InfoGear Technology Corporation, founded in 1995, was a startup technology and services company focused on the market for Internet appliances.
The original product concept was developed as part of an internal innovation project at National Semiconductor – code named Project Mercury. Bob Ackerman, a strategy and technology consultant working with National Semiconductors’ Demetris Paraskevopoulos, first discovered the project in National’s labs. Ackerman worked with his colleague Jeff Oscodar and the National team to spin the project out into a start-up company in 1995.
InfoGear had offices in California and an R&D center in Israel. InfoGear developed a line of Internet appliances, of which the best known was the iPhone, an award-winning Internet screenphone. The first-generation iPhone shipped in 1997 and the second in 1999. It was ultimately distributed in the United States, Australia, South Africa and New Zealand. The iPhone trademark was developed and owned by InfoGear.
The InfoGear Network provided user-relevant information and services in conjunction with e-commerce, content and service partners.
The company’s history can be divided into four distinct phases:
Phase 1 – May 1995 – Bob Ackerman, consultant to National Semiconductor, discovers technology while working with Demetris Paraskevopoulos of National Semiconductor and spins technology out to form new company.
Phase 2 – 1995 - 1996 (Bob Marshall, CEO) - Partnership with CIDCO systems and the introduction of the first iPhone (CIDCO iPhone)
Phase 3 – 1997 – 2000 (Ed Cluss, CEO) - Purchase of the iPhone II intellectual property from CIDCO, InfoGear introduction of iPhone to Consumer Market, exploration of the "J-Phone" concept, and porting of InfoGear Networks to GSM mobile phones (code named Ducati).
Phase 4 - 2000 – Present – Purchase of InfoGear by Cisco Systems. Operation by Cisco until network was shut down [date unknown].
- Ackerman, Robert R. "The iPhone Before the Apple iPhone". Xconomy. Retrieved 11 September 2013.
- Cisco (March 16, 2000). "Cisco Systems to Acquire InfoGear Technology Corporation". newsroom.cisco.com. Retrieved 2007-01-28.
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