When I read this post on Cisco’s blog explaining what’s going on with the iPhone name from their perspective, it’s completely obvious why Apple didn’t do the deal: Cisco wanted not just a licensing agreement or the sale of a trademark but a business relationship … in a sense, Cisco wanted in:
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.
(I’ve bolded the most revealing sentence in Cisco’s blog post.)
Interoperability is something Apple is very reluctant to do unless there are extreme benefits (e.g., RIM-style push email via Yahoo, world’s-best search/maps via Google) to the end user (and Apple).
And it’s hard to see how a mobile phone relationship with Cisco could have realistically provided any substantive business benefits for Apple.[tags] apple, iphone, cisco, trademark, IP, john koetsier [/tags]