IGB Electronica iPhone (image 001)

Forget about the iPhone, the best phone in the world – here comes the IPHONE, an Android-powered smartphone announced today by Brazilian electronics maker IGB Electronica SA (IGB). The company said in a securities filing that the first model will be called “Neo One”. The firm claims to have a trademark for the “IPHONE” term in Brazil, originally applied for in 2000, way before Apple even began thinking about creating a phone. Somebody give Apple’s lawyers a buzz…

The device sells for 599 Brazilian Real, or about $290. Based on the old Android Gingerbread version 2.3.4, it has a 320-by-480 pixel resolution display and runs a 700 MHz processor.

Jordan Golson, reporting for MacRumors:

Apple will either file a lawsuit, or perhaps more likely, begin negotiations for a settlement deal.

[…]

Brazil is an important country for Apple. The company has begun hiring for new Apple Stores in the country, which would be its first locations in South America and Apple and Foxconn have begun iPad and iPhone production there.

In case you were wondering, the IPHONE also comes in white.

IGB Electronica iPhone (image 002)

Brazil is also home to one of the most expensive iPhones on the planet.

It’s worth remembering that Apple used to face a similar situation in China over the iPad moniker. In fact, Apple’s tablet had been a no-show in China until the dispute was resolved via a $60 million settlement.

According to Reuters, based on a local report, IGB Eletronica SA has exclusive rights to the “IPHONE” name in the local market.

The filing said Gradiente had foreseen the revolution in the convergence of voice and data over the Internet at the time, before Apple Inc’s iPhone existed. In 2008, the company secured rights to the name from a local regulator of patents.

Let’s see how Apple wiggles its way out of this one.