There has been some speculation that Microsoft was going to release a Zune Phone ever since Apple announced their new iPhone. Two articles today talked about Microsoft filing with the Federal Communications Commission, and that filing suggests the technology giant will likely add phone service to its line of hand-held media players, known as the Zune. The article on Marketwatch said it would be a wireless advice using OFDM.
In the filing, Microsoft describes a wireless device that utilizes OFDM, a technology that can be used to route digital TV and voice calls among devices. Versions of OFDM have been tested and deployed for mobile phone use by carriers including Sprint Nextel Corp. and closely-held Clearwire Corp.
Microsoft is part of a broad coalition of tech companies that has lobbied regulators for expanded wireless access to the Internet. Others in the coalition, which are mentioned in the filing as taking part in submitting the device for testing, include Google Inc., Hewlett-Packard Co. and Intel Corp.
The coalition has focused on encouraging the FCC to make unused wireless spectrum — originally allotted for things like digital TV — available for Internet communication. Source: Microsoft to submit wireless device for FCC testing
Talk has been it will be a VOIP, voice over IP, mobile phone, while the iPhone is a cell phone, or a smart phone. Microsoft has stated that it will be used for consumer broadband access and networking. There is some big speculation going on at Crunchgear, saying it will be using WiMax and taking the social nationwide.
The Zune Phone remedies this by allowing you to share music not via WiFi, but via WiMax, so that anyone on your friends list who is online can sample your music, and vice versa. By using the mobile WiMax network, you can be in New York and your friend can be in San Jose and you can send him that Shins song you like.
By taking the proximity limitations from an otherwise sound idea and reversing them macro-syle, Microsoft opens up the Zune experience to everyone, making the ecosystem reach from coast-to-coast. The Social, as they say, goes national. We love the idea, as it really frames the concept of portable social networking in a wide, wide light. Source: Zune Phone Confirmed! Launch Scenario! 4G WiMax Action! Rumors Off the WTF-o-Meter
Lots and lots of speculation. Bill was asked recently about a Zune phone and he said no, but they have submitted this to the FTC, and they have said it will offer broadband access and networking. Their source did say that this has been in development for awhile, but is just now being rolled into the Zune. Time will tell.
Added: Engadget has dug some more into the FTC filing and says this probably doesn’t have anything to do with the Zune Phone, though they say they know one is coming.
…but what passed through the FCC was a pre-approval application document that ran down a list of questions the FCC had for a CE “coalition” consisting of Microsoft, Dell, Google, HP, Intel, Philips, who are apparently in on some device together. (Strike one. You really think Microsoft’s gonna collaborate on the Zune phone? And with that many non-cell phone carrier companies?) From what we can tell, it’ll be wireless (duh) with DTV signal detection and transmission (i.e. cognitive radio), and BPSK, WPSK (and likely QAM) modulation and OFDM. Doesn’t mean a lot to most people, we know, but the FCC plainly asked the consortium to describe the product’s purpose… Source: Debunk: Microsoft files for Zune phone with FCC — probably not
But, they do say, they will know for sure when the filing actually hits the FTC in the near future.
Looks like Verizon passed on the iPhone from apple a couple years ago, saying Apple wanted to much, including a percentage of the monthly cell phone fees, say-so over where it could be sold, and even say-so on whether a iPhone would be repaired or replaced, kind of taking Verizon out of the loop and surely making it harder for anyone to support the phone. I can hear the phone calls now, “What do you mean I have to call Apple now, can’t you all fix it?”
Among other things, Apple wanted a percentage of the monthly cell phone fees, say over how and where iPhones could be sold and control of the relationship with iPhone customers, said Jim Gerace, a Verizon Wireless vice president. “We said no. We have nothing bad to say about the Apple iPhone. We just couldn’t reach a deal that was mutually beneficial.”
Verizon’s decision to pull the plug on talks sent Apple into the waiting arms of Cingular, which will be the exclusive U.S. carrier for the iPhone. The multifunction device is expected to ship in June and cost about $500.
The problem? While Apple and Verizon stores would have it, Wal-Mart, Best Buy and other Verizon distributors could have been left out. “That would have put our own distribution partners at a disadvantage” to Apple and Verizon stores, Gerace said.
