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Apple and Cisco return to the bargaining table

post #1 of 36
Thread Starter 
Apple and Cisco said Thursday negotiations over a controversial trademark for the term "iPhone" had resumed, and that Apple has been granted more time to respond to Cisco's formal complaint.

"Apple and Cisco have agreed to extend the time for Apple to respond to the lawsuit to allow for discussions between the companies with the aim of reaching agreement on trademark rights and interoperability," read a joint statement.

Tension between the two firms flared last month after Apple announced that it had dubbed its upcoming cell phone "iPhone," for which Cisco claims to own the trademark. Following an initial breakdown in licensing discussions, Cisco filed a trademark infringement complaint against the iPod maker in federal court.

"Cisco entered into negotiations with Apple in good faith after Apple repeatedly asked permission to use Cisco's iPhone name," claimed Cisco senior VP and general counsel Mark Chandler.

For its part, Apple has flatly denied Cisco's claims, characterizing its lawsuit as both "silly" and "tenuous at best."

"We're the first company to ever use the iPhone name for a cellphone," Apple said in an ensuing statement. "If Cisco wants to challenge us on it, we're very confident we'll prevail."

Cisco claims that it has owned the iPhone trademark in the U.S. since 2000. Meanwhile, Apple has also filed for a trademark on the term with a broad range of international trademark offices, including a 2002 filing in the UK and a 2006 filing in New Zealand.
post #2 of 36
I'm sorry, but claiming there's a huge difference between an IP phone and cell phone is like saying there's a huge difference between a "crossover vehicle" and a small SUV. Both do VERY similar things, though the packaging is slightly different.

If the iPhones both make phone calls then they're the same thing. Two similar products with the same name sucks. Apple's trying to be a big weasel about this.
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post #3 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by CosmoNut View Post

I'm sorry, but claiming there's a huge difference between an IP phone and cell phone is like saying there's a huge difference between a "crossover vehicle" and a small SUV. Both do VERY similar things, though the packaging is slightly different.

If the iPhones both make phone calls then they're the same thing. Two similar products with the same name sucks. Apple's trying to be a big weasel about this.

Is the Apple bashing necessary? I bet you get more counters than the article. But then, perhaps that is what you are looking for.
post #4 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by CosmoNut View Post

I'm sorry, but claiming there's a huge difference between an IP phone and cell phone is like saying there's a huge difference between a "crossover vehicle" and a small SUV. Both do VERY similar things, though the packaging is slightly different.

If the iPhones both make phone calls then they're the same thing. Two similar products with the same name sucks. Apple's trying to be a big weasel about this.

It's a gray area alright. But it seems a little more black on Apple's side than Cisco.

I would compare it more to a Monster Truck vs. a Euro-Import Sports Car. Here is why:
Both have a similar purpose, namely, to drive. Both phones are used to talk with. Both have certain similar features (both meaning all four, and yes, it works). There are differences though, the Monster Truck is used in dirt and mud, the Euro-Import you don't take out in the dirt and mud! Well, VoIP phones you sure don't use on cell bands! and vica versa.
post #5 of 36
Quote:
I'm sorry, but claiming there's a huge difference between an IP phone and cell phone is like saying there's a huge difference between a "crossover vehicle" and a small SUV. Both do VERY similar things, though the packaging is slightly different.

If the iPhones both make phone calls then they're the same thing. Two similar products with the same name sucks. Apple's trying to be a big weasel about this.

I'm going to duck as soon as I say it, but I think he's right. It appears that Cisco had the trademark first and the devices do perform similar functions. I understand why Apple wants the name and hope they get it, but it appears they need to deal with Cisco just as Apple would expect others to do when infringing on their trademarks. (Actually Apple would just shut them down if possible).

Quote:
Is the Apple bashing necessary? I bet you get more counters than the article. But then, perhaps that is what you are looking for.

