Parks Associates Blog

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Apple and Cisco: the start of a beautiful friendship?

Today's announcement from Apple and Cisco regarding the resolution of the iPhone trademark is really short on specifics. Other than announcing that both companies can jointly use the trademark on their products, the only other public statement was that they would "explore opportunities for interoperability in the areas of security, and consumer and enterprise communications."

So, maybe I'm reading into the tea leaves a bit too much on this one, but I'm wondering if Cisco's hard-stance on the trademark was really a shrewd negotiating tool that allows them to begin working more closely with Apple in such areas as video distribution. Apple is still a notoriously closed company, loathe to open up its OS and media formats to outsiders (the open letters from Steve Jobs notwithstanding). However, Apple does need help from content delivery providers (Akamai), and Cisco's bread-and-butter these days has been selling network upgrades to account for a massive growth in video distribution over the Internet. So, [and this is pure analyst speculation], I'm wondering if the trademark brouhaha actually gave both companies the opportunity to come together and figure out some ways in which Cisco's NGN solutions might be able to help Apple scale Apple TV to actual television network status.

Just a few thoughts from an overly-caffeinated analyst today.

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