Customer care was another hitch: If an iPhone went haywire, Apple wanted sole discretion over whether to replace or repair the phone. “They would have been stepping in between us and our customers to the point where we would have almost had to take a back seat on hardware and service support,” Gerace says. Source: Verizon rejected Apple iPhone deal
This is one of those items I will probably never have, I have never liked phones, and certainly don’t want to spend over $100 dollars on one, let alone $500, plus monthly fees that will likely be jacked up some because of Cingular having to give part of the monthly cell phone plans. I’m not an Apple hater by any means, love the iPods, looking forward to trying out a Mac pretty soon, but I’m certainly not an Apple fan boy either. The only way I will ever try one out is if it shows up in a box at my door one day, so, I probably will only see one if someone I know gets one. I don’t think I will see one for a long time.
I have been wondering why exactly Apple went ahead without an agreement with Cisco Systems and used the iPhone name for their new smart phone. They have been talking to Cisco about the name since 2001, so you know they have a plan with or without Cisco’s agreement. Could it be, they want Cisco to agree after they have already decided to use the name, as some sort of macho thing so everybody can see that Cisco gave in? I doubt it, but you never know, Steve Jobs has never cared who he took on in his past battles, so maybe he needs another notch for his belt. More likely it has to do with he fact that Cisco never REALLY tried to protect their copyright, since there are at least two other devices using the name and a couple more patent requests for it, if I am reading correctly. And, as they said in the keynote, they are the first company to use the iPhone name for an actual cell phone, Cisco’s is for a line of internet phones, and as one of the reasons for trademarks is to prevent consumer confusion, most probably would not be confused by both companies having an iPhone product, since they are certainly different.
Another tactic is what News.com called the McDefense strategy, where they have a family of trademarks, such as everything beginning with an i, iPhone, iPod, iMac, iTV, etc, etc. Which could explain some of the lawsuits they threatened recently to some iPod accessory makers.
Apple can also argue that it owns a “family” of trademarks related to the iPhone, said Craig Mende, a lawyer with trademark and copyright firm Fross Zelnick Lehrman & Zissu in New York. For example, the iPod, iTunes, iMac, iWork and iLife products all bear a strong association with Apple, so the company could argue that consumers would naturally associate the iPhone with Apple.
The most famous example of this strategy is used by McDonalds, which has successfully argued that any other company that attached “Mc” to their product, like a McPhone, is creating consumer confusion that the McPhone is a McDonald’s product. Even though you really shouldn’t eat a phone, consumers would automatically associate McDonald’s with anything using the “Mc” prefix, Mende said. Source: How Apple could fight Cisco
But, even in that case, just adding an “i” to something is not enough to give it a family grouping, and others are doing the same thing, Sony uses a technology called iLink, there is an iBoat Store, the Soundcast iCast and the Klipsch iGroove, to name a few. Plus, Cisco really hadn’t used the name until last year, when it actually changed the names of the Linksys CIT200 and the Linksys CIT310 to iPhones, and, personally, I don’t recall seeing an iPhone in the available options when we were installing a Cisco VOIP network last year. I will have to check and see if we still have the catalog, or maybe it was a PDF, that we used to look at the available phones.
There are many different ways Apple could get to use the iPhone, and, all of the buzz from his keynote will certainly help. Look at how much coverage they got from announcing the iPhone, you would think Jobs just turned water into wine, but such is the reaction to most Apple fanatics, not that it is bad, I wish I liked a company as well as people like Apple, but I don’t. If you ask the average person on the street who makes the iPhone they will say Apple more than likely, and if you ask who owns the trademark tot he iPhone? People like me and people who read my blog and other blogs will know who owns the trademark, but most people will say Apple does, more than likely, and if you tell them Cisco is making some iPhone products? They will probably think Cisco is infringing on Apple or that they are making “clone” iPhones, or knockoffs. Who will the likely winner be? Apple more than likely.
Added: Just saw this post, about how a company, Ocean Telecom Services, could possibly be a shell company who applied for a trademark, that sounds a LOT like the iPhone. The company also applied for the same patent in Australia as well.
C 009. US 021 023 026 036 038. G & S: handheld and mobile digital electronic devices for the sending and receiving of telephone calls, faxes, electronic mail, and other digital data; MP3 and other digital format audio players; handheld computers, personal digital assistants, electronic organizers, electronic notepads; magnetic data carriers; telephones, mobile phones, computer gaming machines, videophones, cameras; prerecorded computer programs for personal information management, database management software, electronic mail and messaging software, paging software, database synchronization software, computer programs for accessing, browsing and searching online databases, computer software and firmware, namely operating system programs, data synchronization programs, and application development tool programs for personal and handheld computers; electronic handheld units for the wireless receipt and/or transmission of data that enable the user to keep track of or manage personal information; software for the redirection of messages, Internet e-mail, and/or other data to one or more electronic handheld devices from a data store on or associated with a personal computer or a server; and software for the synchronization of data between a remote station or device and a fixed or remote station or device; computer hardware and software for providing integrated telephone communication with computerized global information networks
C 028. US 022 023 038 050. G & S: hand-held unit for playing electronic games Source: Apple vs. Cisco over iPhone
Here I have added links to may new iPhone videos and other iPhone news information.
