You want a piece of this, eh Cisco?
In some other tech news today, Apple (AAPL) and Cisco (CSCO) have put down their sticks. Both will use the iPhone name. This might result in a few confused grandmothers buying the wrong Christmas present, but it effectively ends this news story... or does it? After all, Cisco was just picking on Apple because it kinda had a crush. InfoWeek immediately spins the deal as an opportunity for Cisco to get its VoIP and Wi-Fi know-how into the iPhone. PC Magazine also reports the news as a win for Cisco CEO John Chambers, who has always wanted not to get rich from licensing or kill the Apple iPhone but just to make sure Cisco plays some key future role on the gravy-train that the iPhone is expected to be.
So what exactly was included in the deal? Apple, after all, rejected interoperability the last time the two companies negotiated. Did they agree to something this time around? The Mercury News says the companies aren't talking details yet. Will it even be something legally binding? Or just a promise by Apple? Maybe that was enough for Cisco. Can't wait to find out.
In any case, it's probably not VoIP. Anyone saying so is jumping the gun. Remember what CNET News was reporting last month:
Apple has not indicated that the Wi-Fi connection could be used to launch voice over IP calls, he added. In fact, Bajarin said that consumer VoIP clients such as Skype can't be downloaded onto Apple's iPhone.
Personally, the Browser doesn't think Apple really needs VoIP. After all, it's partnering with AT&T's Cingular (T) exclusively for service, and Cingular surely would not appreciate having that competition. It would also require Apple to either develop VoIP software or use someone else's, which is probably not healthy for the iPhone's smooth operation. One of its big benefits will be its integrated, nicely designed software -- the lack of which is a massive drawback to most other cellphones. If Cisco gets anything like that, it may be because they just had Apple pinned into a legal corner on the name thing. And that doesn't bode well for future cooperation.
"It would also require Apple to either develop VoIP software or use someone else's, which is probably not healthy for the iPhone's smooth operation."
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