An ‘iphone’ running off Android? ‘Heresy, I say’

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The following is certainly heresy in Cupertino, Calif.: An “iphone” running off an Android operating system.

Yes, one exists thousands of miles away in the land of Carnival, beaches and the Girl from Ipanema.

Gradiente, a Brazilian company, has begun selling a 3G smartphone carrying the iPhone name with a lower-cased “P” after receiving the government’s blessings. The company has the exclusive right to use the name through 2018, according to media reports. The phone, however, runs off an older version of Google’s Android operating system, the 2.3, not Cupertino-based Apple’s iOS. It also sells for half the price of a “real” iPhone.

In a statement obtained by the San Jose Mercury News, Gradiente said it first filed to tradmark the name in 2000 because it realized “a technological revolution” was coming that would change “the world of cellphones with the convergence of voice and data transmission and reception via mobile Internet.” The trademark filing was seven years before Apple began selling its iPhone in Brazil.

Gradiente received government approval in 2008 and recently began selling phones carrying the name. Other than the name, the phone has little external and internal resemblance to the latest iPhone from Apple. (Here’s a link with images and more information on the phone, but you’ll need to know Portuguese).

What now? Apple, which has not commented publicly about Gradiente, may end up fighting demands to pay big bucks to Gradiente for using the name on phones in Brazil. Earlier this year Apple paid the Chinese company Proview Technology $60 million to settle a trademark infringement case involving the iPad name. Before the settlement, Proview had demanded that iPad sales in China be banned until the issue was resolved.

32 comments Add your comment


December 20th, 2012
12:54 pm

iphones are overrated wonder they are slashing the prices. nice maps too!!

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December 20th, 2012
1:00 pm

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December 20th, 2012
1:05 pm

What a shame. Apple actually started using the name before checking it out. Cisco originally had the TM and worked a deal with Apple. What comes around goes around.


December 20th, 2012
1:09 pm

If Apple made an Android based phone in the iPhone form factor, I might actually buy one.


December 20th, 2012
1:10 pm

Apple haters are nuts. Had PC’s for years – shut downs, pop ups, viruses, slow to boot up, one frigging problem after another.
Got the original iPad over 2 years ago and guess what? Never has a single problem.
So you keep hating – that leaves more bites of the apple for the rest of us.


December 20th, 2012
1:20 pm

@ZinoDawg – are you still using dial up AOL? Time to upgrade to a real system. You don’t know what you’re missing.


December 20th, 2012
1:26 pm

Had both Mac and Windows PCs over the years. Both had their share of problems, and I didn’t find that one was any better than the other for 99% of the tasks one would do on a computer. Apple computers are definitely “prettier” than Windows PCs and I guess for some people, that is enough to shell out the extra cash.


December 20th, 2012
1:30 pm

Most Mac users like the Mac interface because it’s dumbed down. Know why you get viruses? Because you don’t update (or run) your anti-virus. Know why you get pop ups? Because you don’t have a pop-up blocker. Know why your computer overheats and shuts down unexpectedly? Because you keep your tower in an enclosed space and your processor can’t breathe or cool off. Know why your computer takes forever to boot up? Because every program on your hard drive is programmed to open immediately when your computer starts up.

A little research goes a long way here people. Know what you’re talking about before you start saying one is crap and the other is far superior.


December 20th, 2012
1:45 pm

You know Mardis Gras isn’t Brazilian, right? I think you are thinking of “Carnival”…

Texas Pete

December 20th, 2012
1:52 pm

Thank you for an unbiased account of a real experience MoL!


December 20th, 2012
1:57 pm

@ZinoDawg arent these iPhones awesome!! We have lots of different apps we can buy, they don’t. And we have great working Maps, they don’t have those either. I’m like you to, I just hate Windows 3.1, they’re never gonna get me to buy that junk again, seems like everytime I clicked on that porn link I was getting another virus. Damn Windows. How could people possibly want something different than us. You and I we are set the standard. Toot Toot… that’s OUR apple horn!! Or iHorn..sorry

Christopher Seward

December 20th, 2012
2:10 pm

Thanks, What?


December 20th, 2012
2:11 pm

Hi-Jacking coming to your iDevices soon………………..


December 20th, 2012
2:11 pm

Anyone who has a firm belief that Apple computers are the answer, doesn’t know very much about computers, everyone is getting smarter and Apple is starting to fall. It’s just that easy.


December 20th, 2012
2:30 pm

Ummm, people…

Android isn’t Microsoft–it’s Google. Microsoft makes the Windows phone.

Besides, Android is cleaning up in the mobile market; iPhones are for trendy people who know nothing about technology. Androids are for the tech-savvy who like to customize their devices and the mobile experience.


December 20th, 2012
2:56 pm

Uh, Google isn’t ‘cleaning up’ in the mobile market. Sure, they’re doing great with Android’s market share. However – Google doesn’t make diddly squat off of the Android OS from OEMs as it is open sourced. I’ve read that Google makes about $12 per user/per year off of advertising derrived from the Android OS. Microsoft has been able coax HTC and Samsung to pay licensing fees for patents that they claim Android violates. It’s been suggested that Microsoft makes more money from each Android license from HTC and Samsung than Google makes in ad revenues.

