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Alliances advance iPhone: Cidco, InfoGear strike partnerships to further screen phone's future

Cidco and InfoGear Technology Corp. are preparing to roll out their iPhone screen phone in the first part of 1998 by partnering with various content providers, Internet service providers and international carriers.

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The two companies announced that Concentric Network Corp. will become a preferred provider of bundled Internet service for the iPhone, giving the device's users nationwide Internet service via Concentric Network's private, high-performance asynchronous transfer mode network.

Overseas, Intekom of South Africa, Rikei Corp. in Japan and Teleplus in New Zealand have reached similar agreements.

Additional deals with R.R. Donnelley & Sons and Hollywood Online will provide the device with on-line directory and consumer listings, officials from Cidco and InfoGear said.

"These partnerships are the first stage in our strategy and will help us reach the early adopters of the iPhone," said Bruce Gee, director of product marketing at Morgan Hill, Calif.-based Cidco. "In the second quarter of the year, we'll target the larger telcos and expand our efforts into vertical markets that could benefit from the iPhone, like finance and medical markets."

The two companies expect casual users to begin adopting the device in the third quarter, Gee said.

The iPhone combines telephone and Internet capabilities in a single device designed to make communications easier and faster, said Jim Greenway, vice president of marketing for Redwood City, Calif.-based InfoGear. "For most people, sitting down at the computer, starting it up, logging on to an on-line service and finding the information isn't simple or quick. The iPhone should open up those tools to a whole new audience."

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© 2014 Penton Media Inc.

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