This might just be the oddest story to cross our desk today: remember back last month when we talked about Apple’s losing battle to keep the company iFone from doing business in Mexico under that name? That’s not exactly a unique situation, and other companies around the globe have had varying degrees of success getting the rights to “iPhone” or a similar name for themselves. Now one based out of Brazil has announced its intentions to bring a series of smartphones to market bearing the name IPHONE.
IGB Eletronica SA descends from Gradiente Eletronica SA, the Brazilian firm that applied to register the name IPHONE all the way back in 2000. Considering the availability of the iMac back then, it wasn’t too big of a leap to guess that Apple might adopt the name someday, and Gradiente apparently thought it could get an end-run around the company. Sure enough, local regulators granted the application in 2008, and it’s held on to the rights ever since.
IPHONE is going to be the name of IGB’s family of smartphones, the first of which will be called the Neo One. For the moment, we don’t have any real details on these devices beyond the naming choices. Something Android-based sounds likely, but it’s far from a certainty.
However IGB releases these models, you had better believe that Apple is going to be showing up with all its legal muscle in tow; it simply can’t ignore the situation, and that could very well be part of what IGB is counting on, intending to turn some of that press into sales.
Update: Looks like this guy’s already landed. Sure enough, it runs Android, and MAN does it sound lousy. Gingerbread, anyone? (thanks, tales)