I didn't think he was bashing. To think that a great company is still sometimes wrong isn't bashing them. I do realize that most people wear blinders around here when Apple does something less than perfect. Someone at Apple either dropped the ball or they are playing dumb in a legal game. It's called business, which Apple is.
post #6 of 36
Just call the damn thing Apple Phone and get on with it.
post #7 of 36
I've got two cans and a string!!! Think I'll call it myPhone or maybe miPhone

Come on CISCO - sue me. 8)

Similar devices my rear. But maybe that's what they are talking out of
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post #8 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by CosmoNut View Post

I'm sorry, but claiming there's a huge difference between an IP phone and cell phone is like saying there's a huge difference between a "crossover vehicle" and a small SUV. Both do VERY similar things, though the packaging is slightly different.

If the iPhones both make phone calls then they're the same thing. Two similar products with the same name sucks. Apple's trying to be a big weasel about this.

The ONLY thing they do the same is make Phone calls, the Cisco iPhone does not work in your car or anywhere away from your LAN, It also does not do any of the other things Apple's product does. Granted I do feel that it is right to not defend your trademark, however, Cisco bought the name years ago and chose not to do anything with it for a period of time, but I feel more strongly that if you name a product "i" anything and are not Apple you are just a shmuck, for trying to weasel in on the fame that has been brought to that. What is worse is Cisco has tried to make their iPhone look like it is actually an Apple product. I am going to start trademarking 'i" stuff knowing that at this point Apple will pay me off to use it. I might as well send ransom demands when I do it. It is like the guy that started buying up domain names of the big companies knowing they would have to pay him big bucks to buy the domain name.
post #9 of 36
iLike it, roehlstation.

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Your = the possessive of you, as in, "Your name is Tom, right?" or "What is your name?"

 

You're = a contraction of YOU + ARE as in, "You are right" --> "You're right."

 

 

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post #10 of 36
Probably could have done without the transportation analogies. I think it's best to avoid them unless there is no reasonable equivalent.

To me, the main difference between an IP phone and cellular phone functionality is the marketing and what kind of network it runs on, and the differences between those types of networks aren't that significant, IMO. I'm not arguing they are the same kind of phone.

I think Apple's case may be better though given the analyses on how haphazardly the trademark was treated and how long it took to actually use it, i.e. too late.
post #11 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by roehlstation View Post

The ONLY thing they do the same is make Phone calls, the Cisco iPhone does not work in your car or anywhere away from your LAN, It also does not do any of the other things Apple's product does. Granted I do feel that it is right to not defend your trademark, however, Cisco bought the name years ago and chose not to do anything with it for a period of time, but I feel more strongly that if you name a product "i" anything and are not Apple you are just a shmuck, for trying to weasel in on the fame that has been brought to that. What is worse is Cisco has tried to make their iPhone look like it is actually an Apple product. I am going to start trademarking 'i" stuff knowing that at this point Apple will pay me off to use it. I might as well send ransom demands when I do it. It is like the guy that started buying up domain names of the big companies knowing they would have to pay him big bucks to buy the domain name.

Sorry, but that's a little disengenious. Within a year, do you really expect the iPhone to not have iChat (and therefore VOIP) functionality?

Cisco's objective would seem to be to ensure that Apple's iPhone works seamlessly with their VOIP line of products. The name isn't worth that much if apple goes with the Phone, and the name isn't really worth that much in the first place...
post #12 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by roehlstation View Post

What is worse is Cisco has tried to make their iPhone look like it is actually an Apple product.

Can you show me a picture that makes the Linksys iPhone look like an Apple product? The packaging that I saw clearly had the colors and overall product design of a Linksys product. The phones themselves don't look at all Apple-like, I don't see any Apple design cues anywhere, be it a color / material combinations, key shapes, the shape of the corners and edges or anything like that.
post #13 of 36
Apple can just keep feeding the iPhone blitz in the news and then finally back off and officially brand it ApplePhone, but everyone else in the world will continue to call it iPhone.

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post #14 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

Apple can just keep feeding the iPhone blitz in the news and then finally back off and officially brand it ApplePhone, but everyone else in the world will continue to call it iPhone.

Yep. That's exactly why Cisco is back at the table, they blinked first.

