Rumor Control: Star Trek Movie Communicator NOT Based On iPhone |
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Rumor Control: Star Trek Movie Communicator NOT Based On iPhone March 21, 2008

by Anthony Pascale , Filed under: Rumor,Star Trek (2009 film) , trackback

There is a new rumor being floated by iPhone Savior (and picked up by TrekWeb) that the communicator props being used by the crew of the USS Enterprise in the new Star Trek movie are based on “a slickly modified version” of Apple’s iPhone. has checked with multiple sources and has confirmed this is rumor is entirely untrue.

According to one source the new Starfleet communicator props were built entirely from scratch and “look nothing like any commercially available product.” Another source reports that the communicators (which we reported on previously) retain the traditional TOS ‘flip’ style (unlike the iPhone), but do have a small video screen on the inside. has also received a couple of reports that Nokia (and not Apple) may do some promotions related to the new Star Trek movie, but that it doesn’t involve any product placement or Nokia devices being used for the movie.

Report from Iceland?
The iPhoneSavior also reports their source is “supposedly coming from on location in Iceland.” However, has been told that there is actually not any location shooting going on in Iceland. Although there was scouting done in Iceland, plans were eventually changed.

Apple in Trek
Although this rumor is total BS, Apple has worked its way into Star Trek before. In the 1986 film Star Trek IV , Scotty used the ‘quaint’ Apple Macintosh which had only been introduced to the market two years earlier.

And we know that there has been Apple products on the bridge of the new Enterprise, because Bob Orci sent in pictures of JJ Abrams using a MacBook to participate in the live chat with fans at…and Bob used his iPhone to take the pictures.

JJ Abrams & Bryan Burk chatting with fans from “Star Trek” Enterprise Bridge set, Jan 25th 2008



1. Mammalian Verisimilitude - March 21, 2008

Well, Apple get enough free placement as it is.

Incidentally “no comments yet – be the first?” doesn’t seem to discourage people posting just to say “first”…

2. Kevin Tyler - March 21, 2008

I would definately get a Trek flip-phone if they made one.

3. S. John Ross - March 21, 2008

Any news relating to _less_ product placement is good news. :)

4. Denise de Arman - March 21, 2008

Good reporting Anthony – I bet everyone here would love to sneak a peek at your list of source names. Don’t leave your blackberry laying around – someone may borrow it!

5. toddk - March 21, 2008

yes once again everyone (including paramount) is saying no star trek would be a best seller..but noooooooooooooooooooo….what a bunch of crap! besides (idoubt) that steve jobs has ever even heard of star trek…wouldnt suprise me…

6. Anthony Pascale - March 21, 2008


Ironically…I use an iPhone

7. freezejeans - March 21, 2008


Same here…did anyone have the TOS walkie-talkies back in the 70’s? They were the closest thing to an actual communicator, and they worked–at least up to a block away :) But they were also HUGE, not even close to the size of the real thing.

8. Herbert Eyes Wide Open - March 21, 2008

As much as I love my iPhone and Apple products in general… I’m glad.

Although the iPhone is one of those rare products that actually transcends the hype, I don’t want Star Trek production design influenced by anything that is too accessible.

However, I’m guessing that some descendants of Jobs & Company are toiling away at a Star Fleet R&D facility in the 23rd century. ;)

9. Jorg Sacul - March 21, 2008

and the irony of it all is that flip phones never would have been conceived of had Trek not had that flip-lid communicator!

10. freezejeans - March 21, 2008

LOL I found a commercial for the TOS communicator walkie-talkies & base unit, check out the size of the thing! And yes, we wore ’em on the belts of our corduroy pants.

11. Denise de Arman - March 21, 2008

Anthony- LOL!

12. Go Spock! - March 21, 2008

10 – yeah, that’s one looooooong antenna!

13. CmdrR - March 21, 2008

Communicators SHOULD have video. I’m sure they would have if TOS had had the budget. Bet they project holograms, too.

