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Apple, Cisco attempt to meld iPhone technologies

post #1 of 44
Thread Starter 
Making good on an earlier pact, Cisco Systems and Apple have begun to explore ways in which their respective iPhone devices can work together.

The two firms ended a fiery dispute over the "iPhone" trademark back in February, avoiding legal proceedings with out-of-court settlement that granted each company the right to use the name on its products.

As part of the agreement, Cisco and Apple also agreed to investigate opportunities for interoperability in the areas of security, and consumer and enterprise communications.

Already there are about a half-dozen ideas on the table, according to Cisco Chief Development Officer Charlie Giancarlo, who revealed in an interview last week that Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs is discussing with members of his team ways in which to make the Apple iPhone compatible with Cisco's business and consumer equipment.

"We're optimistic, but it's still early," said Giancarlo, adding that ways in which the companies' products can work together "are now being investigated by both technical teams."

The discussions, however, aren't centered on making Cisco's iPhone, an Internet-based home phone, compatible with Apple's wireless device. Instead, Giancarlo said Cisco wants Apple's iPhone to work with its corporate phone systems, allowing users to get the same services, such as instant messaging and teleconferencing, on their Cisco desk phones and Apple iPhones.

Apple has said it will begin selling it's iPhone handset by the end of June. Cisco's vast array of iPhone branded devices were introduced back in December.
post #2 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

...The discussions, however, aren't centered on making Cisco's iPhone, an Internet-based home phone, compatible with Apple's wireless device....

Bummer Cuz that's probably the way the owners of the iPhone would get best use and value out of the freekin ~$500 phone. Thanks to Apple selling out to Cingular, we may never see free wifi features on the iPhone. It's like they just want to oppress the consumer all the way.
post #3 of 44


Yeaaaaaah, because that's what Apple has been about up until now. Wait until the unit ships, ferchrissakes.
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post #4 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Macvault View Post

Bummer

What? This is great news. One of the biggest issues with the iPhone is how well it will work in a corporate environment, and this is going to help a lot.
post #5 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Macvault View Post

Bummer Cuz that's probably the way the owners of the iPhone would get best use and value out of the freekin ~$500 phone. Thanks to Apple selling out to Cingular, we may never see free wifi features on the iPhone. It's like they just want to oppress the consumer all the way.

I think you've misunderstood. Making the iPhone compatible with Cisco's systems is exactly the kind of thing that makes voice over Wifi IP closer to a reality on the iPhone. I don't doubt that someone will find a way to get VOIP on them eventually, and then I will find it VERY hard to resist (maybe even pay the cingular cancellation fee as soon as I sign up, just to get this sweet device). Of course, I'll also want to experience how reliable the keyboard software is first, I have my doubts.
post #6 of 44
Sounds like Cisco is very excited to jump on the iPhone (Apple's iPhone) bandwagon.

Apple typically wants to run the show. I don't see anything coming of an Apple/Cisco partnership.
post #7 of 44
"If you don't let me use the 'iPhone' brand name then I will hamstring the Apple iPhone by not allowing it to interoperate with your business and consumer equipment. And that's a threat, mistah!"

Some threat. Even CEOs of billion dollar tech firms can't escape Jobs' RDF.
post #8 of 44
Just as we all expected, it has been comfirmed that the only reason Cisco released an "iPhone" was to ride the coat-tails of Apple's iPhone. The two systems are completely different and I predict the only sort of "interoperability" that will arise is the ability for the Apple iPhone to call a Cisco iPhone... and vice versa.

-Clive
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post #9 of 44
It's strange that this guy is talking about it. Perhaps he doesn't know about Apple's policy of not talking until they have a marketing strategy plan.
post #10 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Macvault View Post

Bummer Cuz that's probably the way the owners of the iPhone would get best use and value out of the freekin ~$500 phone. Thanks to Apple selling out to Cingular, we may never see free wifi features on the iPhone. It's like they just want to oppress the consumer all the way.

--- and the sun is not coming up tomorrow...

Hard to think that Apple will NEVER innovate again. What IS a person to do?
post #11 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by palegolas View Post

It's strange that this guy is talking about it. Perhaps he doesn't know about Apple's policy of not talking until they have a marketing strategy plan.

So your saying Apple doesn't have an iPhone market strategy.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of a rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of a rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #12 of 44
This is a very good thing.

