We all know that Apple likes to own the customer experience from beginning to end. It’s the reason Apple creates its own hardware, its own operating systems, and its own App Store. Apple even controls the supply of all its products, thanks to its retail stores. They like to be in control in Cupertino.
One thing Apple doesn’t really control is the cell carriers, despite the iPhone being a veritable cash cow. Tentative rumors of Apple wanting to get into the carrier game have been circulating for quite some time. Now, a venture capitalist, John Stanton, claims that Apple co-founder and then-CEO Steve Jobs had wanted to create its own carrier network.
In typical Jobs fashion, Apple didn’t want to just be another carrier, they wanted to use Wi-Fi spectrum to power the system, but it was deemed unfeasible at the time…
Stanton was a leading entrepreneur in the world of cellular technology back in 2007, when Apple was working out the deals required to bring the first generation iPhone to market.
“Stanton, currently chairman at venture capital firm Trilogy Partnership, said he spent a fair amount of time with Jobs between 2005 and 2007. “He wanted to replace carriers,” Stanton said of Jobs, the Apple founder and CEO who passed away recently after a battle with cancer. “He and I spent a lot of time talking about whether synthetically you could create a carrier using Wi-Fi spectrum. That was part of his vision.”
In the end, Apple had to resort to joining the same carrier deals as everyone else, though the iPhone’s huge popularity has meant that Apple is in a position to call a few more shots than the likes of HTC, Samsung, and Motorola. Carriers almost fear Apple at this point, which is why the iPhone is still unbranded by carriers. The same cannot be said about the vast majority of Android phones, unfortunately.
“If I were a carrier, I’d be concerned about the dramatic shift in power that occurred.”
Carriers should be looking over their collective shoulders, with Apple clearly happy to bypass them completely if ever given the chance.