The iPhone has been announced – but from Cisco's Linksys division, not Apple.
Linksys has released a series of web-enabled handsets designed for Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) telephones today, using the iPhone trademark Cisco has owned since 2000, when it acquired Infogear. Infogear showed an iPhone Internet appliance at CES in 1997.
Mike Pocock, Linksys senior vice president and general manager, said: "The development of the iPhone family demonstrates our flexibility in selecting the right partnerships, feature sets, and product designs to exceed the demands of even our most connected customers to whom the internet is no longer a destination, but an inextricable part of their lives."
Analysts, pundits, industry watchers and Mac speculators have been debating the release of a combined Apple iPod-cum-mobile phone, with a consensus opinion developing that the new gadget would be called the 'iPhone'.
It's possible that Apple could release this much-mooted product using the name by arrangement with Cisco; it's equally possible that the release of the Cisco iPhone will force Apple to adopt a different name (if, indeed, it ever planned to sell it by that name); finally a third way still exists – the device could be nothing but rumour.
Cisco's seven-strong iPhone family offers support for Yahoo Messenger, Skype, and traditional telephone line calls. The phones also offer multimedia support. More details are available on the Linksys website.