One problem that has been stated with the iPhone is it's inability to work with corporate networks. If this will resolve that problem, then it opens up the door to significant sales.

All Apple needs now is to get its "push" email service on a secure network, ala Blacberry, and it will see those sales. Perhaps this will will help that as well.
post #13 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

So your saying Apple doesn't have an iPhone market strategy.

That's obviously what he's saying. He pulled that from the place I guess he thinks Steve pulls Apple products. And so we can conclude he hates Apple.
post #14 of 44
This is what cisco currently sells

I believe what we will see is a Cisco IP phone that is designed by Apple and runs embedded OSX.
It will do away with the myriad buttons and will simply have Apple's intuitive user interface and multiTouch screen.

It will be marketed by Cisco to enterprises at first.
Later Apple will sell a similar unit geared toward consumers.
post #15 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by bdj21ya View Post

I think you've misunderstood. Making the iPhone compatible with Cisco's systems is exactly the kind of thing that makes voice over Wifi IP closer to a reality on the iPhone. I don't doubt that someone will find a way to get VOIP on them eventually, and then I will find it VERY hard to resist (maybe even pay the cingular cancellation fee as soon as I sign up, just to get this sweet device).

Cisco makes much more than consumer Skype-phones. They also make back-end equipment, allowing you to set up a corporate PBX system entirely over IP, with users only seeing a "normal" phone on their desks.

Interoperability with this would be great. If a corporation sets up some Wi-Fi base stations attached to the same LAN as the phones, it would be nice if an iPhone could join the network and place/receive calls.

Even better: what if you could receive/place a call on the LAN, and have the handset automatically transfer the call over to the cellular network when you walk beyond the range of the Wi-Fi base stations? Or vice versa - where you're talking on a cell call and it transfers to the VoIP network when you arrive at the office?

Getting this right is not easy (think about what has to happen when the root of a 6-way conference call transfers between cellular and VoIP...). Cisco has been doing R&D on this for a while now. It would be wonderful if Apple's iPhone could be the first cellular handset to work with this system when they're ready for commercial deployment.
post #16 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Mozzarella View Post

This is what cisco currently sells

I believe what we will see is a Cisco IP phone that is designed by Apple and runs embedded OSX.
It will do away with the myriad buttons and will simply have Apple's intuitive user interface and multiTouch screen.

It will be marketed by Cisco to enterprises at first.
Later Apple will sell a similar unit geared toward consumers.

Sorry, but Apple's not licensing OS X to anyone. And how does moving the buttons to the screen vs. on the keypad somehow make it "easier"? If you've got the same buttons, you've got the same "ease-of-use" (or lack there of).

Of course, we could also wait for the iPhone to actually be released before we proclaim its UI to be intuitive, as well as proclaiming the multitouch screen to be a life-changing screen and the bestest thing ever developed.
post #17 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Mozzarella View Post

This is what cisco currently sells

I believe what we will see is a Cisco IP phone that is designed by Apple and runs embedded OSX.
It will do away with the myriad buttons and will simply have Apple's intuitive user interface and multiTouch screen.

It will be marketed by Cisco to enterprises at first.
Later Apple will sell a similar unit geared toward consumers.

Sorry, but I'd rather shoot myself than see Apple create a leviathan like that thing. Besides, I don't think Apple really seems like collaborating in enterprise products, especially intimately, and while involving their precious touch OS.

I give your prediction a 2 out of 10.

-Clive
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post #18 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kickaha View Post



Yeaaaaaah, because that's what Apple has been about up until now. Wait until the unit ships, ferchrissakes.

Oh, dear.

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post #19 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Mozzarella View Post

This is what cisco currently sells

Second big belly laugh I've had this morning.

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post #20 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Louzer View Post

Sorry, but Apple's not licensing OS X to anyone.

This isn't your grandmother's Apple "Computer" Inc. we are talking about anymore.
Steve is older and wiser and Apple isn't the same.
The rules that applied 10, 20, 30 years ago don't apply anymore.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Louzer View Post

And how does moving the buttons to the screen vs. on the keypad somehow make it "easier"? If you've got the same buttons, you've got the same "ease-of-use" (or lack there of).