Apparently, Apple doesn’t care about others trademarks, just their own. According to a blog post from Cisco, they did not want money from Apple for using the iPhone trademark, nor did they want royalties on the iPhone, or even an exchange of services, they wanted to work together, now and in the future, they hoped their products could interoperate and hoped to facilitate collaboration with Apple. But Apple said, this is the iPhone without striking a deal with the trademark holders, hence the lawsuit.
Cisco owns the iPhone trademark. We have since 2000, when we bought a company called Infogear Technology, which had developed a product that combined web access and telephone. Infogear?s registrations for the mark date to 1996, before iMacs and iPods were even glimmers in Apple’s eye. We shipped and/or supported that iPhone product for years. We have been shipping new, updated iPhone products since last spring, and had a formal launch late last year. Apple knows this; they approached us about the iPhone trademark as far back as 2001, and have approached us several times over the past year.
Fundamentally we wanted an open approach. We hoped our products could interoperate in the future. In our view, the network provides the basis to make this happen?it provides the foundation of innovation that allows converged devices to deliver the services that consumers want. Our goal was to take that to the next level by facilitating collaboration with Apple. And we wanted to make sure to differentiate the brands in a way that could work for both companies and not confuse people, since our products combine both web access and voice telephony. That’s it. Openness and clarity. Source: UPDATE on Cisco’s iPhone Trademark – Commentary from Mark Chandler, Cisco’s SVP and General Counsel, on Apple’s infringement of Cisco’s iPhone trademark.
He goes on to say, Apple discussed the patents pending on their new technologies, so he knows they value intellectual property, and he asked, if someone created a product and called it the iPod but said it was different because it used a different video format, how would Apple react? I think Apple will have to give in, especially since the Cisco iPhone had been registered for the trademark in 1996, about ten years ago. How long has the iPod been around?
Cisco has released a small statement about Apple’s release of the iPhone. It doesn’t give any specifics, but it does say they expect a signed agreement anyday from Apple to the terms they gave them to be able to use the iPhone name.
Given Apple’s numerous requests for permission to use Cisco’s iPhone trademark over the past several years and our extensive discussions with them recently, it is our belief that with their announcement today, Apple intends to agree to the final document and public statement that were distributed to them last night and that addressed a few remaining items. We expect to receive a signed agreement today. Source: Cisco
Wonder how much it is going to cost Apple?
Steve Jobs had his keynote from Macworld 2007 this morning, and he announced that they would be releasing the iPhone, a combo video iPod and smartphone, I’m not sure if they came to some agreement with Cisco about the name or not. It looks really great, they invented a new user interface called Multi Touch, which allows finger touch control dialing and typing, without the small keyboard of the smart phones. It runs on OS X, and they are running the Safari web browser, it has a 3.5-inch screen, with the highest resolution screen they’ve ever shipped, 160ppi, 2 megapixel camera, and it only has one button, the Home button.
We’ve been pushing the state of the art in every facet of this design. We’ve got the multi-touch screen, miniaturization, OS X in a mobile device, precision enclosures, three advanced sensors, desktop class applications, and the widescreen video iPod. We filed for over 200 patents for all the inventions in iPhone and we intend to protect them.”
“When’s it going to be available? We’re shipping them in June — we’re announcing it today because we have to go get FCC approval… we thought it’d be better to introduce this today rather than let the FCC introduce this.
Europe in the 4th quarter of this year, Asia in 2008. “We’ve chosen Cingular.” Source: Engadget
It looks really cool, visual voicemail, that looks like email, you only have to listen to the ones you want, contacts, you scroll through the music with your finger, but it is $599. I will have to see one and hold one first I think, it sounds like it could be worth it, as you are actually combining your iPod and smart phone, but if you already have one or both, sigh. I’ll probably end up with one anyway.
Oh, and they dropped the Computer from their name, so now they are Apple Inc.
More pics after the break.