And you can also see what the future looked like way back then. For instance, search for “iPhone”, and you won’t find an Apple product, but InfoGear’s home/office phone with Internet features. Yet the way the gadget is described in press material and reviews —like this 1999 review from PC Magazine — is remarkably similar to how Apple’s phone is described today:
…For the low price of $499, it combined Internet and e-mail access with a phone chock full of advanced features. A year later, we’re more impressed than ever. The second-generation iPhone, the 2000 series, not only improves on the original’s features, but also does so for $100 to $200 less. …
The iPhone is a model of how to do something right. It combines everything we’d expect in an Internet appliance and then some. This second-generation model will have some people asking, “Who needs a PC?”
Or this marketing copy:
The revolutionary iPhone is a fully integrated telephone and Internet device with a built-in touch screen to bring the world of the Internet into your home or office with the touch of your finger.
These days, of course, we’re wrapped up in debate about whether Apple will allow Adobe (ADBE) to offer the Flash video/animation plugin for the iPhone’s Web browser. Back then, it was impressive enough that the InfoGear iPhone supported HTML 3.2, “and finally understands cookies, animated GIFs, and frames.”
This is the ‘iPhone’ name that Cisco (CSCO) bought the rights to in 2000 by acquiring InfoGear — and in 2006, used for a series of Internet phones — which meant that Apple (AAPL) had to negotiate a deal with the network gear giant to use the iPhone name for its mobile phone.
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