Doesn't matter who might win in court because it will never get to trial. Either Cisco rolls over on the sticking point and Apple gets to use the trademark, or Apple switches to ApplePhone when it ships and laughs as Cisco gets "Kleenexed" over iPhone. In the latter, Cisco looses everything except the case and the case itself is worthless.
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post #15 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

Can you show me a picture that makes the Linksys iPhone look like an Apple product? The packaging that I saw clearly had the colors and overall product design of a Linksys product. The phones themselves don't look at all Apple-like, I don't see any Apple design cues anywhere, be it a color / material combinations, key shapes, the shape of the corners and edges or anything like that.

Sure Can. Their Skype iPhone

http://www.linksys.com/servlet/Satel...VisitorWrapper
post #16 of 36
Cisco should just settle. Alot of the general public will think they're the bad guy and stole the name
post #17 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by roehlstation View Post

Sure Can. Their Skype iPhone

http://www.linksys.com/servlet/Satel...VisitorWrapper

I'm sorry, I've seen that and for the reasons I stated regarding specific design cues, I really don't think it looks anything like an Apple product.
post #18 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by roehlstation View Post

The ONLY thing they do the same is make Phone calls, the Cisco iPhone does not work in your car or anywhere away from your LAN, It also does not do any of the other things Apple's product does.

Sorry. But both products are being sold as Phones. Their primary purposes are to make phone calls. To say "They're nothing alike" is stretching it. Based on your argument, Panasonic tomorrow could come out with a cordless phone and call it the iPhone, because it has to be used with its basestation/landline. And if I wanted to start my own phone company, I could call it Cingular, because they don't do wired networks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by roehlstation View Post

Granted I do feel that it is right to not defend your trademark, however, Cisco bought the name years ago and chose not to do anything with it for a period of time, but I feel more strongly that if you name a product "i" anything and are not Apple you are just a shmuck, for trying to weasel in on the fame that has been brought to that. What is worse is Cisco has tried to make their iPhone look like it is actually an Apple product.

First, I don't see how Apple has the sole right to use all 'i' words. And I also don't think they were the first (so were they riding the coattails of the previous users?).

Secondly, I looked at the linksys phone. The only thing you could argue about saying they made it look like an apple product is that its white. That's it. Does apple have restrictive use on the color white now? Hell, the screen looks like Windows more than anything Apple would do. And it has buttons! Apple doesn't do buttons, we all know that. Its WAY too complicated for people to press physical buttons.

Finally, I've got a hypothetical. If Cisco announced their product in April 2007, instead of December 2006, would the defense crowd out there (those decrying Cisco's attempt and saying Apple has the right to use the name as well) be saying the same thing about Cisco? Or would they be saying that they're going to get their asses sued by Apple and they had no right to the name, the products are too close to functionality, etc? I just can't see anyone here defending Cisco in the opposite case. Which just makes me wonder how, then, Apple can be defended.
post #19 of 36
Johnny, I appreciate you sticking up for my post.

I see it like this, folks:
  1. Linksys developed a device for making phone calls and branded it "iPhone" prior to Apple. I don't care if Cisco "defended" their trademark prior to that. The fact is that they had an "iPhone" first.
  2. True, Apple's iPhone is currently only cellular, but how many hours will it honestly be before it can make wi-fi IP phone calls?
  3. If the tables were turned, Apple released a product after not defending their trademark, and then Linksys released a similar product with the same name, Apple would beat Linksys into a pulp defending Apple's trademark.

I'm as much of an Apple fan as anyone else, but they shouldn't get away with shady stupid stuff like this.

You don't see Budweiser developing a beer named Coke do you?
You don't see Ford releasing a truck named Liberty do you?
You don't see Wrangler selling khaki's called 501s do you?
You don't see Sony building a portable CD player called iPod do you?

Give me a break telling me they're altogether different products. Steve Jobs said himself that the Apple iPhone's "killer app" is making phone calls. Everything else, according to him, is secondary. Guess what, the Linksys phone is for making phone calls!

Two companies each with a product called iPhone with a primary use of making phone calls. In my eyes Cisco wins. Sorry Apple.

