IGB Electronica SA revealed its own line of smartphones under the “G iPHONE Gradient” brand earlier today. The IPHONE Neo One will be the entry-level in their new line of smartphones in Brazil. The phone will run on version 2.3 Gingerbread of Google’s Android operating system. Who doesn’t love the irony of an iPhone that runs Android? The Neo One will sell for 600 reais ($286), which is about a quarter of what even the entry-level iPhone 5 will cost. The device comes with a touchscreen, 3G connectivity and support for dual-SIM chips. It has a 3.7 inch screen with a resolution of 320 X 480 pixels, and a 700 MHz processor.
This could be the start of yet another trademark war, but IGB applied for exclusive rights in Brazil way back in 2000. The company was able to secure rights to the iPhone name in 2008. This does lead one to wonder why IGB waited four years before announcing their mobile devices. The reason IGB is using the name now is because it was previously concentrating on restructuring the company and is now refocusing on selling products. At any rate, the company claims to have local rights to sell a phone by the name.
This isn’t the first time that Apple has had conflict over their name. Originally the “iOS” trademark and the iPhone name was the property of Cisco Systems, Inc. Cisco is a multi-national corporation that designed and sold communications technologies. The company also developed consumer electronics. Cisco filed a lawsuit against Apple in 2007, the same day they revealed their first iPhone, forcing Apple to license the names from them.
In this case IGB’s iPhone Neo One doesn’t look very similar to Apple’s iPhone 5 and doesn’t even run the latest software, so it should be easy for most people to tell the difference. But we all know how protective Apple is over any similarity to its brand, whether perceived or not. IGB says it “will adopt all measures” in the case that a lawsuit does come and plans to preserve its right to the IPHONE name.