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iRiver prepping iPhone clone for end 2008

updated 03:20 pm EST, Wed January 9, 2008

iRiver iPhone Clone

iRiver will enter the cellphone market with a device that bears an uncanny resemblance to the iPhone, say reports from the Consumer Electronics Show floor by PCMag. The Korean company, which normally makes portable media players, is exhibiting a prototype at the Las Vegas event known only as the "iRiver GSM phone" but which clearly takes cues from the Apple device. Its interface is almost entirely driven by an icon-based touchscreen layout with direct resemblances to the iPhone's front menu. Unlocking the device requires a near-identical sliding motion while other swiping motions help control scrolling and other navigation. Linux will underpin the OS.

Many hardware details are still undetermined but will share the same focus as Apple's device but with some potential advancements. The handset will revolve almost exclusively around its 3-inch, 480x272 touchscreen with only a single physical control at the bottom, and will focus on music and movies; however, the iRiver device will include support for music subscriptions through Real's Rhapsody service and should include Adobe Flash Lite to play video from YouTube and other sites without needing a special client. 4GB of internal flash memory is likely but not guaranteed, though mobile digital TV is expected.

Whether Wi-Fi will be included is uncertain. The device makers have already settled on 3G Internet access via HSPA and so will have less reason to include a fast short-range connection to close the gap. The confirmation has given iRiver an opportunity to criticize Apple for its decision to ship the initial iPhone with slower EDGE access, which rates only as 2.5G by many observers.

"It would be ridiculous for the phone to be 2G or 2.5G at this time," iRiver spokesman Owen Kwon says.

iRiver says it intends to release the GSM phone by the end of the year and that it should be less costly than the $399 iPhone. A release in the US is hinted in the unveiling and could potentially support AT&T, though iRiver has not said whether it expects legal challenges from Apple over the similarities in look and feel between each other's phones.

by MacNN Staff




  1. ViktorCode

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Look at the pictures

    Either they'll change design or this phone is doomed

  1. shmoolie

    Joined: Dec 1969


    End of 2008...Yawn

    Wake me when this piece of vaporware actually ships.

  1. russellb

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Chasing their tails

    If Apple does what it did with Ipods with the Iphone all the competition will be chasing their tails .. end of 2008 there will be a new Iphone model out and then they will be chasing that one etc etc

    As long as Apple can stay one release ahead and they keep the design and features ahead .. they will blitz the phone market.

    When the Iphone was announced every competitor bagged the c*** out of it .. now the entire cellular market are chasing to play catchup with Apple.

    The one thing that no one else has is OSX

  1. ZinkDifferent

    Joined: Dec 1969


    end of 2008...?

    They are very funny, they just don't realize how amusingly funny they are.

    Yeah, two points made by other posters are right on:

    - no other phone has OS X - by the time they release something, Apple will already be two more revisions ahead.

    All 'competitors' can do is target what Apple has now, because most of them completely lack any vision or the concept of 'skating where the puck WILL be, not where it is"

  1. ZinkDifferent

    Joined: Dec 1969



    ...I though that, according to Moto, Nokia and S-E, that "the iPhone is no threat to us".... yet here they are, all running scared.

    Right on, Nokia, dumping more of last year's phone models on the market sure will make a difference.


  1. Titanium Man

    Joined: Dec 1969


    copycat garbage

    There won't be any Multitouch and those icons look like c***. Imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery, but bad imitations really suck.

  1. whatever

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Wow! It looks like...

    ...a Newton? What the h***?? Did they seriously just lift the casing of the Newton and the look of the iPhone?

    I hope Apple don't sue them but keep this s***-brick hanging around as a permanent reminder of what's wrong with most tech companies...

  1. gitcypher

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Don't sleep on iRiver. Their devices have been easily on par with apple's iPod... for years. Granted, their devices rarely make it to the states. Anyone who has been following them knows that they've been on top of the mp3 game for years with design and interface. Heck, I own the old mp3-CD (sp-350, I think) player, and it still works beatuifully to this day. Seeing as though (correct me if I'm wrong) iRiver will be the only other company that evolved from great music devices to cell phones. I don't specifically approve of the "iPhone killer" label because of it being so cliche at this point. But, be ready for some very nice competition coming from iRiver.

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