Apple Loses ‘iPhone’ in Brazil’s Thriving Smartphone Market

It may not be as important to Apple as the U.S. or even Chinese market, but Brazil definitely matters to Apple.

A major emerging market in connected device adoption, Brazil is now home to some of the most popular smartphones and tablets in the world. And we know for a fact that there are two different iphones sold by two different companies.

As the world learned on Tuesday, Brazil’s National Industrial Property Institute had denied Apple’s request to secure the exclusive rights to the “iphone” name.

IGB Eletronica SA filed to register the trademark in 2000. After Apple succeeded with the iPhone launch in 2007, IGB launched its “iphone” in Brazil.

Ironically, it’s Android-powered.

The owner of the iPhone trademark in Brazil, IGB Eletronica SA, said it would consider selling the naming rights to Apple Inc.

“We’re open to a dialogue for anything, anytime,” Eugenio Emilio Staub, chairman of IGB, tells Bloomberg. “We’re not radicals.”

But now that Apple has lost its legal battle to secure the rights to the iphone name in Brazil, will the Cupertino, California-based tech empire be willing to pay for it? Only time will tell.