I would think it woud behouve (sp?) Apple to call it "Apple Phone" anyway. There's been a branding trend lately to tie a manufacturer's name to a product, and Apple's done it with the Apple TV. I would think "Apple Phone" would make so much sense to them. Make people say your company's name whenever they refer to it. I agree with many others that the "i" naming scheme is really old.
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post #20 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by BuzDots View Post

I've got two cans and a string!!! Think I'll call it myPhone or maybe miPhone

Come on CISCO - sue me. 8)

Similar devices my rear. But maybe that's what they are talking out of

i like it
post #21 of 36
Someone on macrumors.com made an interesting point; what if this was just Apple's way of getting VOIP on the iphone without too much of a beef with Cingular (since cingular would lose voice traffic over their network). This would be a very sneaky way to do it, but I guess it could be possible that Apple and Cisco staged this to get free press for both products/companies as well as to get VOIP onto the iPhone. It's a little conspiracy-theoryish but possible nonetheless.
post #22 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Louzer View Post

Sorry. But both products are being sold as Phones. Their primary purposes are to make phone calls. To say "They're nothing alike" is stretching it. Based on your argument, Panasonic tomorrow could come out with a cordless phone and call it the iPhone, because it has to be used with its basestation/landline. And if I wanted to start my own phone company, I could call it Cingular, because they don't do wired networks!

I personally hate the name iPhone for Apple's device anyway, since the device has more in common with a PDA. It does a lot more than just a phone, unfortunately everyone looks at it as a phone first. There isn't really a term for any device that does all of this so Apple would have to almost invent a word. Heck perhaps it should be called the iLife instead of their software, you'll keep your life on it.

Quote:
First, I don't see how Apple has the sole right to use all 'i' words. And I also don't think they were the first (so were they riding the coattails of the previous users?).

I don't disagree with that at all, however, can you name the company that used it first? And is it a name that half the people reading this would even recognize? The point is not who used it first, but is Cisco benefitting because of the notoriety that Apple has created with it?

Quote:
Secondly, I looked at the linksys phone. The only thing you could argue about saying they made it look like an apple product is that its white. That's it. Does apple have restrictive use on the color white now? Hell, the screen looks like Windows more than anything Apple would do. And it has buttons! Apple doesn't do buttons, we all know that. Its WAY too complicated for people to press physical buttons.

Well, it is white with dark grayish lettering in a nearly identical typeface as on Apple's keyboards. (aren't keyboards buttons?) Not so much that it is white, but a combination of those things with the "i"name. Not to mention that none of their (Cisco's) other products look like this at all.

Quote:
Finally, I've got a hypothetical. If Cisco announced their product in April 2007, instead of December 2006, would the defense crowd out there (those decrying Cisco's attempt and saying Apple has the right to use the name as well) be saying the same thing about Cisco? Or would they be saying that they're going to get their asses sued by Apple and they had no right to the name, the products are too close to functionality, etc? I just can't see anyone here defending Cisco in the opposite case. Which just makes me wonder how, then, Apple can be defended.


No, I believe Whole heartedly that Apple is in the wrong here, I am just seeing a disturbing trend of Apple paying off people to do things anymore. I don't care for the name myself, but I do believe that people are naming products "i" this and "i" that, not because they are marketing geniuses, but they see success in that branding and are following along. As a stockholder, I don't want to see Apple paying off people when (don't get me started on the whole Creative payoff) perhaps it is time for Apple to shift the paradigm again, the waters are muddy now.
post #23 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by CosmoNut View Post

  1. Linksys developed a device for making phone calls and branded it "iPhone" prior to Apple. I don't care if Cisco "defended" their trademark prior to that. The fact is that they had an "iPhone" first.

