Apple TKOs Cisco in iPhone bout, analysts say
One called Steve Jobs 'the Rasputin of the computer industry'
Computerworld - Although Apple Inc. and Cisco Systems Inc. remained mum today on the details of their deal to share the "iPhone" trademark, some analysts said Cisco got the short end of the stick.
Yesterday, the two companies announced that they would both use the iPhone name on their products. They also pledged to "explore opportunities for interoperability in the areas of security and consumer and enterprise communications," according to a joint statement issued last night.
Cisco, in a lawsuit filed in federal court last month, claimed the iPhone trademark via a 2000 acquisition of Infogear. The San Jose company has sold a line of Linksys VoIP devices under the iPhone label for over a year.
As part of the settlement, all legal action on both sides has been dismissed, but the rest of the arrangement's details remain confidential.
That didn't stop analysts familiar with Apple, Cisco and the iPhone brouhaha from speculating on who won and, more important, who lost at the negotiation table.
"The rule in Silicon Valley is that if Apple leaves the table smiling, the other guy got screwed," said Rob Enderle, an independent analyst and principal of the Enderle Group. "And Apple left the table smiling on this one."
Roger Kay, of Endpoint Technologies Associates, agreed. "It certainly looks like Cisco gave away the store."
Both Enderle and Kay said their take was based on the clear value of the iPhone name, and the vague interoperability promises made in the statement. "I'm not convinced that Cisco got what it wanted out of this," said Enderle. In the past, he added, Apple has made promises to partners that it didn't keep. "That's been a history of deals with Apple. The partner always regrets it."
Kay, on the other hand, assumed that some money must have changed hands. The direction: from Apple to Cisco. "It would be very odd if there wasn't some money exchanged, because Apple gets almost everything." Kay said the iPhone name could be worth as much as a "couple of hundred million."
Cisco declined to comment on the record beyond the official joint statement; Apple did not return a call for comment.
Neither Enderle nor Kay was surprised that a deal was struck. "Apple couldn't afford to go to court," said Enderle. Apple had argued publicly that its cell-phone-based iPhone was different enough from Cisco's VoIP iPhone to justify using the trademark. If that reasoning had won out, Apple would have opened itself up to similar justifications from rivals. "Others could have used the same argument with the iPod," Enderle said.
"Apple clearly got the better deal," Kay said. "Steve's [Jobs] ability to hypnotize people is legendary. He's like the Rasputin of the computer industry."
- 15 Non-Certified IT Skills Growing in Demand
- How 19 Tech Titans Target Healthcare
- Twitter Suffering From Growing Pains (and Facebook Comparisons)
- Agile Comes to Data Integration
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
- The Critical Role of Support in Your Enterprise Mobility Management Strategy Most business leaders underestimate the importance of tech support when they choose an EMM solution. Here's what to put on your checklist.
- Separating Work and Personal at the Platform Level: How BlackBerry Balance Works BlackBerry® Balance™ separates work from personal on the same mobile device, right at a platform level. Find out how it can work for...
- Protection for Every Enterprise: How BlackBerry Security Works Get an IT-level review of BlackBerry® Security, addressing data leakage protection, certified encryption, containerization and much more.
- Future Focus: What's Coming in Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) Find out why Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) solutions that are truly future-ready must be designed to enable Machine-to-Machine (M2M) capabilities and much more.
- Live Webcast On-demand webinar: "Mobility Mayhem: Balancing BYOD with Enterprise Security" Check out this on-demand webinar to hear Sophos senior security expert John Shier deep dive into how BYOD impacts your enterprise security strategy...
- Live Webcast Unmasking the Differences between Consumer and Enterprise File Sync & Share The consumerization of IT combined with the rapid pace of the modern mobile workplace is forcing enterprise IT teams to evaluate file sync...
- Live Webcast Workforce Mobilization for Improved Productivity A mobility research director from Aberdeen discusses reasons for extending legacy applications to mobile devices, and an integration strategist from Attachmate shows how...
- Getting Ready for BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10.2 Find out how BlackBerry® Enterprise Service 10 helps organizations address the full spectrum of EMM challenges, while balancing the needs of both the...
- Containerization Options: How to Choose the Best DLP Solution for Your Organization This webcast outlines a framework for making the right choice when it comes to containerization approaches, along with the pros and cons of... All Mobile/Wireless White Papers | Webcasts