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Why I had an iPhone before Steve Jobs

// by Pavel Gitnik

It was around 1996 -- we were living in a suburb of Tel-Aviv called Ramat-Gan at the time -- and my dad brought this odd product home from work he said they were testing out.

It was called an "iPhone".

A flat white phone with a screen, a stylus, and a keyboard that slid out.

InfoGear iPhone GEN 1

You could do phone things on it -- but it also had a built-in modem that connected to the internet -- email, browsing (and naughty pictures that loaded super slowly on a black and white screen).

My dad worked on testing the first model and then developing GEN 2.

The company's name was InfoGear, a small Israeli-American startup that was later bought by Cisco. That same year, in 2000, Cisco moved us from Ramat-Gan to Cupertino -- that's how we ended up in the States.

A few years later, Apple licensed the "iPhone" trademark.

My mom still uses the 2nd generation InfoGear iPhone (Black) in her kitchen.

This article was written from my personal perspective. For more backstory and details about Cisco/Linksys iPhone rebranding etc, as well history of predecessor "internet appliances", see below.

Further Reading:


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