The elimination of physical buttons is better because the iPhone UI is context sensitive.
On a traditional phone all the buttons are there all the time.
On an iPhone only the buttons you need for the current context are present.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Louzer View Post

Of course, we could also wait for the iPhone to actually be released before we proclaim its UI to be intuitive, as well as proclaiming the multitouch screen to be a life-changing screen and the bestest thing ever developed.

Or you could watch the demonstration videos on their website.
Or you could read the reviews from any one of a dozen journalists who have actually used it.
post #21 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Mozzarella View Post

This is what cisco currently sells

Ah, I was wondering what that thing was sitting on Ari Gold's desk...
post #22 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clive At Five View Post

Sorry, but I'd rather shoot myself than see Apple create a leviathan like that thing. Besides, I don't think Apple really seems like collaborating in enterprise products, especially intimately, and while involving their precious touch OS.

I give your prediction a 2 out of 10.

-Clive

If Apple designed it, it wouldn't be some giant ugly monstrosity.
The camera would be integrated into the bezel, the whole bottom of the unit would be gone.
The handset would probably be slimmer and the cord retractable.

Apple has been working with Nike,Cingular, BMW and Intel just to name a few.
Apple's closed culture is changing.
post #23 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Louzer View Post

.... And how does moving the buttons to the screen vs. on the keypad somehow make it "easier"? If you've got the same buttons, you've got the same "ease-of-use" (or lack there of).

Not true. There at least 5 benefits of typing on an iPhone:

1. With tiny physical keys, they really ARE as small as they look: you must be careful not to hit the other tiny keys next to the letter you want. But with the same size tiny virtual keys on an iPhone, you're MEANT to touch the keys around the one you want. The iPhone recognizes the key in the center of your press, ignoring the other contacts. In other words, each key on the iPhone is actually much larger than it appears, and much better spaced away from its neighbors. Much easier to quickly hit the key you want and ONLY the key you want.

2. iPhone's aggressive on-the-fly spell-check with auto-correction.

3. The iPhone keyboard can adapt (functionally and visibly) to different contexts. For instance, when entering a URL there's a big ".com" shortcut button.

4. Virtual keys can be used in landscape orientation without bulky, fragile hinges and pivots. Apple has not announced whether they will implement this, but they could any time they wanted (resulting in bigger keys and a wider typing area--but only when you wish).

5. Physical keys force the device's screen to be MUCH smaller, all the time, and/or the device itself to be MUCH larger! That's a high price to pay.

Now, a physical keyboard has its good points too. A physical click is a nice kind of feedback, and will always be preferred by some people--maybe even enough to accept the drawbacks of a physical keyboard. That's a personal call. But the iPhone keyboard does have clear visible (and probably audible) feedback of its own, so you still know when and what you have pressed. And it's not like you're touch-typing on a pocket device. On a BIG keyboard, tactile typing is vital; it draws upon your years of desktop habits, and solves the problem of the keyboard being far from the screen you are looking at. But the way you use a tiny portable keyboard, located right by the screen, is always going to be different from using a large one.

So THAT is how moving the buttons to the screen make the iPhone "somehow" easier
post #24 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Mozzarella View Post

If Apple designed it, it wouldn't be some giant ugly monstrosity.
The camera would be integrated into the bezel, the whole bottom of the unit would be gone.
The handset would probably be slimmer and the cord retractable.

A cord? Blech.

Either way, if Apple went through all the work of designing that thing, then what would they need Cisco for? A network to run it? That's hardly considered intimate co-development. Again, I state that Cisco is trying by any means necessary to mooch off of iPhone hype.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Mozzarella View Post

Apple has been working with Nike,Cingular, BMW and Intel just to name a few.
Apple's closed culture is changing.

No, it's not. Their partnership with all of those three was not very intimate. I'd say Nike's was the most since it depended on the interoperability of Nike's shoe-devices and Apple's iPod software.

BMW and other car places had no more special treatment in regards to iPod access than other 3rd-party manufaturers like Belkin. The iPod-ready BMWs are just that: iPod gear.

Cingular / at&t had almost no special treatment. Apple was looking for a network to run the phone over and told them what features it would need (ability to choose a voicemail from a list, confrence calling, etc.) and the CEO even said he had only seen the device twice at MWSF.

Apple, as always nowadays, is running the show... telling its "partners" exactly what it needs and not what it intends to do with it.

-Clive
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post #25 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clive At Five View Post

A cord? Blech.