14. Sisko Is The Prophet, Peace Be Upon Him - March 21, 2008

TrekWeb…what a joke. Is there any bs they wont fall for? remember their report on the phasers for the new movie?

thank god for

15. freezejeans - March 21, 2008


Dude…hologram projection is a terrific idea. Lots of possibilities with that. I’m with you on the video capability as well in TOS, no doubt they’d have done if they’d the means. If the redshirts had been able to transmit what they were seeing before their inevitable decimation…hahaha

16. MORN SPEAKS - March 21, 2008

My phone is actually considered the “Star Trek” phone. It’s the Cingular 3125.

17. number6 - March 21, 2008

I will sooooo boycott this film if they don’t use the Cage communicators!!

18. jonboc - March 21, 2008

Wow, I forgot how huge those old blue MEGO communicators were! Toys have come a long way, just check out the newly released AA communicator “toy”. The new toy has digital sampling from the episodes, LED lights, the famous opening chirp, a spinning motorized moire pattern and a metal brass colored top. And I got it for $19 plus shipping!

They won’t be able to keep these on the shelves. TOS props continue to impress 40 years later, who needs an iphone?

19. Cobalt Ben - March 21, 2008

TrekWeb sucks.

20. freezejeans - March 21, 2008


Indeed…I still have the MEGO ones and just ordered the new AA one. Can’t wait :D You’re right about the 40-year-old designs, too–still impressive today.

21. Morty - March 21, 2008

Working in the mobile/cell phone industry I would have to say I would be extremely disappointed if they used the overrated piece of crap that is the iphone as a basis for the Trek communicator! If they were going to do any kind of product placement like this in the new movie I would hope that whatever handset they released based on the trek communicator would be a high end cutting edge device! If that turns out to be the case then I would happily buy one but I imagine as is often the case with trek themed products we would just end up getting ripped off with a phone that looks nice but is very poor feature wise – kind of like the Iphone!

22. sirh - March 21, 2008

There is a rumor of a flip style iPhone coming out this year… Movie tie-in?

As much as I love the iPhone… I gotta say not a good idea!

23. Kevin - March 21, 2008

Wow… really glad this isn’t true. I think I would boycott all future Trek if they were to put anything Apple related int he movie(save for graphics designed on a Mac Pro or something).

24. Joel - March 21, 2008

The notion that they were using the iPhone design to begin with was ridiculous. We should give these guys more credit than that. They will no doubt use an updated design to the original communicator. That’s what they’ve been talking about the whole time. Keeping the feel of TOS but updating it. I dig the idea of a small video screen. Glad to hear the iPhone thing was a junk rumor.

25. THX-1138 - March 21, 2008


That’s a bit drastic, no? What if Kirk’s mom bakes an apple pie? What if the Romulans want to change history just to get our recipe for apple sauce? What if Starfleet just decides that they hate Vistas version 12?

I have always loved the props from TOS, but realistically, how was one to get any information from them? A lot of times, McCoy would just wave his scanner over a patient without using a tricorder. The communicator has two buttons and no screen yet it can communicate with everybody through some form of precognition to whom you wished to speak. What was the moire for? At least the tricorder had a screen, but it only had a couple of buttons. I love them, though.

I feel I may have just started an argument.

26. James Cannon (1701-A) - March 21, 2008

The Tricorder prop was ahead of its time. Spock however used to use it upside down while everyone else looked straight at it.

Must have been that Vulcans as well as having inner eyelids are able to read upside down.

27. Daren Doc - March 21, 2008

Spock used it upside down because Nimoy was smart enough to know that showing the audience the INTERESTING side of the tricorder was better than showing them the boring back of one. A consummate pro.

And I have an iPhone, with a picture of a communicator grid on it.

28. Devon - March 21, 2008

Whew, here I feared that Leonard Nimoy was going to do a trippy iPhone commercial singing “Dance Tonight.”

