ViewPhone Is ViewSonic’s First U.S. Smartphone?
ViewSonic, best known for its computer monitors and, more recently, lineup of Android tablets, has filed a trademark application for the brand “ViewPhone,” although it has attempted to obfuscate its intended usage by seeking protection against nearly every type of consumer electronics device. For instance, the goods and services covered include “mobile phones,” “telephones,” “video telephones,” and “video conference device and intercommunication apparatus,” along with everything from “Pocket PC” to “plasma television” to “blank floppy disk.” ViewSonic has applied for only 139 marks since it trademarked its own name back in 1991, and a spot check seems to indicate that the company has commercially employed almost every single one of them.
While it’s possible that the ViewPhone will be some sort of office equipment for video chat, the company doesn’t currently make any landline or VoIP telephones whatsoever; it has, however, announced plans to compete in the smartphone game, stating in May of last year that it wanted to fulfill its vision of a three-inch to 300-inch product line. At the time, the company planned an initial rollout in China, followed by Europe and the Americas, although so far we’ve only seen a few handsets — including the Windows Mobile-powered V901 and Windows XP-powered VPC08 hybrid phone/MID — actually hit the Chinese market. Lately, the company seems to have been focused on pushing out Android tablets before the competition, with two ViewPads and the Tegra 2-equipped G-Tablet already on store shelves.
Therefore, we’d wager that an Android-powered smartphone from the company is incoming (mockup pictured above), and judging by its previous endeavors, we can probably anticipate a well-spec’ed device. Still, we know from experience that a lot can happen between trademark application and potential device release, so at this point the ViewSonic ViewPhone is little more than a name and some speculations.