Linksys didn't develop it first....they bought it from someone else that had already named it iPhone (the Autodesk model of business)

It is an issue that they didn't defend it before this because now it appears they have waited until someone with Money came along. That is very much an issue.
post #24 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by justflie View Post

Someone on macrumors.com made an interesting point; what if this was just Apple's way of getting VOIP on the iphone without too much of a beef with Cingular (since cingular would lose voice traffic over their network). This would be a very sneaky way to do it, but I guess it could be possible that Apple and Cisco staged this to get free press for both products/companies as well as to get VOIP onto the iPhone. It's a little conspiracy-theoryish but possible nonetheless.

Maybe, but don't forget the second part of Cisco's concern (beyond the iPhone name) that
Apple's iPhone be interoperable with Cisco's wireless routers. I think this is pretty important,
since Apple sells the Airport basestations in competition with Linksys. Assuming Apple does
support VOIP on its iPhone, I'm sure they would rather you buy their basestation than
Linksys. Apple might want to somehow make their phone work better with Apple equipment
than with a competitors. It is worth money to Cisco to try to force Apple to treat all
wireless routers equally.
post #25 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by quinney View Post

Assuming Apple does
support VOIP on its iPhone, I'm sure they would rather you buy their basestation than
Linksys.

Look, I referred to Apple as singular and plural in the same sentence!!!11!!!!!111!

I am doing all I can to evolve the language.
post #26 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by quinney View Post

Maybe, but don't forget the second part of Cisco's concern (beyond the iPhone name) that
Apple's iPhone be interoperable with Cisco's wireless routers. I think this is pretty important,
since Apple sells the Airport basestations in competition with Linksys. Assuming Apple does
support VOIP on its iPhone, I'm sure they would rather you buy their basestation than
Linksys. Apple might want to somehow make their phone work better with Apple equipment
than with a competitors. It is worth money to Cisco to try to force Apple to treat all
wireless routers equally.

As long as Cisco still prices the Linksys networking stuff at 1/3 of the cost of Apple's they will sell plenty. Many people buy Linksys products to use with Apple stuff now. Why pay $149 for an AirPort when you can do it with a $49 Linksys. Cisco makes most of their money on their high end equipment anyhow.
post #27 of 36
Im going to finish this article for everyone:

The negotiations failed and apple and cisco go back to fighting in court eventually ending up with cisco winning and apple changing the name to the ApplePhone upon release and cisco keeping their little voip phone with the name brandished all over it so whenever an apple user sees it they have to remember that time apple called the suit "silly" and got their ass handed to them cause the courts arent going to side with apple just cause the judge owns an iPod.





ending number 2: everyone becomes magically happy and and both iPhones coexist together without anyone moaning or complaining or wanting a a lawsuit against one another. i think this is by far more realistic.
post #28 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by roehlstation View Post

I personally hate the name iPhone for Apple's device anyway, since the device has more in common with a PDA. It does a lot more than just a phone, unfortunately everyone looks at it as a phone first. There isn't really a term for any device that does all of this so Apple would have to almost invent a word.

I don't know. How about "SmartPhone", since the only thing you could possibly argue that the phone does that none others do (which I don't think is true, but don't have the desire to look it up) is the WiFi internet connectivity. There's nothing trail-blazing with the iPhone. Oh, and there's the touch-screen, which may be "new", but I don't really consider it to be a feature as much as a drawback (I'm in the "I'd rather people be able to feel the buttons their pressing, so they don't have to take their eyes off of whatever they're doing to just place a phone call or a text message". But, then again, maybe I'm just being selfish, hoping people actually would keep their eyes on the road, and not trying to dial a number on their phone - keep in mind, no speed dialing, supposedly).
post #29 of 36
The situation as I see it:

1. Cisco lucked into the iPhone name, and didn't use it for anything until they realized that Apple would want it soon.

2. They pasted an "iPhone" label on the outside of a product that was still in development (on the outside of the shrink wrap box, no less), and then committed perjury when they submitted their trademark renewal with the government. The form stated that they had been using the trademark continuously for the last six years on shipping products.