29. Nathan - March 21, 2008

#23 Kevin:

Actually, they already used an Mac computer in Trek IV for the scene in the Plexiglass factory…so you’d better start getting that boycott organized…:-)

30. Izbot - March 21, 2008

Thank god it was just a rumor. All that in-show advertising is a nightmare. Did anyone catch that pathetic excuse for an “episode” of Smallville last week that amounted to one big ad for Stride Gum and some lame band called One Republic? If this is the future of advertising I am greatly disillusioned.

31. Jorg Sacul - March 21, 2008

*cough*Knight Rider/Ford*cough*

32. Captain Scokirk - March 21, 2008

Maybe a tricorder has a gyroscopic screen that allows the user to determine which way he wants to use it ; the buttons were all round so they could have worked the same way.

33. Captain Slow - March 21, 2008

I heard the new enterprise is actually a new ford mustang, with a modified body kit of course – imagine a big ass ford badge on the saucer section

34. Seth - March 21, 2008

The TrekWeb guys should have dove into the iPhone Savior site a bit deeper to realize that there’s a lot of stuff that is created to be wildly absurd. Apple fan boys are hungry for news no matter if it is only rumor. Are Trekkies much different? All depends on who you ask on any given day. I’m all for the FORD Enterprise idea. Sounds possible.

35. Vulcan Soul - March 21, 2008

These days Apple products are nothing but a slick way for people to show off their alleged “coolness”, their affiliation with the “in-crowd”. No need for that in a Star Trek movie.

36. Herbert Eyes Wide Open - March 21, 2008

For all those uninformed iPhone haters… Apple must be doing something right…

In fact, Apple’s share is even larger today. so, yeah… stay in your Blackberry/crappy PC/Windows world and keep venting about how crappy Apple and iPhone is… Especially now that they’ve launched their… (drum roll please) Enterprise Solutions.

Too, too funny.

37. trekofficial - March 21, 2008


Apple wasn’t even invented when Gene began Star Trek therefore it can never be part of the legacy.Sorry folks
move on

38. Izbot - March 21, 2008

37. trekofficial

I like the way you think!

39. Herbert Eyes Wide Open - March 21, 2008

I don’t worry about those that think they know what canon is… especially when they cannot spell the word properly…


I know they sound the same but really… sheeeesh!

40. CLS USMC - March 21, 2008

WOW, I work for AT&T and even I don’t hard sell the iPhone that much! :)


41. [The] TOS Purist aka The Purolator - March 21, 2008

Check the spelling of “Bridge” at the very end of the entry…you’ve got it listed as “Bridget set.” Somehow I don’t think that Bardot had anything to do with Star Trek…lol!!

Just helping out. :)

42. 4 8 15 16 23 42 - March 21, 2008

Arguing about cell phone/PDA brands, please… talk about “Get a life”

Anyway, I don’t care what the brand, I am glad this little atrocity is not true. The communicator should recognizably be ONE THING: the TOS Star Trek communicator — not an iPhone, Blackberry, or Hitachi Magic Wand…

This is one thing they did right in ST: Enterprise (Haters just go away now).

43. Irish Trekki - March 21, 2008

Is it sad to admit that the sole reason I bought a Motarola razr was because it looked like the original series communicator?

44. 1701 over Gotham City - March 21, 2008

Rumors surrounding the exhibits at Toyfair said that Communicator and Phaser were extremely close to the originals, and supposedly had the same sounds as the originals.

45. Green-Blooded-Bastard - March 21, 2008

The new Enterprise has a Hemi in it.

46. K.M.Kirby - March 21, 2008

This iPhone thing is a hurtful rumor. However, if true, it’d be totally cool.

47. Treknoob - March 21, 2008

I wish we could all make some flower pedal tea and enjoy the cake of rainbows I baked for everyone. If we can learn anything from Star Trek 1966 (classic Gene Roddenberry) it’s that different species can learn to get along. I just wish that the cavemen who don’t understand iPhone can learn from us and join our superior race. I only hope you bearded Klingons will listen.