Either way, if Apple went through all the work of designing that thing, then what would they need Cisco for? A network to run it? That's hardly considered intimate co-development. Again, I state that Cisco is trying by any means necessary to mooch off of iPhone hype.



No, it's not. Their partnership with all of those three was not very intimate. I'd say Nike's was the most since it depended on the interoperability of Nike's shoe-devices and Apple's iPod software.

BMW and other car places had no more special treatment in regards to iPod access than other 3rd-party manufaturers like Belkin. The iPod-ready BMWs are just that: iPod gear.

Cingular / at&t had almost no special treatment. Apple was looking for a network to run the phone over and told them what features it would need (ability to choose a voicemail from a list, confrence calling, etc.) and the CEO even said he had only seen the device twice at MWSF.

Apple, as always nowadays, is running the show... telling its "partners" exactly what it needs and not what it intends to do with it.

-Clive

You seem to be straining to minimize Apple's collaborations. Getting the iPhone to work with the enterprise networks would be an important move, and would not be a trivial undertaking.
post #26 of 44
A picture is worth a thousand words
A picture with words on it is worth slightly more...
post #27 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by shamino View Post

Cisco makes much more than consumer Skype-phones. They also make back-end equipment, allowing you to set up a corporate PBX system entirely over IP, with users only seeing a "normal" phone on their desks.

Interoperability with this would be great. If a corporation sets up some Wi-Fi base stations attached to the same LAN as the phones, it would be nice if an iPhone could join the network and place/receive calls.

And if they use SIP, like most of the Cisco phones, on the iPhone then it should in theory work with non-Cisco SIP gear, like Asterisk or my Draytek VoIP router sat over there in the corner.

Quote:
Originally Posted by shamino View Post

Even better: what if you could receive/place a call on the LAN, and have the handset automatically transfer the call over to the cellular network when you walk beyond the range of the Wi-Fi base stations? Or vice versa - where you're talking on a cell call and it transfers to the VoIP network when you arrive at the office?

Getting this right is not easy (think about what has to happen when the root of a 6-way conference call transfers between cellular and VoIP...). Cisco has been doing R&D on this for a while now. It would be wonderful if Apple's iPhone could be the first cellular handset to work with this system when they're ready for commercial deployment.

Well, it'd not be the first as Nokia's 6136 was already. That uses UMA to do it, provided your carrier also supports UMA. Some of the N Series also support SIP but I don't think they support UMA on all of them yet. BT's Fusion phone also does handover between wifi and mobile here in the UK.

http://www.btfusionorder.bt.com/howitworks.aspx

Hey, that'd piss an awful lot of people off here if Apple tied their phone to BT's Fusion service. There's no way I'm having BT Broadband. That's even worse than going Vodafone.
post #28 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

You seem to be straining to minimize Apple's collaborations. Getting the iPhone to work with the enterprise networks would be an important move, and would not be a trivial undertaking.

It would be trivial. Really.

All they need do is implement SIP properly. They've got an almost working version in iChat already if they sort out the slight differences and the NAT traversal.
post #29 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Mozzarella View Post

This isn't your grandmother's Apple "Computer" Inc. we are talking about anymore.
Steve is older and wiser and Apple isn't the same.
The rules that applied 10, 20, 30 years ago don't apply anymore.

The elimination of physical buttons is better because the iPhone UI is context sensitive.
On a traditional phone all the buttons are there all the time.
On an iPhone only the buttons you need for the current context are present.

Or you could watch the demonstration videos on their website.
Or you could read the reviews from any one of a dozen journalists who have actually used it.

It may not be my apple computer from long ago, but I'll believe they'll license the OS when I see it (not even if they come out and say they'll license it, because Apple has a long history of saying one thing and doing another).

Physical buttons have as great an advantage as 'virtual' ones. I can dial a phone without looking at it. Can't do that with virtual buttons (I'm sure we're all looking to the day when everyone's swerving all over the road because they're concentrating on typing in a phone number on their iPhone then driving!). Physical buttons are always where they are. You don't have to worry about them moving under different contexts, either.

If you want to trust their 'demo videos' on their website, that's fine. But watching how something is going to work, and how it actually is going to work, tend to be two different things. Especially with 6+ months still behind it, and the iphone OS/UI still under heavy development (one would hope, otherwise the lack of speed dial is going to make it a laughingstock). Until its actually in real users hands with the "final" phone will we know how it works, how easy it works, and how responsive it is (exactly how are you judging the multi-touch screen's usability through a demo, anyway?).

