What Is a Pear Phone?

By Clare Edwards

A Pear phone is an imaginary gadget, the fictional counterpart of an Apple iPhone. They're seen in some shows on the Nickelodeon network. To avoid unwanted product placement, the shows' creators use a pretend brand, Pear, in place of real-life brands. Pear phones are a recurring theme in shows created by executive producer Dan Schneider.

The Pear Company

Fictional counterparts of familiar products of are a way for the creators of TV shows to make the shows seem more real without having to license real products from major companies or open themselves to accusations of product placement. The Pear company lets shows such as "iCarly" have story lines about gadgets without having to feature products from real firms like Apple or Microsoft. For example, if the story line calls for a working laptop, the actors can use a real one with any trademarks covered up by Pear logos from the props department.

The Shows

"ICarly" is a show about a girl named Carly and her friends who make their own hit webcast. The show's name, "iCarly," is a parody of Apple products such as the iPhone and iPod. In "Victorious," the central character, Tori Vega, accidentally enrolls in a performing arts school and finds out she loves it. "Zoey 101" follows Zoey and her younger brother as they enroll together at an elite boys school that's just begun to admit girls. In all of these shows, the Pear company makes most of the electronics.

Creating the Pear Phone

The creators of "Victorious" needed a fictional brand of smartphone for one of their story lines, and so the Pear phone was introduced. Schneider records on his blog that he thought it would be interesting for the phone to actually be shaped like a pear; the prop man was able to create a pear-shaped phone prop.

Fan Response

Schneider notes that fans frequently ask where they can buy a Pear phone; they don't exist in real life. There's a fan-created Pear phone website, pearphone.net, where the Pear phone is advertised as having ridiculous capabilities -- such as a weather station that can calculate the local pollen count. There's even a video from the creators of the site demonstrating home-made Pear phone fan art.

About the Author

Clare Edwards has been providing Internet content since 1998. She has written and translated for a variety of markets: everything from technical articles to short fiction and essays on alternative spirituality. She holds a certificate of higher education in electronics and audio arts from Middlesex University.