48. Denise de Arman - March 21, 2008

Irish#43- No, Irish, it isn’t sad – it’s natural for this group. You are among friends… relax into the Collective’s embrace.

Treknoob#47- LOL!

49. 4 8 15 16 23 42 - March 21, 2008

#47 – “flower pedal tea”? Uh, yuck! A tea made of pedals would be all metallic with hints of rubber and grime… ;-)

50. Viking - March 21, 2008

My Virgin Mobile Snapper has a lot of classic communicator ergonomics to it…….especially if the TOS/movie model would have had an LCD screen. I’ve looked high and low to see if anyone markets a universal flip-phone skin to make it look like a TOS communicator, but alas, I’ve been plumbing a dry well.

51. DesiluTrek - March 21, 2008

You wanna know cannon?
You wanna know cannon?
Here’s Cannon:

Canon is entirely another matter. They make a helluva pocket digital camera, the SD1000.

52. Irish Trekki - March 21, 2008

Thank you Denise! I shall now feel free to embrace my inner nerd!

53. Viking - March 21, 2008

As someone who has spent far too long providing tech support to Crackberry junkies, watching one switch to an iPhone is akin to a wino starting on Sterno, ‘cuz the Night Train and Thunderbird just can’t finish off their liver.

54. Valar1 - March 21, 2008

I heard the new Turbolift is made by Otis.

55. Viking - March 21, 2008

LMFAO@Valar1………… >:-D

56. richpit - March 21, 2008

I’m glad it isn’t true, not because I don’t like the iPhone, just because I want the props to at least resemble the props from TOS.

I’ve just started working on my AA Communicator to make it more “realistic”…

57. Treknoob - March 21, 2008

I would like suggest making your life on planet earth more realistic. It can prove to be exhilerating. Only a suggestion though… carry on.

58. Dennis Bailey - March 21, 2008

#36: ” stay in your Blackberry/crappy PC/Windows world ”

LOL – might as well; almost everyone does. And will. :)

59. S. John Ross - March 21, 2008

#30: I hate product placement too, but the awful thing is it’s not only the future of ads, it’s very nearly the entire history of ads at the movies, with heavy-duty product-placement campaigns going back at least to the late 1930s, when DeBeers started paying to have films re-written to create the impression that diamonds were desireable and glamorous (prior to the Great Depression, an engagement or wedding ring was typically a ruby, emerald or sapphire … DeBeers basically invented the popularity of the diamond, and sold it through – among other things – paid cinematic placement). That’s one noted example, but it’s been common practice in every era of the talkies since.

The main difference is that for decades, product-placement was sneaky and underhanded instead of obvious and tacky. It’s a … a terrible thing to try to decide which is worse.

60. Captain Robert April - March 21, 2008

Spock used the tricorder “upside down” to show that he was good enough to tell the readings by just listening to the warbling sound, while everyone else had to actually look at the readouts.

61. S. John Ross - March 21, 2008

#60 If this keeps up we’ll need a to compete with the Chuck Norris one :)

62. SChaos1701 - March 21, 2008


Chuck Norris grocks Spock.

Spock is so bad ass that he knocked out Chuck Norris with the Vulcan nerve pinch my simply raising his eyebrow.

Chuck Norris is so afraid of Spock that he carries around a copy to TWOK hoping it might keeps Spock away.

(Ok, I know the last one was lame but I think a third one needed to me added there as I type this with my MACBOOK.)

63. The Vulcanista - March 21, 2008

#62: (Ok, I know the last one was lame but I think a third one needed to me added there as I type this with my MACBOOK.)

I call Product Placement on you, SChaos1701! (SC = South Carolina?)

Peace. Live long and prosper.
The Vulcanista }:-|

64. Commodore Redshirt - March 22, 2008

re: #54. ” I heard the new Turbolift is made by Otis.”

I think that is the best post in the month!

65. Dr. Image - March 22, 2008

Anthony- what’s your honest opinion of the iPhone?
A friend just returned his because it did many things, but none of them very well.

