Android powered iPhone getting the green light in Brazil

by: Joe HindyFebruary 10, 2013

iPhone Despite having the most well known version of the iPhone, Apple actually doesn’t own the name iPhone in every country on Earth. This has caused Apple problems in the past, including a well known law suit in China where Apple shelled out $60 million to keep the iPad name. It appears a company in Brazil is causing similar problems.

Brazilian consumer electronics company Gradiente Eletronica SA apparently owns the iPhone name. According to Reuters, Gradiente Electronica actually filed for rights to the name back in 2000. That is years before the first iPhone.

According to reports, the Brazil copyright regulator will strip Apple of its iPhone rights in Brazil so Gradiente Electronica can use it. At least in Brazil. So what has the Brazilian electronics company decided to use it on? Why, on an Android powered device which will be dubbed the iPhone. The irony is strong with this one.

What is Apple going to do to stop the Android iPhone from being released?

Everything in their power, we’d imagine. The last time this happened, they forked out $60 million to keep the iPad name in China. So there’s no doubt that Apple will take to the courtroom to try to block this from happening. If they happen to fail, their next move will probably be to whip out ye olde checkbook and try to buy the rights.

Of course, this now begs the question of what they would care so much about an iPhone in Brazil. According to Digital Trends, Brazil has one of the fastest growing mobile markets in the world. It would be a real shame if Apple couldn’t compete there because iPhone was taken.

There will undoubtedly be more on this as it develops. Don’t be surprised if further developments include settlements and Apple getting the name back. Should Gradiente Electronica settle with Apple or keep the iPhone name for themselves? Let us know what you think of Apple’s latest conundrum.

  • I hate apple, but companys that are trying to make clones of the iPhone and wacking android on there are making the android OS look bad, same goes for the chinese companys that make android phones or tablets with the worst specs going and an OS like gingerbread..

    • Jack, this has nothing to do with a clone. This is a case of naming rights, nothing more. It’s an Android phone, and they aren’t trying to make it look any more like an iPhone than any other Android does. However, this company legitimately and legally has rights to the name iPhone in Brazil. They had it long before Apple had theirs.

      • JosephHindy

        Lee is correct, as you can see in the picture at the top, this phone has very little in common with the iPhone.

    • Jack, did you even read the article? The company in Brazil patented the name in 2000.

    • chris

      You should probably start reading more…

    • FrillArtist

      What a stupid post.

    • MasterMuffin


  • I say sell the rights to the iPhone name for all of Apple’s cash, only after the Brazil market matures a bit.

    This is Apples biggest problem one phone with one name so one company with a trademark can stop them from competing.

  • did Gradiente Electronica secured rights for “iPhone”? or just iphone? lol!

    • It was actually registered as IPHONE. But the Brazilian court believes that any change in capital letters is the same brand. iphone = IPHONE = Iphone = iPhone = ipHone = et cetera

  • joel

    can i get a free phone. the iphone powered android!!!!1

  • Peas Creek

    IIRC my business law classes, basically if they had the rights to the name and actually marketed a product under that name prior to Apple securing rights elsewhere, Apple will have to get the checkbook out. However, if it’s a matter of a name never being used, and then not challenging Apple’s first use, it might not be so cut and dry.

    • Markus

      Why? Apple has not used it in Brazil and the company has secured it prior to Apple securing it in other jurisdictions.

      This isn’t an opportunistic name squatting, this is a company securing a product name into the future.

      Anyway, I’d say the company would be silly to sell the name. The chances that an Android iPhone will make it big overseas are in their favour – even if they only sell it within Brazil.

      What die hard Android fan wouldn’t jump at the chance of buying that handset, even if directly from Brazil?

      • JosephHindy

        For the record, I’m going to buy this phone. I’ll never use it…might not even take it out of the box…but it’ll sit on the mantle of my future fireplace forever. The Android powered iPhone!

    • I’m curious. Did your law classes cover Brazilian law too?

  • Well, it will be VERY funny, if Samsung buy the name’s right in Brazil and block all iPhone sales in Brazil…

    Not fair, but would be hilarious!

    • Rabid Rotty

      Absolutely fair

      • Danny Dodge

        To the consumers that want Apple’s iPhones? Definitely not fair.

        But apple deserve it, malpractice against consumers sucks.

    • girishgirish

      Wonderful idea!!!!!

  • This would be even funnier if Gradiente was actually a nice company that made nice devices – but this will be a Gingerbread with no access to Google Play, so =/

  • Marcelo de boston

    Being a brazilian and knowing gradiente a little bit and knowing apple a lot i think gradiente will sell the name for a good cash, gradinte doent have any experience in building smartphones. Let apple keep the iphone name and gradiente cash some money to inprove their electronics research.

  • Rabid Rotty

    Uh-oh, they infringed on Apple’s rectangle with rounded corners patent

  • Amanda


  • FrillArtist

    Somebody needs to buy up this company or invest in them to prevent Apple from selling iCraps in Brazil. Give them a taste of their own medicine.


  • Gdub

    Gradiente should go to Samsung to build their Phones for them so They can release a Galaxy Iphone. :)

  • Gradiente has the right to use it. It can sell it or use it in its devices. The owner has said that he waits for a kind of agreement, but it is all about business. If Apple doesn’t take a step, I agree with Nicandro, Samsung is there to make it happen. Can you imagine ? Samsung wouldn’t probably use the name “Iphone” in its products in order to keep its profile but would certainly make a big hole where Apple could take some rest. Apple must go ahead and get an agreement rapidly even to show the brazilian consumers that Apple respects the local laws, acting differently is not a nice picture to see from an American company, although it has an amazing product, it is not an excuse to desrespect the brazilian people and its companies’ ideas……every step brings at least an effect. It would be better run and fast.

  • Imagine this situation ….. Samsung “-Hello, Mr. Eugênio (owner), how about an agreement?” – Mr. Eugênio “-What kind of partnership would it be?” ; Sam “-Well, according to the brazilian consumer power for the years few years, we are thinking of buying the trademark for about 270 million dollars, because it is a fantastic opportunity for us and for the Gradiente as well”. Eugênio “-Well, it sounds good, give me 4 seconds to think about it”, “All right, fair enough” lol.

    This way, the apple will end up getting spoiled. lol.

    Gradiente is there, Apple must make a nice step and presents somethiing huge enough to convince or the others will.

  • Quryous


    Please, Gradiente, keep the name and make the most of it.

    It is more than just the name, you applied for it first, and no bully should be able to force or bribe you out of it.

  • Nishant

    Had I been the owner of that company. I would happily ask for royalty from Apple for every iphone ever sold in Brazil(which I am sure Apple has sold). Also force them to launch their device as some other name. I don’t like the idea of small companies getting absorbed in larger companies.