And are you really going to trust the dozen or so journalists who got 10 whole minutes to play with the iPhone at MWSF (and in the presence of the RDF) to gauge its revolutionary behavior? Hell, my first and biggest question on this would be of durability. Did any of those guys drop the phone five feet onto a concrete floor, and see if the screen cracks, system crashed, or the phone still works?
post #30 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Mozzarella View Post

A picture is worth a thousand words
A picture with words on it is worth slightly more...

you whipped that out really quick
post #31 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by quinney View Post

you whipped that out really quick

I love Blazing Saddles!
post #32 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chucker View Post

What? This is great news. One of the biggest issues with the iPhone is how well it will work in a corporate environment, and this is going to help a lot.

Agreed. It shows most people haven't ever worked in a large corporation. ATT phone systems internally have a lot of extra functionality. It would be interesting to use an iPhone via one's corporate internal phone system to get work done remotely that requires use of the phone telecommunications.
post #33 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

This is a very good thing.

One problem that has been stated with the iPhone is it's inability to work with corporate networks. If this will resolve that problem, then it opens up the door to significant sales.

All Apple needs now is to get its "push" email service on a secure network, ala Blacberry, and it will see those sales. Perhaps this will will help that as well.

And let's also not forget calendar and contacts syncing with the server. And maybe a remote wipe feature in case the phone is lost or stolen.
post #34 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

All Apple needs now is to get its "push" email service on a secure network, ala Blacberry, and it will see those sales. Perhaps this will will help that as well.

Why can't you use IMAP over SSL?
post #35 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by aegisdesign View Post

It would be trivial. Really.

All they need do is implement SIP properly. They've got an almost working version in iChat already if they sort out the slight differences and the NAT traversal.

If that's all they have to do, then yes. In that case there shouldn't be such a big deal being made of it by both them and Apple.
post #36 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by aegisdesign View Post

Why can't you use IMAP over SSL?

Apparently they don't. You would have to ask them.
post #37 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Mozzarella View Post

This is what cisco currently sells

I believe what we will see is a Cisco IP phone that is designed by Apple and runs embedded OSX.
It will do away with the myriad buttons and will simply have Apple's intuitive user interface and multiTouch screen.

I think a current iMac can do most of that, and the form factor isn't that far from it. A bluetooth headset would be preferable to a corded handset, though a bluetooth handset would probably be necessary for a phone where others would use it.
post #38 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

So your saying Apple doesn't have an iPhone market strategy.

Not for the cooperation with Cisco for all what I know..
post #39 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

If that's all they have to do, then yes. In that case there shouldn't be such a big deal being made of it by both them and Apple.

Presumably Cisco wants a consumer mobile phone company to start fully integrating SIP into their phones (except for Nokia N/E series already but they aren't so big in the USA) so the whole iPhone trademark thing for me has been about them posturing to get that. It's relatively simple to implement, being a known standard with clients already out there.

Perhaps Apple weren't quite ready with that though. If I understand it correctly, implementing SIP/STUN properly in the iPhone would be at odds with iChat's implementation and break backward compatibility but then they could fix that by fixing iChat also and fixing it in old versions of iChat too. It's not really iChat's fault that it doesn't use SIP properly. Apple implemented it before anyone else and guessed around a few issues.

Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

Apparently they don't. You would have to ask them.

Who they? It's not up to Apple or a carrier to implement a mail server for the iPhone, you just plug in to your existing IMAP mail server of which almost all are capable of push (IMAP IDLE) and communicating over SSL. If you've an Exchange server then you may be out of luck if the IT department haven't the clue they need to add IMAP to Exchange, but Apple is doing what it should be doing - sticking to standards.

In fact, I was thinking a while back that I should really start up a mail server for iPhone users who wanted push email, like Yahoo have already but with SSL.
post #40 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

I think a current iMac can do most of that, and the form factor isn't that far from it. A bluetooth headset would be preferable to a corded handset, though a bluetooth handset would probably be necessary for a phone where others would use it.

An iMac can indeed arguably do all this and more. It also costs four times as much, however. So, I don't think the comparison is fair.
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