3. As a result of #2 the Cisco US trademark is invalid, and Apple already owns the trademarks for the rest of the world.

This is all from the slashdot article

http://apple.slashdot.org/article.pl...7/01/13/140254

http://blogs.zdnet.com/Burnette/?p=236
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post #30 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Cisco claims that it has owned the iPhone trademark in the U.S. since 2000. Meanwhile, Apple has also filed for a trademark on the term with a broad range of international trademark offices, including a 2002 filing in the UK and a 2006 filing in New Zealand.

so apple has claim to "iPhone" worldwide and cisco has it for the u.s.

one could argue that apple is more serious about the trademark from its actions to protect it internationally, and a much better product, what has cisco done?
wait for apple to move then sue
post #31 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by e1618978 View Post

The situation as I see it:

2. They pasted an " " label on the outside of a product that was still in development (on the outside of the shrink wrap box, no less), and then committed perjury when they submitted their trademark renewal with the government. The form stated that they had been using the trademark continuously for the last six years on shipping products.

wow, i hope this is true, it shows what frauds cisco are
post #32 of 36
it's better to read more article before comment on something like this,
here is a very nice one, where the writer really go into detail...

Here
post #33 of 36
Question:
If Apple hadn't used the "i" "trademark" as in iMac, iMovie, iTunes as so on, would Cisco have named their product iPhone? Why did Cisco name a product iPhone to begin with?

Answer:
To make people think it's an Apple product.

As I see it, Apple has right's to using "i" in it's products. I mean, come on, it's like a trademark and people affiliate it with Apple.
post #34 of 36
Wow! This is the worst thread I've ever read on Apple Insider.

1) If I recall correctly, the company that Cisco purchased was using the iPhone moniker before the iMac existed.
Cisco +1, Apple 0

2) Cisco didn't bat an "i" when other companies used the iPhone name.
Cisco +1, Apple +1

3) Cisco chose not to use the name and simply renamed an existing priduct by slapping some new stickers on a box in an attempt to not lose a trademark that was already granted an extention.
Cisco +1, Apple +2

4) Jobs announced that they were already in negotiations over the nomenclature with Cisco. Meaning, in court, Apple would appear to have acknowledged Cisco as the rightful owner.
Cisco +2, Apple +2

5) The Cisco/Linksys CITxxx that was (and maybe still is) shipping as "iPhone" did not have the name anywhere on the device or it's documentation.
Cisco +2, Apple +3


Trademark law is not like patent law. "Use it or lose it" is the name of the game. Apple's lawyers clearly saw an opening in the defense as Cisco consistently fumbled the iPhone trademark. It's the only consistent thing Cisco did with its (not until recently) precious appellation.



PS: To whomever said that both Cisco and Apple's iPhone are the same because they are communication devices I ask you: Do you think that a bicycle, car, airplane and boat are the same because they are all transportation vehicles?
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post #35 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Wow! This is the worst thread I've ever read on Apple Insider.

1) If I recall correctly, the company that Cisco purchased was using the iPhone moniker before the iMac existed.

In 1993 Infogear filed for the U.S. trademark "I PHONE", "I PHONE" was registered in March 1998.
http://tarr.uspto.gov/servlet/tarr?r...entry=74431935

Apple announced the iMac on 7 May 1998.

In 1998, Infogear released a telephone with an integrated web server under the name iPhone.

Hmmm, I PHONE, iPhone. Infogear registered the name I PHONE and uses iPhone. Hmmmmm... Yes, they do sound the same. But why change form from I PHONE to small "i", capital "P" ala iMac?
post #36 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

PS: To whomever said that both Cisco and Apple's iPhone are the same because they are communication devices I ask you: Do you think that a bicycle, car, airplane and boat are the same because they are all transportation vehicles?

That analogy doesn't fit, and a minus point for using an unnecessary transportation analogy when it could easily have been avoided.

Who said they were the same? The contention was that their phone functionality was similar, not the same.

The scale of the networks in question are currently different (except where there are city-wide and county-wide WiFi networks, and growing) and there are functional differences in the device itself, but the phone functionality in both devices is not that disimilar, both being handheld, wirelessly networked, voice communications devices. That makes them a lot more similar than your analogy would let on. The fact that future devices will blur the line between types of voice services even further is also a point of contention as well, because the market is not static in this regard.
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