” iPhone:

We have a lot of family all over the world, and this phone frees us up completely from our computer. With WiFi, we can get all our Skype calls anywhere in our home at any time. The only drawback is the battery life, which lets the phone last only 2 days max between charges. Otherwise, we operate it virtually the same as any cell phone…Without a doubt, the Skype phone has allowed us to keep in touch with people all over the world for virtually free. All our calls are free, and the sound quality is excellent.

So there you have it. Linksys/Cisco keeps cranking them out, and Skype users keep calling grandma in Poland.

And guess what? There’s yet a third iPhone out – this one by e-blue. Only it’s spelled “i-Phone.” See that dash? That stands for originality.

4 comments.

  1. [...] thinking the same thing. Great minds – and web sites – think alike.My post on the other iPhone.Wired.com’s post on the other iPhone.The difference is Wired has access [...]

  2. [...] My post on the other iPhone. [...]

  3. I can’t believe the mark was registered in 1996
    http://www.spymac.com/details/?2315603

  4. [...] What began as the iMac turned into iMovie, iTunes, iPod, and eventually products ranging from that other iPhone to the iTrip and [...]

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