Apple, on the other hand, is making billions off of their whole hardware/software widget. So unless your definition of ‘cleaning up’ is ‘giving away product without any monetary compensation’, I don’t think the statement holds up.


December 20th, 2012
3:19 pm

what does all this arguing in the comments about mac vs. pc and iphone vs. android have to do with the topic of the original article?


December 20th, 2012
3:41 pm

Bullies always hate the smart nerdy kids. Go Apple.


December 20th, 2012
4:35 pm

We’ve already had android powered iPhones here in the US for a while now. They’re called Samsung Galaxy II’s and III’s. :)


December 20th, 2012
4:37 pm

If Apple products wasn’t a big deal….Then why do people stand in line like it’s Black Friday when the new iProducts come out or pre order them way in advance? When they can get a new Android phone anytime with no wait.


December 20th, 2012
5:02 pm

Pezzy – they did the same thing for Tickle Me Elmo. Just because they’re willing to stand out in the cold four hours with cash in hand, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a smart buy. This is not to say it’s a bad product by any means. I have an iPhone; however, it is provided by my employer. I like it but I probably would not pay $200 and enter into a two year contract at a $100/mo for it. So when i hear that an iPhone is running Android or whatever, I could care less. The real news is the amount of money people actually spend on this stuff.

I got the android phone...

December 20th, 2012
5:36 pm

…because with Android you get 400,000 – 600,000 apps; with Apple you only get 300,000 – 500,000 apps…

OK, MoL...

December 20th, 2012
5:39 pm

…how do you get a smartphone and not pay $200 with a 2 year contract with at least $100 month in fees? Even if you pay $600 for an unlocked phone, you still have to pay the $100 month…

Ok, Ok Mol

December 20th, 2012
8:31 pm

You can get a smartphone through Straight Talk, and other providers, for $45.00 per month with data included. The Samsung Galaxy SII is now available and I believe you can bring your Iphone over using a sim card for the same monthly fee, if I’m not mistaken. The Galaxy Proclaim smartphone I am using with Straight Talk utilizes the Verizon network and works great. I am really enjoying it, as well as the savings and no contract.

nick black

December 20th, 2012
9:06 pm

umm, android is linux, not anything having to do with microsoft. on the desktop or on the phone, open source remains the choice of “smart nerdy kids”, whatever ItJustWorks has to say. live free!


December 20th, 2012
10:08 pm

I’ve been running Andriod on my iPhone4 for almost a year now…


December 20th, 2012
10:57 pm

Why would you want to run the latest Android on the outdated hardware of the iPhone?


December 20th, 2012
11:06 pm


Anyone who says Macs are for idiots hasn’t been to a programming or administration conference in the last 5 years, or ever.

Macbooks are increasingly becoming the machine of choice for programmers and system administrators due to its similarity to Linux (without the comparative headaches of Linux, or the issues of trying to bend Windows into being something it’s not).

And the iPhone? I don’t think those of you who hate it so much had a smartphone back when it first came out. I vividly remember throwing my Blackberry, Palm and Windows phones against the wall at least once. Smart phones were absolutely terrible when the iPhone came out. A REAL browser on a phone? A screen that wasn’t a cheap POS? AND it fit in your pocket without weighing your pants down?

This is why the iPhone owned the market, even with no copy and paste and no 3g.

There are reasons why Apple is doing good, despite all their missteps.

Android is getting better and better by the day(on the top tier phones), but life it too short for blind hate of a little logo.


December 21st, 2012
10:18 am

Interesting use of the term “run off” in this article. In terms of computers or software, “run off” often means “to run using” e.g. “this PC runs off Windows” which is not at all the same meaning as to “run off” like “that angry dog run him off like a scared coon” which is apparently the meaning that the article is trying to imply.

“chases off” would have been a clearer way to say the same thing.

Anyway, there are hacky-handy types who have been working to run the Android software on iPhone hardware just for fun, So technically “Android running off iPhone” in the “runs using” context is not entirely incorrect even if not what they were actually talking about.


December 21st, 2012
11:24 am

I guess I’m just old fashioned. I still prefer to text or call someone, which is something I can do with a $50 “dumbphone” for $35/month with no contract. I don’t view my phone as a fashionable accessory. I still check my email on a laptop or desktop because I prefer to type on a real keyboard. That being said, I can understand why some people, like techies, may still find value in an iPhone, Android, or whatever. It’s just their thing. For me, I would rather divert my funds toward a new Les Paul.

And, MoL...

December 21st, 2012
9:36 pm

…I just paid $127 for my iPhone5 at Walmart, plus the 2 year contract –

I have 4 phones on my ATT plan so I am paying $22.50 (1/4 of the $90 for all 4 phones) for shared minutes that roll over (I am up to 7000 rollover minutes since none of us use the phone that much); plus $7.50 for my part of the $30 family plan for unlimited text; plus $20 for the data plan(I use very little data) – so, I pay $49.50 per month for my iPhone5; actually pretty close to the $45 you pay for your Straight Talk – so not all contracts are terrible…and the phone was brand new with the latest 4G LTE technology…


December 22nd, 2012
12:44 pm

@ obby: “Android is getting better and better everyday.” Well iOS must be getting worse and worse everyday because android has owned the smartphone market for a while now and still continues to take market share.