66. SChaos1701 - March 22, 2008


SChaos was the stage name I had in an old band I was in. 1701…well we all know what that is from. :-P

67. soki - March 22, 2008

“ has also received a couple of reports that Nokia (and not Apple) may do some promotions related to the new Star Trek movie, but that it doesn’t involve any product placement or Nokia devices being used for the movie”

Waow, that would be great!
I’m working on mobile phone technology and Nokia is our main customer at the moment. I would be very very happy if Nokia has some promotion related to Trek for the products I’m be working on.
Let’s see what happens!! :-)

68. Seth - March 22, 2008

Product placement is what makes movies hum. Without that kind of funding the entire system would crash. Star Trek is ready for iPhone and MacBook Air they are futuristic products that belong in the film. The thought of a slickly modified iPhone communicator is glorious. Thank you iPhone Savior for making us think outside the federation.

69. JYHASH - March 22, 2008

I’ll give 5 bucks to anyone who can tell me where the second Apple product placement was in the Star Trek Movies…

Anyone? Anyone?

Oddly enough (and I just found this out the other day after I got my new job at the local Mac Store), if you look at a program called MacTracker, it has a list of every product ever produced by Apple. And there is this little known item they sold around 1989 called the “Macintosh portrait display”. Guess where this little gem subtly appeared? Check out the turbolift in Star Trek V, and there are monitors built into the walls of the lift that look like monitors turned on their sides, when in fact they are displays that were actually built like that. How’s that for a bit of obsessive trivia?

I think I win “Trek Geek for the day” for spotting that one…



70. EFFeX - March 22, 2008

All I have to say is, if I see an Apple logo on a single control panel in this movie, I’m going to flip out, LOL!

How “fan boy” is that for an Apple fan to insist that their products will lead humanity into space and the future.

As far as a communicator style cell phone… I’m all over that!

71. Treknoob - March 22, 2008

HOLY CRAP!! I went back to read the iPhone Savior post and noticed that the writers name Wade Spumen works as an anagram for (made up news). Am I over thinking this? LOL! That’s hysterical if it was meant to be a planned gag from the start. got pwned!

72. - March 23, 2008

Did anyone noticed that in J.J. Abrams recent ‘Cloverfield’ Nokia was absolutely everywhere? Nokia phones, Nokia posters, Nokia shops, searching for Nokia batteries in the electronics store.

It just appearing over and over and over again. He must have shares!!!!
It would be very cool if something trek-like was commercially available.

73. Anthony Pascale - March 23, 2008

RE: opinion of iphone
i love mine. I would say that blackberries do email and texting better, but iphone still syncs well with outlook. It has the best mobile web browser and it also is an ipod with video. there is no product out there as good and it is highly recommended. I used to carry a toshiba mp3video player and a razor phone with me…now just the iphone.

I have the 8 gig and that is limiting, but there is a new 16 gig. When they get to 32 gig and/or a whole new version i will probably get that. Unless someone comes out with something better

74. The Vulcanista - March 23, 2008


So how is it as an actual telephone? I’ve heard that it does all the wonderful and amazing Web things that you just described extremely well but that it’s not such a great phone.

I’m just curious because I’m thinking of getting one. But the phone functionality must be as good as, say, my Razor.

Peace. Live long and prosper.
The Vulcanista }:-|

75. fakesteve - March 24, 2008

From JJs TED speech we learned that he is a true macevangelist, he even rendered the “Lost” Title sequence himself on his PowerBook (without antialising). So I am pretty convinced that there will be some Apple related produnct in the finished movie… Cupertino is just around the corner from Strarfleet after all…

76. fakesteve - March 24, 2008

And in Lost, the Dharma Computer in the hatch, was an Apple II…

77. goff3110 - October 22, 2008

Am I completely alone, or would anyone else be interested in seeing a working bluetooth st:tng or voyager commbadge? Personally, I think that would be pretty awesome. But thats just me. is represented by Gorilla Nation. Please contact Gorilla Nation for ad rates, packages and general advertising information.