Behold, An iPhone

Arik Hesseldahl

Well now we all know what Gizmodo Knows.

As you may have seen today, the iPhone debuted. But it’s not exactly what you’re probably expecting. It came not from Apple, but from the Linksys division of Cisco Systems.

Cisco, it turns out, in 2000, which had in 1996 trademarked the name iPhone, and which actually released a product by that name in 1997. BusinessWeek even mentioned the gadget at the time. Cisco, went on to acquire Linksys in 2003.

So what we’re talking about is applying the iPhone brand to some pretty cool-looking new products as well as to a few that have been on the market for awhile. You can see a few of them here.

Here’s the rundown:

  • The iPhone WIP320 (pictured), a Wi-Fi enabled handset with a standalone Skype client. It looks a lot like a Netgear Skype-enabled handset which I reviewed recently. It works pretty simply: Connect it to your existing Wi-Fi network and sign in with your Skype account. No computer connection required.
  • The same idea applies to this handset, the WIP 300, which is a Wi-Fi enabled SIP phone. SIP stands for “Session Initiation Protocol” and is an industry standard for voice over Internet Protocol (VOIP) calls. One major example of a SIP-friendly service is The Gizmo Project.
  • The other one that’s catching my eye is the CIT 400 which is both a Skype phone, and conventional cordless phone. You plug in both your phone line, and an Ethernet cord from your router or switch, thereby allowing you to take calls over the landline, or via Skype. Like the others, it operates independent of the computer. I hope that soon Linksys makes a SIP-compliant version of this.

    So there’s a look at the Linksys iPhone family. But what about Apple’s iPhone, or rather the Apple phone that may or may not be called the iPhone? Well it still looks like it will see the light of day during the Steve Jobs keynote at Macworld on Jan. Not sure about the name.