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iPhone and the Future of Cisco

Posted on Friday, May 11th 2007

Everyone wants to date the star, hoping some of that lustre would rub off. Cisco is no exception. A bit gruff, somewhat nerdy, the company has recently started trying to reinvent itself with the Human Network campaign.

Meanwhile, the Apple iPhone was announced on Jan 9.

Apple and Cisco had been negotiating for months over the iPhone trademark prior to Apple’s formal introduction of its device on Jan. 9. Cisco promptly sued Apple on Jan. 10 over the trademark. All litigation over the trademark has since been dropped, and an agreement to “date” has resulted. Implications?

Apple has made the decision to put Wi-Fi on the iPhone, with a chip from Marvell. Cisco’s iPhone family, marketed through its Linksys unit, already has Wi-Fi capability as well as VoIP features.

Under the terms of the agreement, Cisco and Apple will explore interoperability in their products. Meaning, an ensuing collaboration between Linksys and Apple, I presume?

I wish them good luck. Linksys is truly the world’s most user un-friendly consumer product in the market. If Steve Jobs ever has to configure a Linksys network, he will have a heart attack.

This will be an amusing spectacle to watch!

Good news, however, sometimes, not just lustre rubs off, but also best practices are learned by those trying to court a star. Cisco looking into a mirror would expose so may worts, freckles, gray hair, wrinkles, and dead skin, that a grand spa treatment with Apple may just be what the doctor ordered.


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Actually, the potential Cisco-Apple connection will have very little to do with Cisco’s Linksys business. Instead, watch for Cisco and Apple to potentially announce a relationship that allows Apple iPhones to work with unified networks and related software from Cisco. Details at TechIQ:

The VAR Guy Monday, May 14, 2007 at 3:16 PM PT

[…] even started investigating the telecom carrier side yet, nor much of the networking side (except a brief piece on Cisco) but nonetheless, my viewpoint is that the iPhone, not least for its immense ability to generate […]

Sramana Mitra on Strategy » Blog Archive » iPhone and the Future : Synthesis Tuesday, May 15, 2007 at 6:12 AM PT